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Crapo poised for starring role in economic, health care policy

He’s one of the most conservative Republican senators, ranked 11th by the American Conservative Union based on his votes. But like his predecessors Grassley, from Iowa, and the now-retired Hatch, from Utah, Crapo has a record of working across the aisle, including during his tenure as Senate Banking Committee chairman since 2017. 

“He’s got strong views, but he’s always going to reach out,” said Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., who serves with Crapo on Finance as well as Banking. “In everything I’ve done with him, he is a tough negotiator, but when he gets to ‘yes’ you can count on it.”

Warner’s relationship with Crapo was cemented during their time on the Senate’s bipartisan “gang of six” in 2011, working to turn the Simpson-Bowles fiscal commission’s $4 trillion deficit reduction plan into legislative reality. Crapo was one of five Republicans on the Simpson-Bowles panel to vote for the ultimately unsuccessful proposal, despite 25 percent of the deficit cuts coming from tax increases. 

Crapo also worked with Warner and other Democrats on chipping away at portions of the 2010 financial industry overhaul know as Dodd-Frank that critics said went too far in restricting community banks. The Dodd-Frank rollback legislation was enacted in 2018.

And Crapo and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the Finance panel’s ranking member, have long worked together on trying to secure long-term funding for two programs that provide federal payments for rural schools, counties and local governments where the growth of federal lands and decline in timber harvests have sapped local revenue.

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