Committee on Financial Services

Jeb Hensarling

Hearing entitled “Oversight of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement”

2015/02/27


FSC Majority | Week in Review

2015/02/27

Committee Pushes for Accountability and Transparency Reforms at the Federal Reserve

Republicans at this week’s hearing with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen raised questions about how much influence the executive branch holds over the central bank and argued in favor of accountability reforms to both protect the Fed’s independence in its conduct of monetary policy and to help give the economy greater certainty.

In its coverage of the hearing, the Associated Press reported that Republicans on the committee “challenged the central bank’s lack of accountability”

Members “seized on Ms. Yellen’s official calendar records and an October speech on inequality, just before the midterm elections, as evidence she was leaning towards the Obama administration and Democrats,” reported the Wall Street Journal in its coverage of the hearing.

While Chair Yellen and Democrats argued reforms would open the Fed to political influence, “Republicans at the hearing countered that Ms. Yellen’s calendars show the executive branch has far more access, and potentially more influence, than Congress,” the Journal reported.    

“Opponents argue any reforms threaten the Fed’s monetary policy independence, but the greatest threat to that independence comes from the executive branch, not the legislative branch,” said Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).  “While the Federal Reserve Chair testifies publicly before this committee twice a year, she meets weekly with the Treasury Secretary in private.  And for decades there has been a revolving door between Treasury officials and Fed officials which continues even today…Fed reforms are needed and I for one believe Fed reforms are coming.”

The Federal Reserve has proven time and time again that its government knows best approach doesn't hold the cure for what ails the economy," said Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Bill Huizenga (R-MI). "It's time we restore certainty as well as fiscal responsibility, and we must lift the veil of secrecy to ensure that the Fed is accountable to the people's representatives, the same people that created the Federal Reserve in the first place."

Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee Chair Scott Garrett (R-NJ) said, "In theory, having a technocrat like the Fed to simply implement monetary changes based on basic facts, it sounds appealing. But in practice, that is not anywhere close to what happens at the Fed." 

Subcommittee Examines FHA's Financial Health

The Housing and Insurance Subcommittee held a hearing Thursday on the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the second in a series that began earlier this month with the full committee’s hearing with HUD Secretary Julian Castro.

“House Republicans have argued that the FHA was wrong to make a cut to its annual mortgage insurance premium before its reserve fund reached a statutory minimum – and witnesses agreed,” reported the American Banker in its coverage of the hearing.  Witnesses told the subcommittee that the FHA’s premium reduction “is undercutting the private sector and expanding the government’s role in the housing market.”

Subcommittee Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) said, "The underlying problems at FHA have existed for years and continue to pose a threat to all Americans. If a private business like the ones represented on our panel today operated in a fashion similar to FHA, it would be placed into receivership. Yet FHA continues unapologetically down a dangerous path that we’ve traveled before."

"It never ceases to amaze me that Washington doesn't seem to be able to learn the lessons of history and recent history. So here we have Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac jumping back in and offering 30-year loans for borrowers that can only afford a 3% down payment. These loans are exempt from the requirements that another federal agency says are required under the qualified mortgage rule, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that are supposed to prevent a recurrence of loose lending," remarked Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY). "This is a double-standard. The American people are tired of Washington living by one set of rules and the private sector and the American people living by another set of rules."

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Rep. Ann Wagner | Wagner bill clashes with Obama proposal to regulate financial advisers

Wagner said Obama’s reforms could drive up the cost of financial advice for low- and middle-income holders of retirement accounts, thereby depriving them of that service. Wagner also said Obama was pushing the tougher rule without adequately studying its need and potential impact.

Rep. Randy Neugebauer | Overregulation Harmed America’s Financial Sector

In the midst of the financial crisis, the Democrat-controlled Congress did not do the responsible thing. Instead of comprehensively studying the crisis, Democrats in Washington threw a blanket over the financial sector in the form of the Dodd-Frank Act.

Weekend Must Reads


American Enterprise Institute | The Fed and inequality returns

The Fed chair shouldn’t sound like a left-leaning politician opining about hot-button political issues.

American Banker | An Open Letter to Elizabeth Warren on the Future of Community Banks

Facts should be the foundation for forming opinions. To suggest that community banks are doing just fine after Dodd-Frank is contrary to facts.

Bloomberg | CFPB Proves Its Critics Right

When Dodd-Frank was being debated in Congress, critics warned that the CFPB would have little accountability and would therefore be inclined to overreach. On this issue, the agency seems determined to prove that fear right.

Wall Street Journal | Obama vs. Savers

Ignoring existing regulation, Mr. Obama is making his usual argument that consumers are helpless against the predations of businesspeople. The solution naturally involves lawyers making lots of money. And in order to avoid industrywide chaos, the Washington bureaucracy will issue a flood of exemptions. At least Mr. Obama hasn’t promised that if you like your broker you can keep your broker.

    On the Horizon 

March 3, 2015 2:30 p.m.
Full Committee Hearing

"The Semi-Annual Report of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection"

March 5, 2015 9:00 a.m. Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee Hearing
"Oversight of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement"

  In the News

CNBC Video | Chairman Hensarling Reacts to Fed Chair’s Testimony

Bloomberg | Rep. Huizenga Calls for More Fed Transparency

CNBC | Are community banks doomed to fail?

Wall Street Journal | Fed’s Yellen Fends Off Charges of Partisan Tilt


American Banker | House GOP Hammers Yellen Over White House Meetings

Fiscal Times | HUD Gives $37 Million in Housing Subsidies to the Wrong People

The Hill | Ex-Im critics pounce after bank yanks data

MainStreet | Dodd-Frank's Unintended Consequences - Wall Street Reaps Benefits of D.C. Regulation

Wall Street Journal | Fannie, Freddie Weak Earnings Raise Possibility of Future Bailouts

The Hill | GOP bill aims to block financial adviser regs
 
American Banker | FHA Premium Cut Keeping Private Sector Out of the Market, Industry Claims

Washington Examiner | Fed's already political, GOP argues in oversight push

The Hill | Ex-Im worker accused in bilking scheme
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MEDIA ADVISORY: Committee Schedule for the Week of March 2

2015/02/27

Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) today announced the committee’s hearing schedule for the week of March 2:

Tuesday, March 3rd at 2:30 P.M.- A full committee hearing to receive the Semi-Annual Report of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection from Director Richard Cordray.

The hearing will take place in room HVC-210 of the Capitol Visitor Center.

Thursday, March 5 at 9:00 A.M.- A Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee hearing to examine the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Enforcement. Andrew Ceresney, the SEC’s Director of Enforcement, will testify.

The hearing will take place in room 2167 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

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Hensarling Discusses Federal Reserve Transparency on CNBC

2015/02/26

“If independence is an issue, than we really ought to examine the independence of the Fed
from the executive branch of government.  That’s where the real threat is,
not from the legislative branch”



House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) was interviewed on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” Wednesday following the committee’s hearing with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. 

You can watch the entire interview by clicking on the image, and below are excerpts that may be of particular interest.

On his reaction to Chair Yellen’s testimony:

“Well, I was disappointed because what we have seen now is that middle income families are still struggling in the slowest, weakest recovery in the postwar era, and yet it seems that we will continue on extraordinary measures that were employed back in 2008 and here we are in 2015.  And yet they are not more transparent, they are not more accountable, and the real issue is, economists I know believe that we are best served when the Federal Reserve will communicate to the public what their monetary policy will be, and yet we didn't hear it in this particular testimony.”

On the Federal Reserve’s independence:

“[M]any of us believe that if independence is an issue, than we really ought to examine the independence of the Fed from the executive branch of government.  That’s where the real threat is, not from the legislative branch that merely has asked the Fed -- you make up monetary policy, you can waive it, you can change it, but you ought to have an obligation to communicate it to the rest of us, and when you don't, you hinder economic growth, you hinder a healthy economy, you hinder middle income America that now has smaller paychecks and a smaller bank account.”

On making the Fed more transparent and accountable:

“The House Financial Services Committee moved a bill that, again, would simply ask the Fed to reveal its policy -- it's really about transparency and accountability -- just as long as they reported it to the rest of us and to ensure that the Fed, as you know, just doesn't have to do with monetary policy, it has to do with being a prudential banking regulator.  And yet they are exempt from any of the provisions like cost-benefit analysis that other prudential regulators are required to do.  We moved that bill in the last Congress.  I intend to move a similar bill in this Congress.”

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Hensarling: Fed Reforms Are Needed…Fed Reforms Are Coming

2015/02/25

 
CLICK HERE TO WATCH

Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) delivered the following opening statement at today’s full committee hearing with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen:

As Chair Yellen delivers her semi-annual report today, we have an opportunity to examine the state of the Fed’s balance sheet.  But it is the “Precarious State of Family Balance Sheets” that must be foremost on our minds.  That, coincidentally, is the title of a recent report by the Pew Charitable Trusts which rightly concludes that “many American families…are walking a financial tightrope.” 

Since the president embarked on his economic program, middle income families have found themselves with smaller paychecks, smaller bank accounts and farther from financial independence.  Millions have become so discouraged trying to find a job they have simply given up and left the work force.

Although we have happily seen some recent improvement in our economy, Americans are still mired in the slowest, weakest recovery of the postwar era – this in spite of the single-largest monetary stimulus in America’s history.

Why is this recovery so anemic? No doubt Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and the other roughly $617 billion in new regulatory costs imposed by the administration.  This is something monetary policy cannot remedy.

On top of this is the burden of $1.7 trillion in new taxes that fall principally upon our engines of job growth:  small businesses, entrepreneurs and investors.  Monetary policy cannot remedy this, either.

Then there’s the doubt, uncertainty and regulatory burden that grows as more and more unbridled, discretionary authority is given to unaccountable government agencies.  Although monetary policy cannot remedy this, it can help.

During the most successful periods of our Fed’s history, the central bank appeared to follow a clear rule, methodology or monetary policy convention.  Today, however, it favors a more unpredictable and somewhat amorphous forward guidance – which creates uncertainty.

For example, just moments after the FOMC released its policy statement on December 17, the Dow surged over 300 points -- seemingly based upon nothing more than the substitution of the word “patient” for the phrase “considerable time.”  And when Chair Yellen’s predecessor once publicly mused about the mere possibility of tapering Quantitative Easing, markets took a deep dive.

Thus, there does not appear to be all that much guidance in the Fed’s forward guidance.  As one former Fed president recently wrote:  “Monetary policy uncertainty creates inefficiency in the capital market.  The FOMC gives lip service to policy predictability but its statements are vague…The FOMC preaches that policy is data dependent but will not tell us what data and how.”

Many prominent economists believe the American people will enjoy a healthier economy when the Fed begins to adopt a more predictable method or rules-based monetary policy- one of its choosing. 

Opponents argue any reforms threaten the Fed’s monetary policy independence, but the greatest threat to that independence comes from the executive branch, not the legislative branch.  While the Federal Reserve Chair testifies publicly before this committee twice a year, she meets weekly with the Treasury Secretary in private.  And for decades there has been a revolving door between Treasury officials and Fed officials which continues even today.

With respect to reform, accountability and transparency on the one hand, and independence in the conduct of monetary policy on the other, these are not mutually exclusive concepts. 

After Dodd-Frank, a quadrupled balance sheet, massive bailouts and unprecedented credit market interventions, the financing and facilitation of trillions of dollars of new national debt this is clearly a very different Fed.

Chair Yellen, I will listen very carefully to constructive suggestions that improve Fed reform ideas, but I for one believe  Fed reforms are needed and I for one believe Fed reforms are coming.

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5 Important Facts About the Export-Import Bank

2015/02/25

1). The Ex-Im Bank may harm as many jobs as it claims to support.

Government export finance assistance programs like Ex-Im “largely shift production among sectors within the economy rather than raise the overall level of employment in the economy.” - Government Accountability Office, “Export-Import Bank: Key Factors in Considering Ex-Im Bank Reauthorization

“[A]t best the Ex-Im Bank creates jobs in export industries by destroying jobs in non-export industries.” – Donald Boudreaux, Ph.D, Professor of Economics at George Mason University

“By some estimates, the [Ex-Im] Bank’s loan guarantees have resulted in up to 7,500 lost U.S. carrier jobs, and up to $684 million of lost income for U.S. airline employees annually.” – Delta Airlines

2). The Ex-Im Bank doesn’t necessarily return money to the taxpayers.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reports that if Ex-Im followed more accurate accounting rules – Fair-Value Accounting – its ledger would show a cost to taxpayers of $200 million/year, or $2 billion over 10 years. -- CBO Fair-Value Estimate

3). Only 1% of 1% of America’s Small Businesses Benefit from Ex-Im.


Congress requires that 20% of Ex-Im’s authorizations go to small businesses, but Ex-Im consistently fails to meet this statutory requirement.  In reality, only .01% of America’s small businesses receive any help at all from Ex-Im.

Instead, Ex-Im’s subsidies overwhelmingly benefit very large corporations.

4). The Ex-Im Bank uses American taxpayers’ money to help foreign corporations, including  businesses that are owned by the governments of China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Of the 50 largest loans or guarantees approved by the Ex-Im Bank between FY2007-mid FY2014, 46% went to state-owned foreign companies or to a joint-venture that includes a state-owned company.  

5). The Ex-Im Bank is not critical to our economy.  It financed only about 1% of total U.S. exports in 2014.


 
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Hearing entitled “The Semi-Annual Report of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection”

2015/02/24


Hensarling to Speak Out Against Washington Cronyism at the Conservative Political Action Conference

2015/02/24

Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, will participate in a discussion on fighting cronyism at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday, February 27th.

The panel discussion, titled “Friends in Low Places: How Cronyism Corrupts Free Markets,” will focus on pro-growth, pro-Main Street economic principles instead of subsidies from the crony-connected Washington economy.

In his remarks, Hensarling will discuss the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s upcoming reauthorization.

“There is probably no better poster child of the Washington insider economy and corporate welfare than the Export-Import Bank.  Its demise would be a resounding victory for the Main Street competitive economy.  I believe it is a defining issue for our party and our movement,” said Rep. Hensarling.

“Ex-Im doesn’t level the playing field; Ex-Im rigs it in favor of a few powerful Fortune 500 corporations that are the overwhelming beneficiaries of this program.  Washington shouldn’t pick winners and losers, and hardworking American taxpayers – who are already under tremendous stress – shouldn’t be forced to pay for foreign corporate welfare that advantages a handful of very successful and powerful politically-connected corporations,” Rep. Hensarling added.

Details on the discussion panel are as follows:

WHO: Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and other participants.

WHAT: CPAC panel discussion “Friends in Low Places: How Cronyism Corrupts Free Markets.”

WHEN: Friday, February 27th at 2:10 P.M.

WHERE: Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, Potomac  4

Additional information can be found at http://cpac.conservative.org/

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Committee Hearing Schedule for the Week of February 23

2015/02/20

Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) today announced the committee’s hearing schedule for the week of February 23:

Wednesday, February 25 at 10:00 AM - A full committee hearing to receive the semi-annual report on Monetary Policy and State of the Economy from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

The hearing will take place in room HVC-210 of the Capitol Visitor Center.

Thursday, February 26 at 10:00 AM - A Housing and Insurance Subcommittee hearing to examine the financial health of the Federal Housing Administration, the second in a series of hearings that began with HUD Secretary Castro’s appearance last week.

The hearing will take place in room 2220 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

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Hearing entitled “The Future of Housing in America: Oversight of the Federal Housing Administration - Part II”

2015/02/19


Hearing entitled “Monetary Policy and the State of the Economy”

2015/02/19


FSC Majority | Week in Review

2015/02/13

Committee Examines Risky Practices at FHA

The committee held a hearing on Wednesday to examine the fiscal health of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and heard testimony from Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro.

"We all recall the famous admonition from Spanish philosopher Santayana who said, 'Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.' History has taught us that the root cause of the financial crisis was not deregulation but dumb regulation and helping put people into homes they could not afford to keep. Now the FHA, with exceedingly low down payments and a recently announced approximately 40 percent cut in its premiums, appears to be doing that. All at a time where the FHA continues to violate federal law by keeping a woefully insufficient capital reserve and right after receiving its first ever taxpayer bailout,” remarked Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).

In its coverage of the hearing, the Wall Street Journal noted that since 2009 the FHA has been in violation of the law which requires the agency to have a capital buffer equal to at least two percent of the loans it guarantees.  While Secretary Castro told the committee the premium cuts would push back the FHA’s return to the two percent threshold by only “a few months,” the Journal reported that Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi and others have said “the fund might not return to the two percent level until 2018, two years later than an estimate made by the FHA’s independent actuary in November.”

After questioning from Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI), “Castro acknowledged that the 50-basis-point reduction in fees would slow full restoration of the fund," noted the American Banker. "Duffy said it was proof of Republican arguments."

“Republicans cite the FHA’s need for a $1.7 billion draw from the Treasury in 2013 to shore up its reserve fund as reason to be concerned about the agency’s failure to move faster toward the two percent level,” The Hill reported in its coverage of the hearing.

Coming to your inbox on Sunday afternoon in this week’s Video Message:  Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) will discuss why hardworking taxpayers should be concerned the FHA is putting them and homebuyers at risk.

Committee Holds Markup of Views and Estimates

At Thursday’s full committee markup, Chairman Hensarling said “[The] debt….represents roughly $160,000 of debt for every American household.”

"That particular debt you see on the clock today represents roughly $160,000 of debt for every American household. That comes out of their American dream. That is funds that cannot be used to send kids to college. Those are funds that can no longer be used to pay for health care premiums that have risen. They are funds that cannot be used to capitalize a new small business so that again they can achieve their American dream," said Chairman Hensarling.

"The Budget Views and Estimates that have been put together today will help this committee and help the Budget Committee guide our proceedings to ensure that we can help low and middle-income Americans in their pursuit of happiness and that we can ensure that we do not leave a legacy of debt for our children and our grandchildren and betray the American dream; which is not the fancy new car, it is not the new home with the kitchen and the granite countertops. The American dream is ensuring that our children and grandchildren have greater opportunities, greater freedom and a higher standard of living than we have enjoyed," added Chairman Hensarling.


MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Rep. Andy Barr | Congressman holds roundtable with bankers
 
A reintroduced bill could allow for more homeowners in Scott County, as well the creation of new jobs, said U.S. Rep. Andy Barr of Kentucky at a roundtable discussion with Scott County bankers. The Portfolio Lending and Mortgage Act would “expand the access of mortgage credit to the citizens of Scott County and all across the country,” he said.

Weekend Must Reads


American Action Forum | Dodd-Frank Rulemaking Excluded From Regulatory Review

An effort to reduce red tape by financial regulators excludes one of the most burdensome financial laws in recent memory, the Dodd-Frank Act.

Fiscal Times | The Spectacular Too Big Failure of Dodd-Frank

If the point of Dodd-Frank was to eliminate TBTF, it’s clearly failed. Instead, what it has done is prove the point of conservatives, who have consistently argued that regulatory expansion disproportionately impacts smaller players in any market. If the point of Dodd-Frank was to help consumers, that too has been a failure. Consolidation reduces both choice and proximity for most consumers, and the data from Harvard amply demonstrates that in the wake of Dodd-Frank. Rather than provide more competition for service and price, consolidation has left borrowers more and more at the whims of fewer and fewer providers. About the only success we see from Dodd-Frank is the strengthening of lobbyists on Capitol Hill, particularly from Wall Street.

The Hill | Overregulation is endangering our credit unions

The mounting costs and growing complexity of credit unions’ compliance burden are driven by two key components of overregulation: regulators’ overestimation of risk and the need to regulate it, and their underestimation of the time it takes to comply with a rule that, in the end, confers little benefit. Unfortunately, the result has become abundantly apparent as more and more credit unions, not-for-profit, member-owned financial institutions, have ceased doing business. Since 2007, the number of credit unions has declined by 1,600. That’s a whopping 21 percent drop. Under these circumstances, it is no surprise credit unions and NAFCU believe “enough is enough” when it comes to overregulation.

    In the News

Wall Street Journal | HUD Secretary Defends Decision to Lower FHA Fees

American Banker | Republicans Hammer Castro Over FHA Premium Reduction

The Hill | Castro grilled over lowering mortgage insurance premiums

Bloomberg | Working on ‘Sustainable Housing Policy' A Priority for Republicans, Hensarling Says

Charlotte Observer | Pittenger: Regulations harming community banks the most

Financial Times | Regulations hit smaller US banks hardest

Washington Post | New study finds that Dodd-Frank has promoted industry consolidation and killed community banks

El Paso Inc. | Community banks lobby for relief

The Hill | Republican vows to address 'the unfinished work of welfare reform'

Investor's Business Daily | Economic Optimism Index Dives Among Middle Class: Poll

Investor's Business Daily | Studies Confirm Dodd-Frank Strangling Small Lenders

Real Clear Politics | The Truth About Obama's Job Record

Bloomberg |
Financial regulators should embrace cost-benefit analysis


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Continuation of Markup to adopt the Committee’s views and estimates on the budget for fiscal year 2016

2015/02/12


ICYMI: Committee Warns of Repeating Mistakes That Led to Financial Crisis

2015/02/12

American Banker: Republicans Hammer Castro Over FHA Premium Reduction
"Don't you care about those people? Are you so inclined to write more loans that you are just trying to entice them for $20 or $30 to get into a house that they can't afford?"

"This is what brought us to this crisis in the first place and you are going down the exact same road."

- Subcommittee Chairman Scott Garrett (R-NJ)

Housing Wire: HUD's Castro grilled on FHA premiums, capital strength

“HUD is not in compliance with the law, and you should do everything you can to get there more quickly.”

- Subcommittee Chairman Sean Duffy (R-WI)

Reuters: U.S. housing secretary defends reduction in mortgage insurance fees

"We've had this whispered into our ear before it hasn't proven true, and again you are in violation of the law that is there to protect taxpayers and home owners and that has got to stop."

- Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)

MReport: HUD Chief Faces Questions on FHA’s Financial Position
"If a private company operated the way FHA operates, it would be shut down." 

"Much of the capital FHA does hold has come from a taxpayer bailout and Justice Department settlements. I fear that has created a false sense of security surrounding the fiscal health of the agency. In spite of all this, the agency has decided to lower mortgage insurance premiums. This policy change squeezes what could be a more robust private industry out of the market and increase taxpayer exposure."

- Subcommittee Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO)

The Hill: Castro grilled over lowering mortgage insurance premiums
"It seems you should be looking more toward getting the reserves up."

- Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA)

Wall Street Journal: HUD Secretary Defends Decision to Lower FHA Fees
“After all these years, at what point does HUD and the FHA intend to follow the law?”

- Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
 

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Hensarling: “This debt…it will damage our economy and it will cost us jobs.”

2015/02/12

 
CLICK HERE TO WATCH

Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) delivered the following opening statement at today’s full committee markup of its Budget Views and Estimates for the FY 2016 budget:

Those who are not freshmen know that we run the debt clock in the proceedings of this committee. I fear too often it is something certain Members lose sight of; we shouldn’t. There is no family, no small business and certainly no great republic that can continue to spend money they don’t have. There are some who wish to ignore the clock and there are some who make light of the issue. I have no doubt that the governing authorities in Greece and places like Detroit also ignored the mounting debt and at some point the day of reckoning occurs. When it does, people suffer- particularly those on the lower income scale.

This committee should not ignore the perilous state that we find ourselves in; more debt created in the last six years than in our nation’s first two hundred. My laptop on my desk is awash of reports from the CBO, the GAO, the OMB not to mention respected economists and the Federal Reserve. All have come to the same conclusion that our debt is totally unsustainable. And yet, regrettably, we have the president who is submitting a budget that adds another $8½ trillion to our national debt.  Now just four years ago the president said “[A]ll this rising debt will cost us jobs and damage our economy.”  I wish that his actions followed his words. Apparently they do not.

That particular debt you see on the clock today represents roughly $160,000 of debt for every American household. That comes out of their American dream. That is funds that cannot be used to send kids to college. Those are funds that can no longer be used to pay for health care premiums that have risen. They are funds that cannot be used to capitalize a new small business so that again they can achieve their American dream.

So with the various programs and agencies within our jurisdiction we must do better. This debt, again I agree with the President in this case, it will damage our economy and it will cost us jobs. Regrettably, although our economy is certainly better today than it was perhaps a year ago, we still find ourselves in the midst of the slowest, weakest economic recovery in the post-war era. We still have millions and millions who are either unemployed or underemployed. Although the unemployment rate has come down, a major factor in that is the number of people who have simply left the labor force because they have given up. So the ratio may come down, but it belies the angst, the anxiety, the suffering of many low and middle-income Americans today.

We can do better and we must do better by those who are trying to get ahead. The best way to do that is to build a healthy economy and to build it from Main Street up, not Washington down. We have tried that. We have tried that for six years and it has failed.

The Budget Views and Estimates that have been put together today will help this committee and help the Budget Committee guide our proceedings to ensure that we can help low and middle-income Americans in their pursuit of happiness and that we can ensure that we do not leave a legacy of debt for our children and our grandchildren and betray the American dream; which is not the fancy new car, it is not the new home with the kitchen and the granite countertops. The American dream is ensuring that our children and grandchildren have greater opportunities, greater freedom and a higher standard of living than we have enjoyed.

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Markup to adopt the Committee’s views and estimates on the budget for fiscal year 2016

2015/02/10


Hearing entitled “The Future of Housing in America: Oversight of the Federal Housing Administration”

2015/02/05


Hearing entitled “Exploring Alleged Ethical and Legal Violations at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development”

2015/01/28


Hearing entitled “Sustainable Housing Finance: An Update from the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency”

2015/01/20


Markup to adopt the Committee’s oversight plan for the 114th Congress

2015/01/16


There is no media available for this committee.

Contact Information

2129 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-7502
Fax 202-226-0471
financialservices.house.gov


Membership

Andy Barr

KENTUCKY's 6th DISTRICT

Robert Dold

ILLINOIS' 10th DISTRICT

Sean Duffy

WISCONSIN's 7th DISTRICT

Stephen Fincher

TENNESSEE's 8th DISTRICT

Mike Fitzpatrick

PENNSYLVANIA's 8th DISTRICT

Scott Garrett

NEW JERSEY's 5th DISTRICT

Frank Guinta

NEW HAMPSHIRE's 1st DISTRICT

Jeb Hensarling

TEXAS' 5th DISTRICT

French Hill

ARKANSAS' 2nd DISTRICT

Bill Huizenga

MICHIGAN's 2nd DISTRICT

Randy Hultgren

ILLINOIS' 14th DISTRICT

Robert Hurt

VIRGINIA's 5th DISTRICT

Peter King

NEW YORK's 2nd DISTRICT

Mia Love

UTAH's 4th DISTRICT

Frank Lucas

OKLAHOMA's 3rd DISTRICT

Blaine Luetkemeyer

MISSOURI's 3rd DISTRICT

Patrick McHenry

NORTH CAROLINA's 10th DISTRICT

Luke Messer

INDIANA's 6th DISTRICT

Mick Mulvaney

SOUTH CAROLINA's 5th DISTRICT

Randy Neugebauer

TEXAS' 19th DISTRICT

Steve Pearce

NEW MEXICO's 2nd DISTRICT

Robert Pittenger

NORTH CAROLINA's 9th DISTRICT

Bruce Poliquin

MAINE's 2nd DISTRICT

Bill Posey

FLORIDA's 8th DISTRICT

Dennis Ross

FLORIDA's 15th DISTRICT

Keith Rothfus

PENNSYLVANIA's 12th DISTRICT

Ed Royce

CALIFORNIA's 39th DISTRICT

David Schweikert

ARIZONA's 6th DISTRICT

Steve Stivers

OHIO's 15th DISTRICT

Marlin Stutzman

INDIANA's 3rd DISTRICT

Scott Tipton

COLORADO's 3rd DISTRICT

Ann Wagner

MISSOURI's 2nd DISTRICT

Lynn Westmoreland

GEORGIA's 3rd DISTRICT

Roger Williams

TEXAS' 25th DISTRICT