Congressional banking oversight is serious business, but not so serious that Sen. John Kennedy could not find a moment to slip in a hilarious quip.
The Louisiana Republican was questioning the CEO’s of the largest U.S. banks on Wednesday during the Senate Banking Committee’s annual oversight hearing, according to a report by the Daily Caller.
During his questioning, he asked the panel if they found it “ironic” that the Federal Deposit Inusrance Corporation was advising them on how to manage their banks with new proposed regulations despite the FDIC having watched three other banks fail this year under its regulatory oversight.
He then directed his question and joke directly to famed CEO of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon.
“Mr. Dimon, don’t you find it ironic? The FDIC is now turning to you and saying, ‘You know our track record, which is blemished at the FDIC. Your bank isn’t broken, but we are going to tell you how to fix it.’ Do you find that ironic?” Kennedy began
“They’re going to tell you how to fix it based on standards put together by bureaucrats in Basel, Switzerland, not by the United States Congress,” he continued.
“Do you find it ironic that they’re telling you this and proposing this? Isn’t that kind of like being given gun safety advice by Alec Baldwin?”
After a pause, Dimon cracked a smile and laughed.
“Should I answer the question?” the CEO asked.
Sen. Kennedy’s joke is a reference to actor Alec Baldwin’s 2021 on-set shooting incident that tragically killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
She was fatally injured when the movie prop gun Baldwin had been using in the Western film, “Rust,” fired a live round and struck Hutchins.
In the video clip shared by Forbes, Sen. Kennedy also casts doubt on the credibility of the FDIC by referencing the recent reports of shocking workplace behavior occurring within the federal agency.
Based on investigative reporting by The Wall Street Journal, both current and former FDIC employees attested to a pervasive work culture of drinking, sexual harassment and lewd behavior.
As Kennedy noted, the proposed regulations under discussion are from an international body headquartered in Basel, Switzerland.
The Basel III regulations are not legally binding until formerly adopted by the U.S., however, as described by Investopedia.
The Bank CEO’s were unanimous in opposing the new Basel regulations, also referred to as Basel Endgame, claiming the required increase in capital requirements (money held within each bank) would drive up lending costs at a time when the economy is facing tough adjustments from inflation and rising interest rates, according to the Associated Press.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.