SALT LAKE CITY — Rep. Ben McAdams, Utah's newest member of Congress and the only Democrat in the delegation, has been assigned to the House Financial Services Committee.
Former 4th Congressional District Rep. Mia Love, the Republican defeated by McAdams for the seat, also served on the committee that has jurisdiction over banking, insurance, housing, securities and exchanges and other financial issues.
"I'm excited to be in a prime position to help both the Utah economy and Utah consumers," McAdams said in a statement, noting the financial industry employs more than 75,000 Utahns and is "an important economic driver for our state."
His first choice was to serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee, McAdams spokeswoman Alyson Heyrend said, calling that assignment a long shot for a freshman. No. 2 on McAdams' list was financial services, she said.
Financial services is seen as an exclusive committee by the House, meaning members typically do not serve on other committees. McAdams is expected to receive subcommittee assignments soon.
He will be joined on the committee by a number of other congressional newcomers, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., already seen as a leader of the progressive wing of the party.
In her first speech Wednesday as committee chairwoman, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., blamed President Donald Trump's "tantrum" over a border wall for the ongoing federal shutdown that is taking a toll on financial markets.
Waters said the shutdown is also affecting federal housing and home loan programs.3 comments on this story
McAdams said federal support for affordable housing was a priority for him during his time as Salt Lake County mayor and that he worked with the state's banking community on that and other issues.
The last Democrat to represent Utah in Congress before McAdams' election, former Rep. Jim Matheson, also served on financial services. Matheson chose not to seek an eighth term in 2014.
Utah has the most industrial banks in the nation, 15, and the financial services sector has grown by more than 23 percent in the past five years, according to the Economic Development Corporation of Utah.