The Treasury Department on Monday rejected the idea that it excluded Senate Republicans from a late Sunday briefing on the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, after some GOP senators said they weren’t invited on the call.
A Treasury official told Fox News Digital that invitations for the call were sent to GOP leadership in both the House and Senate, and that many Republicans attended the briefing.
Treasury had that response hours after Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee indicated that some of their members were “excluded” from the briefing.
“It is unacceptable that Senate Republicans were excluded from Treasury’s briefing to Congress this evening. The lack of transparency & responsiveness from the Biden administration has been galling. The administration has the responsibility to keep ALL members updated in real time,” the committee’s Twitter account stated.
Officials held a bipartisan, bicameral video call on Sunday evening to update members of Congress after Silicon Valley Bank was shut down by regulators following a rush of investors withdrawing funds.
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The Treasury official noted that many Republicans were present on the call. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Kan., put out a statement on Sunday evening indicating that he was on the call. Reports indicate that Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, was as well.
But Fox News Digital learned that Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., was among the lawmakers who was not on the call. A GOP aide confirmed to Fox News Digital that there was a fair share of Republicans absent from the call, including members of the Senate Banking Committee like Kennedy.
The aide said some lawmakers found out about the meeting after it had started and were able to join after contacting Treasury directly.
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Treasury officials conceded at the end of the call that the invitation did not reach all members but promised to cast a wider net in future briefings, the aide said. A source familiar with the meeting told Fox News Digital that another briefing was scheduled for Monday at noon.
Sunday’s all-member briefing was a major first step toward explaining to lawmakers what happened in the largest U.S. bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis.
A spokesperson for Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., the ranking member on the Senate Banking Committee, told Fox News Digital in a statement on Monday that the bank collapse highlights the need for a tailored and law-abiding approach to reviewing bank regulations such as capital requirements – a sentiment they expressed in a letter to the Federal Reserve last week.
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“Like we said in our letter on risk-based capital requirements – and as Members on both sides of the aisle raised with Chair Powell this week – capital must continuously be scrutinized to ensure it is risk based and is tailored to the bank’s size, scope, and activities,” Scott’s spokesperson said. “What’s happening with Silicon Valley Bank highlights why we cannot have a one-size-fits-all approach. Our Regulators must be focused on their mission at hand and appropriately supervise banks to ensure capital levels are tailored to corresponding risks.”
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