WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- Senate Democrats on Thursday named Sen. Tim Johnson, (D., S.D.) to be chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, as anticipated.

Johnson replaces Sen. Christopher Dodd. (D., Conn.), who retired last year. He will preside over the panel as it oversees implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul, the most sweeping transformation of U.S. financial regulations in a generation. He would be a key negotiator with Republicans over any changes to the massive law.

Johnson said he will "will work to ensure our regulators have the right tools; that consumers have access, information, choice and protection and that industry participants have certainty and rules that allow them to compete."

Another key issue will be reforms to the U.S. housing finance system. The Obama administration is due by mid-February to issue a proposal to overhaul or replace Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC), the mortgage companies which have been under government control since 2008.

Johnson said he seeks to "build consensus around a viable path forward" for what has been a politically charged issue.

"I do not want to further destabilize housing markets or make homeownership unaffordable for the majority of Americans," he said in a statement.

In addition, Democrats named Sen. Kay Hagan, (D., N.C.) to serve on the committee. A former banker, Hagan pledged "to aggressively pursue policies that promote job creation and strengthen the economy."

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