Ed Royce

Ed Royce

CALIFORNIA's 39th DISTRICT

Royce Examines the Negative Impact on Consumers of Growing Corporate Governance Red Tape

2016/09/26

U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Calif.) recently questioned witnesses on the negative impact of rising corporate governance compliance costs on consumers during a Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee hearing entitled “Corporate Governance: Fostering a System that Promotes Capital Formation and Maximizes Shareholder Value.”

"The U.S. has half as many publicly listed companies trading on its exchanges today as it did in 1996. That’s a pretty precipitous drop, and that trend is particularly alarming for a Californian, like myself, because the startup capital of the world is out in our neck of the woods. Firms that would otherwise go public have been deterred, and arguably if you listen to the firms they say they are deterred by unnecessary hurdles on compliance... which are unbalanced. The consequences of that are unrealized economic growth that otherwise might occur in job creation. Governor Engler, the stockholder proposal resubmission thresholds have not been changed since President Eisenhower’s term here. Clearly, they’re outdated. But rule 14A-8 also allows shareholders who have held $2,000 of a company’s stock for one year to submit a proposal to be included in a company’s proxy statement," stated Rep. Royce.

"So looking at that in its totality, what are the consequences for companies and everyday shareholders of this seemingly arbitrary and relatively low $2,000 floor? For example, just 20 shares or .000000003% of Apple’s worth, then you have that included in the company’s proxy statement. How will scaling this barrier of entry to a company’s valuation benefit shareholders, how would it benefit public companies, and how would it benefit the economy?" asked Rep. Royce.
 
"I think when there is additional cost, whatever is the reason for it, and this is a set of circumstances that do raise costs - you heard a 90 million dollar amount tossed out earlier - but depending on the company it can be more or less substantial. There is reputation risk also that can be brought into play, that’s hard to put a value on. But it raises costs and I would argue, then, diminishes shareholder value and that shouldn’t be a desirable thing especially when the other side of this argument is that the question or the proposal, in this case, might have been around the track two, three, or more times and has very low likelihood of any success, yet it does distract however much from management time, from legal time, and it adds also, I think, complexity to a proxy statement which ought to be focused, as I testified earlier, on the most material things that could help an investor decide, 'do I want to own this stock, or should I sell it?'" replied Governor John Engler, President of the Business Roundtable.

"So I’ll ask you, Governor Engler, also about the no-action letter decisions from the SEC that have been arguably erratic and inconsistent, especially since the Whole Foods case. How has the growing failure to dismiss immaterial proposals impacted shareholders? Is keeping this decision process at the Commission staff level appropriate? What can Congress do here to help?" continued Rep. Royce.

“I think the first step is, can we get the SEC back to work on this and can the commission itself address this. They’ve got it within their own rulemaking authority to handle this problem. It was really created, we felt, by the staff initially. We are surprised that it wasn’t addressed. There is a division, clearly, in thinking over at the commission. So they punted on it, but the punt ended up putting a lot more proposals with relatively little merit before shareholders and it was unnecessary," answered Engler.

Watch Rep. Royce's questioning of the witnesses here or by clicking on the image below:

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Royce Calls for Better Efficiency and Local Control in Public Housing Spending

2016/09/26

U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Calif.) recently questioned witnesses on how to increase efficiency and local control in public housing spending during a Housing and Insurance Subcommittee hearing entitled “The Future of Housing In America: A Better Way to Increase Efficiencies For Housing Vouchers and Create Upward Economic Mobility."

"The cost of the Housing Choice Voucher program consists of two parts: payments to owners to cover the difference between a tenant’s contribution and rent; and administrative fees paid to participating housing authorities. Logic would dictate that reducing the resources expended on one would free up resources for the other. But the pool to draw these resources from is not infinite. The housing authorities in my district are unable to accept applicants to Section 8 waitlists, they tell me because administrative costs are rising. I’d like to ask Ms. Sard - you pointed to housing authority consolidation and also HUD shuttering poorly performing housing authorities as a way to increase efficiency. How will that alleviate the wait for families in need?" asked Rep. Royce.
 
"I want the Committee to be clear, today’s consortia rules don’t create the kinds of efficiencies that they potentially could. That makes them less attractive to PHAs and less useful to families. We need changes. The key thing is to allow the agencies that agree to form consortia to have a single funding contract with HUD. That means instead of each of them doing all the paperwork, and HUD doing all the paperwork on reporting, that saves time. It saves time on maintenance of waiting lists. Right now, each individual housing authority maintains their own waiting list. Families often apply to as many as they can in an area to maximize their chances of getting assistance, as they should. But that’s a waste of resources," answered Ms. Barbara Sard, Vice President of Housing Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

"Speaking of efficiency, I’m encouraged by HUD’s Moving-to-Work contract renewals and expansion of the pilot program. Through 'local payment standards,' the Housing Authority of San Bernardino County in my district oversaw a reduction in per unit cost from $730 to $652 in addition to a 9% decrease in residents living in the two highest poverty areas. Talk about a win-win: Spending more efficiently there while moving residents closer to better opportunities, which is why the board really likes the program. Ms. Blom, how has the MTW contributed to economic mobility and efficiency in public housing? What characteristics can be replicated in other affordable housing programs so authorities like San Bernardino’s can expand their success? I’ve expressed my feelings about this to Secretary Castro many times, I’m glad to see HUD making progress – albeit slowly," continued Rep. Royce.

“The Moving-to-Work demonstration that currently has 39 agencies participating in it, including San Bernardino, have been leading the way on reducing administrative costs and providing more housing choice and self-sufficiency options to families. We use that as one of the pieces of information to help inform the streamlining rule that we published in April. But going forward, with regard to the 100 PHA expansion on MTW, we are going to be rigorously studying the policy areas for that expansion so that we can better utilize that research to be able to make changes, and simplify, and reduce the burden to housing authorities. So I appreciate your support," answered Ms. Dominique Blom, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Public Housing Investments at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"I think with regard to consortium, the Department believes that this is a vehicle that housing authorities should voluntarily choose to do. We are looking to provide guidance on consortia beyond just the voucher program but also with public housing, we need to look at that in a unified way," continued Ms. Blom when prompted.

Watch Rep. Royce's questioning of the witnesses here or by clicking on the image below:

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Chairman Royce Launches Asian American Community Working Group

2016/09/26

U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, recently launched the Asian Pacific Congressional Advisory Council (APCAC). The working group made up of local leaders of Chinese, Filipino, Indonesian, Korean, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese descent will meet with Chairman Royce on a regular basis to discuss federal issues of concern to the Asian American community in Southern California.

“As a representative of a vibrant Asian American community, meeting the needs of my constituents of Asian descent is a top priority. I've taken a leading role in the fight against educational discrimination towards Asian Americans and will further coordinate my efforts with APCAC. As Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I will continue to build stronger economic and cultural ties between the United States and Asian nations,” said Chairman Royce.



APCAC's inaugural members include:

Tony Cartegena of Walnut, CA
Dr. Simon Chen of Placentia, CA
Stan Kwak of Fullerton, CA
Derrick Nguyen of Santa Ana, CA
Tam Nguyen of Fountain Valley, CA
Ho-El Park of Brea, CA
Lucia Tam of San Marino, CA
Jane Wibowo of West Covina, CA

In recognition of his work fighting against discrimination towards Asian Americans by top universities, Chairman Royce was recently awarded the "Champion of Equal Education Rights Award" by the Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE).

The President of the United States also signed legislation first authored by U.S. Representative Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) and Chairman Royce to strike the offensive term "Oriental" from preexisting federal law and replace it with “Asian American.” Read More

Royce Questions Lew on Tax Reform and FSOC Designations

2016/09/22

U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Calif.) questioned U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew at a House Financial Services Committee hearing entitled "The Annual Report of the Financial Stability Oversight Council” on tax reform and the influence of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) on the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC).

"I know back in 1986, you sat next to Tip O’Neil back when he and Ronald Reagan were working on the ’86 Tax Act and I was wondering what advice you might give maybe the next administration in terms of how the Speaker and how the President could work on the compromises that would get us to a result like that one. I think you are somewhat optimistic about the consequences of the economic growth we saw after the ’86 Act as well. So I wanted to speak for a second about this issue you mentioned about this bipartisan, widespread agreement that our current business tax rate is stifling economic growth and is making us uncompetitive. There is an agreement I think on the need to eliminate loopholes, and I think also some of us who agree we should be taking tax revenue from money parked overseas to pay for infrastructure projects here, there is perhaps that element too that could help move this through. There seems to be some disagreement on whether to include small businesses that file on the individual side, to include the pass-through companies. I have followed your thinking through the years and I know that early on you thought it should all be done at once, and last month I think you mentioned that it needed to be broken up in terms of how it was handled," said Rep. Royce.

"You can do business tax reform on the corporate side and provide a lot of benefit to small businesses by letting them deduct everything they spend on investment, by giving them simplified procedure. Real small businesses would benefit from where the emerging consensus for business tax reform is. The businesses that wouldn’t benefit are not small businesses. They are LLCs that organized after the last tax reform to go from being corporations to being pass-throughs. It's interstate pipeline companies, it's large financial firms like hedge funds. I think that if we look at the impact on real small businesses we can get there. And I hope we can break apart where the impact of individual rates really falls. It doesn’t fall on the small neighborhood business. I mean, it’s falling on these very large firms, and I think it would be a shame if that were to be an obstacle to cleaning up a business tax code that is profoundly broken. It’s causing terrible consequences; we see the European Commission now reaching into our tax base with state aid fines, that’s a terrible thing. We need to stop it by fixing our tax code. You put your finger on what I think brings it together so we should be able to get bipartisan consensus which is using the one-time revenue that comes from having a tax applied to overseas income, whether it comes home or not, to fund infrastructure. That’s one-time revenue; it’s a perfect use for one-time revenue," replied Secretary Lew.

"I’m concerned that US regulators, at least in part, rely on FSB determinations. Yet FSB is not subject to the procedural due process, so I think we have an interest here in starting with FSOC rather than starting on the other end with European, or Swiss-based FSB where we end up without notice and comment or prohibitions on arbitrary and capricious actions and then we work to accommodate the Europeans rather than the other way around. Given the impact a designation can have on a company, why utilize a process that lacks some basic protections here – why don’t we reverse that process," asked Rep. Royce.

"We do it the way you want us to do it. The only designations that we make are based on U.S. procedures. The FSB is a policy-shaping, not action-determining, body. It’s not binding on nations but it does help bring other countries closer to meeting our standards and I think it’s good for us to have other countries have higher regulatory standards," concluded Secretary Lew.

Click here or on the image below to watch the exchange:

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Rep. Royce Awarded for Pro-Small Business Voting Record

2016/09/14

Washington, D.C. –  U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) received the coveted "Guardian of Small Business" award from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) for his support of legislation critical to small business owners and employees. Rep. Royce's voting record in the current session of Congress has a perfect rating from the Federation.

"California's small businesses face enough red tape as it is, which is why I've made lowering the tax and regulatory burden on them a priority," said Rep. Royce. "Small business owners and the people they employ can always count on my support."

“Many elected officials claim that they are champions of small business, but our Guardian Award shows our members and other small business owners who is really fighting for them,” said NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan. “Based on his voting record, Rep. Royce is one of the most reliable advocates for small business in Washington.”

The "Guardian of Small Business" award was created by the NFIB to recognize members of Congress for their support of small business owners' public policy priorities. Lawmakers who vote with small business on key issues 70 percent or more of the time during the 114th Congress earned the award. Rep. Royce has a 100 percent rating.

NFIB represents 325,000 small businesses in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and is the leading advocate for small business owners. It's mission is to defend the right of small business owners to run their businesses without undue government interference and to advance public policies that promote their success.

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North Korea Nuclear Test Puts Pressure on U.S.

2016/09/09

North Korea Nuclear Test Puts Pressure on U.S.

Washington assesses options for acting on own in face of China’s apparent reluctance to rein in ally

Calls for punitive action echoed around the world after North Korea’s nuclear test on Friday, but the narrow scope for international cooperation against Pyongyang is putting pressure on Washington to act on its own.

South Korea’s president said she would seek stronger sanctions through the United Nations Security Council, and the top U.S. and Russian diplomats called for discussions about a course of action

But whether the Security Council can act depends heavily on China—North Korea’s ally and main trading partner—which has increasingly sparred with Washington over regional security issues, including tensions in the South China Sea and on the Korean Peninsula.

In the face of growing reluctance from China to intervene, two options emerged for a U.S. response: Pressure Beijing by activating U.S. sanctions authority to penalize Chinese firms that do business with North Korea; and accelerating the installation of a sophisticated missile-defense system in South Korea, a deployment that represents a major irritant in the Washington-Beijing relationship.

The latest nuclear test was seen as a marked advance by North Korea. The blast was a larger detonation than the previous four, experts said, coming as Pyongyang this year has continued refining its ballistic-missile program, mobile-launching capabilities and warhead-miniaturization technology.

While not considered capable of launching a warhead across the world to reach the U.S., North Korea is seen as steadily moving toward that goal.

In Washington, officials didn’t corroborate reports that Friday’s nuclear test marked North Korea’s most powerful detonation to date. The U.S. Air Force is sending a WC-135 tanker—a so-called sniffer—to the area near the explosion to collect atmospheric samples and determine more about the nature of the explosion. The plane should arrive in the next few days, defense officials said. “It will determine what type of nuclear explosion it is,” said one defense official.

The U.N. Security Council met in emergency session to consider the North Korean nuclear test, which Secretary General Ban Ki-moon denounced as another “brazen breach” of Security Council resolutions that ban the country from conducting nuclear tests.

However, in an indication of sagging U.S.-Chinese relations, the American defense secretary, Ash Carter, heaped responsibility for North Korea’s misbehavior on Beijing.

“I’d single out China. It’s China’s responsibility,” Mr. Carter said at a news conference during an official visit to Norway. “China shares important responsibility for this development and has an important responsibility to reverse it. It’s important that it use its location, its history and its influence to further the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and not the direction things have been going.”

Earlier this year, following a fourth North Korean nuclear test in January, the U.S. and China jointly advanced a U.N. Security Council resolution imposing an unusually tough regimen of sanctions against Pyongyang, including cutoffs of aviation fuel and mandatory cargo inspections.

The U.S.-China partnership on North Korea then appeared to sour after Washington struck a deal with South Korea in July to install an advanced missile-defense system, known as a terminal high-altitude area defense system, or THAAD, by the end of next year.

U.S. and Chinese officials have clashed over the planned deployment, last discussing their differences during President Barack Obama’s trip to China last week for the summit of the Group of 20 leaders.

“We cannot have a situation where we’re unable to defend either ourselves or our treaty allies against increasingly provocative behavior and escalating capabilities by the North Koreans,” Mr. Obama said he told Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“And I indicated to him that if the THAAD bothered him, particularly since it has no purpose other than defensive and does not change the strategic balance between the United States and China, that they need to work with us more effectively to change Pyongyang’s behavior,” the president added.

The missile-defense deal with South Korea calls for the installation of the THAAD system by the end of next year. However, U.S. officials said Friday the delivery and activation of the system could be moved forward.

"THAAD is an inherently rapid deployable capability,” said Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.

China on Friday condemned North Korea’s nuclear test, with its Foreign Ministry urging Pyongyang to “honor its commitment to denuclearization, comply with relevant [U.N.] Security Council resolutions and stop taking any action to worsen the situation.”

Despite the U.S.-China strains, State Department officials on Friday said Beijing’s reaction to North Korea’s latest nuclear test represented a “very strong condemnation.”

Many U.S. political officials and experts believe a better use of existing U.S. sanctions authority would pressure Beijing to rein in North Korea. A law passed earlier this year gave the administration authority to impose what are known as “secondary sanctions” against firms that do business with North Korea.

Because Chinese companies are virtually alone in dealing with North Korea, they would bear the brunt of any sanctions.

“It is clear the Obama administration’s enforcement efforts are falling short,” said Rep.Ed Royce (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Most notably, the administration has yet to impose sanctions on any of the many Chinese companies and banks that…continue to support the North Korean regime.  This must change.”

Bruce Klingner, a former Central Intelligence Agency official now a senior research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, said the effect of sanctions against Chinese firms could quickly change the calculations in Beijing.

“Even if you were to sanction one of them, it sends a strong signal,” he said.

The White House has grown alarmed at the frequency with which North Korea has conducted nuclear tests, missile launches and other research aimed at refining its nuclear weapons abilities.

The latest nuclear test, which came shortly after North Korea tested three ballistic missiles, elicited a statement from Mr. Obama that was stronger than the usual White House reaction.

“North Korea stands out as the only country to have tested nuclear weapons this century,” he said. “To be clear, the United States does not, and never will, accept North Korea as a nuclear state.”

The president had already signaled this past week that he would push for more sanctions on North Korea in response to the country’s ballistic-missile launches. Administration officials now say they could see new international sanctions adopted swiftly, as early as next week.

The unknown in Mr. Obama’s effort to corral countries into supporting new sanctions is China. Beijing signed onto sanctions earlier this year. But it’s not clear to the White House that they are prepared to move forward with additional ones. The effort could continue to play out at the United Nations General Assembly later this month.

But there is little doubt that the North Korea issue will fall to Mr. Obama’s successor. With just four months left in office, the president is unlikely to undertake the sort of policy review that would precede a major shift.

Mr. Obama has offered to hold diplomatic talks with North Korea, but on Friday Mr. Obama said Pyongyang has only become more entrenched over the years.

Aside from the U.N. Security Council, the U.N. General Assembly meeting, drawing leaders from around the world, could represent another possible forum, convening later this month.

Among possible options the U.N. Security Council could consider range from tightening sanctions imposed earlier this year to further cutting off North Korea from the international banking system, experts said.

Experts point to an array of possible sanctions. One option would be to close a loophole in earlier sanctions and impose a complete ban on North Korean exports of coal, iron ore and iron—the largest known source of foreign income for the country.

The U.N. body banned the import of the three commodities from North Korea following its nuclear and long-range missile tests earlier this year, except if the proceeds are for “livelihood purposes.” Critics say the exemption, called for by China, allows most exports to continue largely uninterrupted.

Other possible punitive action against North Korea could include a ban on its use of the Swift international payments system, a step taken against Iran, said Mr. Klingner of the Heritage Foundation.

He said the U.S. could also try to encourage other countries to bar the use of North Korean labor. Around 50,000 North Koreans work abroad to make hundreds of millions of dollars each year for the state, according to estimates by human rights groups.

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Royce Supports Easing Access to Capital for Start-Ups

2016/09/08

U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Calif.), a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, spoke on the House Floor in support of legislation to reduce compliance costs for small firms seeking capital. The Micro Offering Safe Harbor Act (H.R. 4850), cosponsored by Rep. Royce, reduces the barrier for market entry to firms seeking an investment of less than $500,000 from a small group of investors.

“California is the innovation capital of the world. From Silicon Valley to Orange County, technology startups are reimagining the way that the world works.

These new companies don’t have thousands of people on payroll. They don’t need dozens of floors of office space. They don't need billions of dollars to function. But they do need access to capital to operate.

Our current regulatory framework creates impediments to these small businesses tapping into the market.

According to the Federal Reserve, the startup rate has fallen sharply over the past 30 years. It was 14% of total companies in a given year but today it's down to 8%. The likelihood of a young firm being a high-growth firm has also declined over the years. These trends are alarming if you think about the consequences. These trends need to be reversed.

The Micro Offering Safe Harbor Act turns the tide by lowering compliance burdens for firms seeking low-dollar investments from a small group of investors that they have a relationship with.

The legislation appropriately scales the regulatory oversight of capital formation while keeping intact investor protections.

The resources that startups would sink into compliance and legal costs could be redirected to what? Redirected to hiring workers. Redirected to creating new products.

Uber, Google, and Airbnb were all start-ups. Passage of the Micro Offering Safe Harbor Act ensures that the next success story will be told,"
said Rep. Royce on the House floor.

Watch Rep. Royce's remarks here or by clicking the image below:

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Rep. Ed Royce Seeks to Block Cash Ransoms to Iran

2016/09/07

Rep. Ed Royce Seeks to Block Cash Ransoms to Iran

On Tuesday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) introduced legislation to prevent and ensure that the United States will never again makes ransom payments, or other cash payouts, to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The “Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act (HR 5931)” has three main objectives:

It makes clear that the Obama Administration violated longstanding U.S. policy by releasing prisoners and paying ransom for the return of Americans held hostage by Iran;
it prohibits cash payments to Iran—period; and
it demands transparency in future settlements to ensure they are not used to pay ransom.

The Iranian regime is the world’d leading state sponsor of terrorism.

Royce issued the following statement upon the bill’s introduction:

The Obama administration forked over a massive cash ransom to Iran, emboldening the world’s leading state sponsor of terror and putting more lives at risk. All of this was done in secret, hidden from the American people and from Congress. This bill will ensure it doesn’t happen again.

The resolution also states that Pastor Saeed Abedini, one of the U.S. citizens who was released as part of that exchange, “stated that Iranian officials explained a delay in their departure was due to the status of another plane.”

On Tuesday, Abedini once again confirmed this in an interview with Breitbart News.

Abedini said the his Iranian captors told him their belief that “the U.S. is playing with us and that if the other plane from Switzerland doesn’t arrive, you are going back to prison.” Abedini told Breitbart News that he thought they were playing a psychological game with him, as they had often in the past.

This time, they were not. The plane arrived, and he and the other three prisoners were released.

Abedini said he “did not believe that the U.S. government would pay money for the release of prisoners. I already told my family that I don’t want us to be exchanged for Iranian criminals who are imprisoned in the U.S.,” he told Breitbart News. “I never thought there was going to be another plane with money,” he said adding that he would have preferred to remain in prison than be part of such a humiliating exchange.

It is illegal for the U.S. government to pay ransom for hostages to be released from foreign captivity. It provides an an incentive for hostage-takers to repeat this behavior in the future. It is, in essence, rewarding bad behavior.

In the one-page summary provided by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on this issue, Royce points out that President Barack Obama “had rejected the advice of his own Justice Department and ignored a longstanding U.S. policy not to release prisoners or pay ransom in exchange for the return of Americans held hostage abroad. Even the State Departmentnow admits this payment was ‘leverage’ for the release of American hostages.”

On Wednesday, Royce said “what’s worse than a $400 million cash ransom to Iran” is “a $1.7 billion cash ransom to Iran.” He issued the statement in response to news that the Obama administration had paid the entire $1.7 billion settlement, which was negotiated parallel to the Iran nuclear talks, in cash:

What on earth was the White House thinking? Sending the world’s leading state sponsor of terror pallets of untraceable cash isn’t just terrible policy. It’s incredibly reckless, and it only puts bigger targets on the backs of Americans.

It’s no wonder that while the administration tried to hide the truth about the payment, Iran seized new American hostages. This cash bonanza has emboldened Iran’s radical regime, and undermined America’s national security. It cannot happen again. That;s why I’ve introduced legislation to stop more dangerous cash payouts to Iran.

Last week, Reuters reported that the intelligence wing of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) “arrested an Iranian-American dual national in late July on charges of plotting against national security and working with hostile governments.” This latest arrest is reportedly among at least half a dozen made of dual-national Iranians, including at least three other Iranian-Americans over the past year.

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Foothill Transit Receives Grant After Royce Support

2016/09/06

Foothill Transit was awarded a $7.24 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) after receiving support for its bid from U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Fullerton). Rep. Royce was joined by members of the California delegation in writing a letter to Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers regarding Foothill Transit's request for funds to build a new, eco-friendly transit center on the campus of Mt. SAC Community College.

"This grant allows Foothill Transit to cut down on emissions and gridlock on our roadways, while the buses that will utilize the center are built by a company that manufactures in our community. It's a win-win for our local economy and the environment,” said Rep. Royce.

Foothill Transit is a joint powers authority of 21 member cities in the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys. It operates an expansive fixed-route bus public transit service throughout Los Angeles County and serves Mt. SAC Community College. A separate state grant for Foothill Transit will provide the funds for buses made by Proterra, Inc., a company with a manufacturing plant in the City of Industry.

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The Fix Is Out: Fannie and Freddie Heading for New Troubles

2016/08/18

The Fix Is Out: Fannie and Freddie Heading for New Troubles

The hole at the corner of 15th and L streets, in downtown Washington, is deep -- and getting deeper.

Earth-movers there are laying the foundations of a shiny new headquarters for Fannie Mae, the bailed-out giant of American mortgages.

But the sleek design, replete with glass sky bridges, belies a sober reality: Fannie Mae and its cousin, Freddie Mac, are once again headed for trouble.

 

In fact, there’s almost no way around it. On Jan. 1, 2018, the two government-sponsored enterprises will officially run out of capital under the current terms of their bailout. After that, any losses would be shouldered by taxpayers.

Granted, few people are predicting a disaster like the one in 2008, when the GSEs had to be thrown a $187.5 billion federal lifeline. But eight years later, people still don’t agree on what to do with these wards of the state. In Washington and on Wall Street, the fight over Fannie and Freddie drags on.

“Everyone agreed that this was a broken business model that made no sense,’’ said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, a center-right advocacy group in Washington. “Now, inertia is driving the way.’’

For a QuickTake on the death and rebirth of Fannie and Freddie, click here.

 

The stakes are high. Earlier this month, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees the GSEs, said Fannie and Freddie might need a $126 billion rescue if the economy were to stumble hard again. In recent years the Treasury has collected more than enough money from the GSEs, in the form of dividends, to cover a bill of that size.

But to the GSEs’ critics, the real issue is that policy makers have yet to come up with a long-term plan. Republicans want to kill the quasi-governmental companies. Democrats have floated the idea of merging them. Hedge fund managers like Richard Perry have gone to court to claw back dividends swept up by the Treasury.

And so one of the thorniest financial questions of the early 2000s -- what role, if any, should the federal government play in America’s $10 trillion mortgage market -- will now fall to the next president. So far, neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump have seized on the issue.

The good news is that taxpayers have recouped their bailout money, and then some. By September Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will have routed to the U.S. Treasury some $251 billion in dividends on senior preferred stock that the government acquired in the rescue. The GSEs have paid those billions to the Treasury, rather retain any of the money as operating capital.

FHFA officials say this controversial arrangement -- instituted in 2012, the very year the GSEs returned to profitability -- make another rescue, however small, all but inevitable. The regulator has quietly examined whether it can suspend the payments unilaterally to build up the GSEs’ capital cushion, among other options.

‘Serious Risk’

“The most serious risk, and the one that has the most potential for escalating in the future, is the enterprises’ lack of capital,” Mel Watt, director of the FHFA, said in a speech in February.

Also at stake are Fannie and Freddie preferred shares, with a face value of $33 billion, along with common shares, potentially worth even more.

Investors including Perry and Bill Ackman, another prominent hedge fund manager, have sued over the bailout terms, so far with little success. A federal judge dismissedone suit in 2014; an appeals court is expected to decide soon whether the investors deserve damages or at least another shot at making their case.

“We only need to win one of those claims in any of the courts in order to ultimately be successful on the legal front,’’ Ryan Israel, a partner at Ackman’s firm, Pershing Square Capital Management, said on a conference call with investors in July.

Stark Differences

The differences are equally stark in Washington. The 2016 Republican party platform has characterized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as a “corrupt business model” that has enabled executives and investors to reap the profits while sticking taxpayers with the losses.

In the Democratic camp, two Clinton advisers, Gene Sperling and Jim Parrott, have said they favor merging the GSEs into a single government-owned corporation. In a March report, the two men, former advisers with the National Economic Council, and other authors suggested that the new organization be required to sell mortgage credit risk to private investors, thereby taking taxpayers off the hook for most future losses.

‘Original Problem’

“I’m concerned that we exit this situation without fixing the original problem,’’ said Representative Ed Royce, a California Republican who sponsored a bill last year that quashed pay hikes for the companies’ chief executives. “The status quo of a nationalized mortgage market is unsustainable for taxpayers.’’

None of this was supposed to go on for so long. When Fannie and Freddie were placed into a conservatorship under FHFA, most policy makers viewed the move as a short-term fix until Congress came up with a full solution.

Politically, the idea of preserving them was considered “patently absurd,’’ said Parrott, who helped lead housing-finance reform efforts for the White House from 2010 to 2013. “Eliminating Fannie and Freddie was a prerequisite for discussion.’’

Plenty of ideas have been floated. Former FHFA Director Edward DeMarco and ex-Senate Republican staffer Michael Bright have proposed turning the GSEs into lender-owned insurers. Others have suggested transforming them into what amount to mortgage utilities, with capped rates of return, essentially keeping them in place in a more regulated form.

Royce says he and other House Republicans plan to introduce a bill as early as September that would require Fannie and Freddie to transfer more risk to the private market and give private institutions access to a technology platform for securitizing loans.

John Taylor, who leads the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, says GSE reform proposals will fail. Taylor supports allowing the GSEs to build capital and releasing them from conservatorship in a more regulated form. Think-tank libraries “are filled with all these treatises with proposals from a year to 40 years ago that are simply gathering dust,’’ he said. In all likelihood, the latest proposals “are going to end up in the proverbial stockpile.’’

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Free CA-39 Grant Seminar

2016/08/17

Free Grant Seminar For Nonprofit Organizations

Hosted by the Office of Representative Ed Royce (CA-39)

in conjunction with CSUF’s Gianneschi Nonprofit Summer School

Date: Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Time: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Location: California State University, Fullerton Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, SGMH 1406
2550 Nutwood Ave. Fullerton, CA 92831

Parking and Directions here.

R.S.V.P. required here.

TOPICS INCLUDE:
 Grant Readiness
 Proposal Writing
 Programs for Nonprofit Organizations
 Grant Assistance from Representative Ed Royce

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2016 Congressional STEM Competition

2016/02/18

U.S. Representative Ed Royce (CA-39) invites you to attend the:

Congressional App Challenge STEM Competition
2016 Exhibit and Awards Ceremony


Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Time: 7 PM PST
Location: Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
Address: 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, CA 92886

- Discover the winners of the 2016 STEM Competition
- View innovative mobile apps created by CA-39's brightest minds

Featured speakers include:

Marc Fischer, CEO and Co-Founder of Dogtown Media
LTC Dennis Sugrue, L.A. Deputy Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Tom Ward, CTO of MEDL Mobile

Competition judges include:


Nanxi Liu, CEO and co-founder of Enplug, Inc.
Simon Evans, professional civil engineer and certified floodplain manager
Dr. Keun-Hang Susan Yang, Ph.D, Director of International Science Programs and Professor of Computational Biology/Neuroscience and Bioscience at Chapman University
Laurie Smith, Program Manager at Science@OC
Chi Ni, Founder of Straight A, Inc.

RSVP to Stephanie Hu at Stephanie.Hu@mail.house.gov or (626) 964-5123. More event details can be found here.

###

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Rep. Royce's 7th Annual Women's Conference

2015/03/28

On Saturday, March 28th, 2015, U.S. Representative Ed Royce will hold his 7th Annual Women's Conference. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will keynote the conference this year. In addition to the keynote speech, the conference will feature breakout sessions on topics such as personal finance, healthy living and cyber safety.

Held at California State University, Fullerton's Titan Student Union (800 North State College Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92834), the event begins at 9:00am and is free to attend. Registration opens at 8:00am, and attendees must first visit Royce.house.gov/womensconference to RSVP.

Questions? Comments? Please contact Rep. Royce's Brea office at 714-255-0101 or email him here. Read More

Join MIT App Inventor team webinar and get started in the House Student App Challenge

2014/04/07

MIT's App Inventor team is collaborating with the Congressional App Challenge Coalition and Samsung to offer a special hour-long webinar for any middle and high school students from across the country who want to learn how to build an Android app with MIT App Inventor. The Webinar will take place on Monday, April 7, 2014 from 7:00 – 8:00 PM ET. Anyone who wants to learn to code, as well as students who want to apply these skills to enter Rep. Royce's 2014 House Student App Challenge, are encouraged to participate. 

Webinar participants will learn how MIT App Inventor can help you design, build, and submit an Android app just in time for the April 30th STEM Competition deadline!

Students entering the competition must submit their app’s source code online during the Competition Submission Period between 12 PM Eastern Standard Time on FEBRUARY 1ST, 2014, and 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time on APRIL 30TH, 2014, as well as provide a YouTube or VIMEO video demo explaining their app and what they learned through this competition process. Learn more about Rep. Royce's 2014 STEM Competition here or by following #2014RoyceSTEM on Facebook and Twitter. You can also download the Rep. Royce STEM Competition mobile app, available for free in the iTunes store (Android version coming soon).

Watch the Congressional App Challenge Coalition Webinar at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvOKpJ5mvNs&feature=share Read More

Paying for College Seminar

2014/01/25

U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) will hold a "Paying for College" seminar on January 25, 2014 from 12pm - 3pm at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (Room GB, 21865 Copley Drive Diamond Bar, CA 91765). This free workshop will help students and their families prepare, apply and pay for higher education. Rebekah Bell, whose opinion piece "It's Possible to Graduate Debt-Free. Here's How" appeared in the Wall Street Journal, will be the keynote speaker. 

Additionally, the seminar will provide information about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) program, including on-site reviews of FAFSA forms, as well as other federal and private student loans, grants, and alternative financing options.  Representatives from local colleges, including UCLA and USC, will also be available to speak with students and their families.

Schools Attending Rep. Royce's Paying for College Seminar:
  • UC Los Angeles
  • UC Riverside
  • UC Irvine
  • CalTech
  • USC
  • Pomona College
  • Cal Poly Pomona
  • Cal State Fullerton
  • Cal State Los Angeles
  • Saddleback College
  • Hope International University
  • Chapman University
  • Biola University
  • Cerritos College
  • Devry University 
  • Mt. SAC
  • Fullerton College
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Chairman Royce Announces Southern California Field Hearing on Human Trafficking

2013/11/04

On Monday, November 4th, Rep. Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, will hold the Committee’s first field hearing to examine international human trafficking and to assess efforts to combat trafficking at the international, Federal, State and local levels.  The hearing, entitled “Regional Perspectives in the Global Fight Against Human Trafficking,” will begin at 10:00 a.m. PT will be held in the Titan Student Union building on the campus of California State University, Fullerton.

Note: Earlier this year, Chairman Royce launched a Human Trafficking Congressional Advisory Committee (HTCAC), which is comprised of victims’ rights groups, local and federal law enforcement agencies, and community advocates.  HTCAC meets on a monthly basis to address human trafficking concerns, as well as offer policy recommendations.  In May, Chairman Royce convened a Committee hearing to examine local and private sector initiatives to combat international human trafficking. 

What:
Hearing: “Regional Perspectives in the Global Fight Against Human Trafficking”

Where:
California State University, Fullerton
Titan Student Union
800 N. State College Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92834
For a campus map and parking information click HERE.

When:
Monday, November 4, 2013
10:00 a.m. PT

Witness List:
Panel I
The Honorable Luis CdeBaca
Ambassador-at-Large
Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
U.S. Department of State

Panel II
The Honorable Tony Rackauckas
District Attorney
Office of the Orange County District Attorney 

Ms. Kay Buck
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer
Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking 

*Witnesses may be added.

***Important planning note for press covering hearing: 

The hearing will be webcast at www.foreignaffairs.house.gov

Members of the media must RSVP by Friday, November 1 at 12 p.m. to Audra McGeorge at audra.mcgeorge@mail.house.gov to receive credentials to cover the hearing from the press viewing area.

Following the hearing, there will be a media availability to discuss human trafficking.

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Royce and City of Buena Park to Host Paying for College Seminar

2013/11/03

U.S. Representative Ed Royce will hold a "Paying for College" seminar in conjunction with the City of Buena Park. The event will take place on Sunday, November 3rd from 12pm – 4pm at the Buena Park Community Center (6688 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park) and is free to attend.

The event will feature Keynote speaker Rebekah Bell whose opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal on how she graduated from college debt-free offered important advice to students on avoiding crushing student loan debt. Additionally, the seminar will provide information about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) program as well as other federal and private student loans, grants, and other financing options. 

                                           

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Rep. Royce's Staff to Hold Mobile Office Hours

2013/10/03

A member of Rep. Ed Royce's staff will be available for mobile office hours on Thursday, October 3rd in the Red Tailed Hawk Room in the City Clerk’s Office at Chino Hills City Hall (14000 City Center Dr.). Mobile office hours provide an opportunity for constituents to meet with Rep. Royce and his staff members for assistance with a variety of services and issues. Office hours on Thursday, October 3rd will be held from 9:00am - 4:00pm. Please call (909) 420-0010 with any questions. 

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Chino Hills 21st Annual Old-Fashioned 4th of July Picnic

2013/07/05

Chino Hills will host its 21st Annual Old Fashioned 4th of July Picnic on July 4, 2013 from 10am to 2pm. The event will take place at Big League Dreams Chino Hills Sports Park (16333 Fairfield Ranch Road) and will include food eating contests, face painting, a rock climbing wall and water slides. Visit http://www.chinohills.org/index.aspx?nid=804 for more information. 
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City of Brea 34th Annual Country Fair

2013/07/05

The City of Brea will host its 34th Annual Country Fair on July 4th, 2013. The event will begin with a Pancake Breakfast at 7 am and festivities, including games, rides and live entertainment, will continue to 4 pm. Admission is free and the event will take place at City Hall Park (401 S. Brea Blvd.). Visit http://www.cityofbrea.net/article.cfm?id=3231 for more information. 

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Rep. Royce Discusses Proposals to Bolster Access to Credit, 9/27/16

2016-09-27 15:32:18


Rep. Royce Discusses Tax Reform and the Foreign Influence on FSOC w/ Secretary Lew, 9/22/16

2016-09-22 16:03:50


Chairman Ed Royce Moves to Prohibit Cash Payments to Iran

2016-09-22 00:50:18


Rep. Royce Questions Balance Between Capital Formation and Shareholder Rights, 9/21/16

2016-09-21 21:33:23


Rep. Royce Explores Public Housing Efficiency and Effectiveness, 9/21/16

2016-09-21 16:03:21


Rep. Royce Supports Lowering Barriers to Capital Formation for Start-Ups, 9/8/16

2016-09-08 18:14:40


Rep. Royce Tribute to Bergeson Series Honorees

2016-09-09 21:15:12


Royce Presses Castro on Transparency and Accountability at HUD, 7/13/2016

2016-07-13 15:56:04


House Passes Royce Legislation to Promote Capital Formation, 7/12/16

2016-07-12 18:46:05


Royce Examines the Impacts of Financial CHOICE Act vs. Dodd-Frank Act

2016-07-12 16:25:53


Chairman Royce Investigates U.S. Aircraft Sales to Iran, 7/7/16

2016-07-07 15:50:20


Rep. Royce Questions Fed Chair Yellen on Stock Market Volatility, Negative Interest Rates

2016-06-22 16:01:23


Rep. Royce Supports a Level Playing Field for Stock Exchanges, 6/15/2016

2016-06-15 16:43:37


Chairman Royce Supports the Iranian Leadership Transparency Act, 6.15.16

2016-06-15 16:32:19


Royce Explores Impact of CFPB Arbitration Rule on Credit Monitoring, Credit Unions, Community Banks

2016-05-18 22:17:24


Royce Explores Capital Formation Issues, 5/17/16

2016-05-17 21:57:19


Military Academy Night

2016-05-13 14:21:26


Rep. Royce Highlights Benefits of HUD's Moving to Work Program, 5/12/2016

2016-05-12 16:58:30


National Day of Prayer Message from Chairman Ed Royce

2016-05-05 13:54:04


Rep. Royce Highlights Advice Gap Issues with DOL Fiduciary Rule, 4/28/16

2016-04-28 18:40:40


Contact Information

2185 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-4111
Fax 202-226-0335
royce.house.gov

Committee Assignments

Financial Services

Foreign Affairs

U.S. Representative Ed Royce (R) is serving his eleventh term in Congress representing Southern California’s 39th District, based in Orange, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino Counties. He and his wife, Marie, are longtime residents of Fullerton, CA.

Royce’s priorities in Congress are: addressing our national debt, protecting our homeland, eliminating pork-barrel spending, fighting crime and supporting victims of crime, strengthening education for all students, spurring job creation and strengthening Social Security and Medicare.

Royce has a strong history of public service. In 1982, he was elected to the California State Senate where he began his fight for victims’ rights. He authored the nation’s first anti-stalker law and versions of his bill have been adopted in all 50 states. He was also the legislative author and campaign co-chairman of California’s Proposition 115, the Crime Victims/Speedy Trial Initiative, approved by the voters in 1990. In Congress, Royce continues his fight for victims’ rights. He wrote and passed the Interstate Stalking Punishment and Prevention Act in 1996. This law makes it a federal crime to pursue a victim across state lines and enables law enforcement to intervene before violence occurs. Royce was active in passing AMBER Alert legislation in 2003, and legislation in 2004 to enhance rights for victims of crime. He currently is a member of the Victim’s Rights Caucus.

For the 113th Congress, Royce was selected to be Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Royce has served on the Committee since entering Congress in 1993. Immediately prior to becoming Chairman of the Committee, Royce served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade and a member of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.

As a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, Royce sits on two Subcommittees: Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises, and Insurance and Housing. Royce has served on the conference committees for some of the most significant legislation in the financial services arena. For more than a decade Royce has called for a stronger federal regulator to limit Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s excessive risk taking at the expense of taxpayers. In 2003, he was the first member of Congress to write legislation calling for a single regulator under the Treasury Department for the three housing government sponsored enterprises: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the twelve Federal Home Loan Banks.

Royce has consistently earned honors and awards from the National Taxpayers Union, Citizens Against Government Waste, National Federation of Independent Businesses, Watchdogs of the Treasury, Americans for Tax Reform, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, United Seniors Association, 60 Plus, American Share Holders Association, Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Small Business Survival Committee.

A California native, Royce is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton, School of Business Administration. Prior to entering public service, his professional background includes experience as a small business owner, a controller, a capital projects manager, and a corporate tax manager for a Southern California company. Royce and his wife, Marie, have been married for 28 years.


Serving With

Doug LaMalfa

CALIFORNIA's 1st DISTRICT

Tom McClintock

CALIFORNIA's 4th DISTRICT

Paul Cook

CALIFORNIA's 8th DISTRICT

Jeff Denham

CALIFORNIA's 10th DISTRICT

David Valadao

CALIFORNIA's 21st DISTRICT

Devin Nunes

CALIFORNIA's 22nd DISTRICT

Kevin McCarthy

CALIFORNIA's 23rd DISTRICT

Steve Knight

CALIFORNIA's 25th DISTRICT

Ken Calvert

CALIFORNIA's 42nd DISTRICT

Mimi Walters

CALIFORNIA's 45th DISTRICT

Dana Rohrabacher

CALIFORNIA's 48th DISTRICT

Darrell Issa

CALIFORNIA's 49th DISTRICT

Duncan Hunter

CALIFORNIA's 50th DISTRICT

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