Banking panel Republican says he can work with Sherrod Brown

Banking panel Republican says he can work with Sherrod Brown

The next top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee said Wednesday he expects plenty of progress in 2017 after a sluggish two years under its current chairman.

Sen. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoA US-UK free trade agreement can hold the Kremlin to account Oversight Republicans demand answers on Capital One data breach On The Money: Fed cuts rates for first time since financial crisis | Trump rips Fed after chief casts doubt on future cuts | Stocks slide | Senate kicks budget vote amid scramble for GOP support MORE (R-Idaho), is expected to be either the chairman or ranking member of the committee in the next session of Congress, depending on which party controls the Senate. Current chairman Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) is term-limited out of the position by GOP rules.

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Crapo had high praise for his likely foil, Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownThe Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape Dayton Democrat launches challenge to longtime GOP rep Dayton mayor: Trump visit after shooting was 'difficult on the community' MORE (D-Ohio), after the progressive firebrand on Tuesday called him "straightforward and honorable" despite their political differences.

"We are politically very far apart in terms of our personal political views," said Crapo, but "the fact is we have been able to find significant areas of consensus where we can agree to move forward on good policy, so I expect that we would be able to do that."

Brown and fellow Senate Democrats have railed against Shelby for the committee's lack of movement on major legislation. They've also criticized Shelby for waiting 15 months before holding a confirmation vote on nominees before the committee. Shelby told reporters he was holding off on votes until he cleared his primary in March.

Crapo too said he was frustrated with a lack of progress across Congress, but predicted bridges built between Banking members this session would reap rewards in 2017. He highlighted Dodd-Frank and federal housing as areas where he and Brown could work together.

"It's just working on issues — on the part of both of us — instead of trying to find the areas where we have disagreement, working to identify those areas where we can find agreement," said Crapo.