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SIFMA’S Bentsen: New Congress should look for bipartisan consensus

With the 2018 midterm elections in the rear-view mirror, what can we expect from a divided Congress in terms of legislation affecting the financial industry?

That’s the question Ken Bentsen, CEO of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), addressed in a post-election interview with Bloomberg TV.

Bentsen, who served on the House Financial Services Committee before retiring from Congress in 2003, suggests incoming members look for points of bipartisan consensus on key issues like housing finance reform and multi-employer retirement plans.

Moreover, he urged caution on fiscal policy, suggesting members take care to avoid needless confrontations on issues like the looming debt limit, and focus on ensuring smooth and regular functioning of the government.

Such an approach would be good for taxpayers and markets, but also for the members themselves, Bentsen pointed out: “I think they’re going to look for consensus where they can,” he explained. “I’m sure there will be a lot of political fights—there always are. But I think at the end of the day, people are going to say, ‘what can we do to say we accomplished something?”

Watch Bentsen’s full interview at Bloomberg: