WASHINGTON—Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement after the Benghazi Select Committee released its final report:
“Today, the Select Committee on Benghazi released their final report after more than two years, 81 witnesses and 75,000 pages of documentation. I am proud of my colleague and friend, Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), for all of his hard work to shed light on the events of that tragic day and to provide some answers for the American people and the families of those who lost their loved ones.
“Chairman Gowdy approached this responsibility as a dogged pursuit of the truth with no preconceived notions for what the outcome might be. Unfortunately, Democrats on this Committee and the Administration have spent the last two years blocking, obfuscating, and questioning Chairman Gowdy rather than pursuing the facts.
“Sadly, this report reveals that a series of miscalculations and failures led up to that fateful day when four Americans lost their lives. The lives of these heroes were further dishonored when the Administration put political expediency ahead of telling the American people the truth—the attack on September 11, 2012, was a terrorist attack, not a political demonstration gone awry.
“The Select Committee on Benghazi not only investigated and documented the truth about that tragic incident, but its investigation also exposed other systemic wrongdoing by Secretary Clinton—which continues to be the subject of an FBI investigation.
“I would echo Chairman Gowdy’s urging to the American people to read this report for themselves, look at the evidence collected, and reach their own conclusions. As he said, you can ‘read this report in less time than our fellow citizens were taking fire and fighting for their lives on the rooftops and in the streets of Benghazi.’”Read More
WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-3 ruling in Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt, struck down a Texas law requiring abortion clinics to meet certain health and safety standards. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) issued the following statement on the decision:
“Today’s ruling is a devastating setback for the cause of life, and I am extremely disappointed that the highest court in our land has once again failed to protect the lives of the unborn and their mothers. The Texas law was enacted in response to the horrifying and gruesome acts committed by the unsupervised abortion clinic run by Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia. The Gosnell case made clear that there is a real need for common sense health and safety measures, and it’s shocking that so many self-described proponents of women’s health fought so hard against these higher standards. Unfortunately, this case sets a negative precedent for other states who want to create a safer medical environment for their people.”
WASHINGTON--Congressman Jeb Hensarling (TX-05), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s 4-4 ruling in United States v. Texas:
“Today is a great day for 'We the People' and a bad day for Barack Obama’s imperial presidency. The Supreme Court’s action has made null and void President Obama’s unilateral executive order that granted amnesty to millions of people living in the U.S. illegally and ignored our nation’s immigration laws passed by Congress. The Constitution couldn’t be any clearer; Congress writes the laws, not the president. This decision affirms the Constitutional principles contained in Article I of the Constitution and vindicates House Republicans’ fight to restore the balance of power between the people’s elected representatives in Congress and the executive branch.”
The Supreme Court’s 4-4 tie ruling leaves in place the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling, which upheld a Federal District Judge’s order blocking President Obama’s executive action on immigration from moving forward while awaiting trial on the underlying suit filed by 26 states – including Texas – against the Obama Administration.
This is the second day in a row that Federal courts have ruled against the Obama Administration’s executive overreach. Yesterday, a federal judge struck down an Obama Administration regulation on the use of hydraulic fracking for oil and gas on public lands.
WASHINGTON--Today, Emma Sumrow of Forney was recognized at the United States Capitol for winning this year’s 5th District of Texas Congressional Art Competition.
Emma attends North Forney High School and won for her acrylic painting which she said was inspired by an East Texas gator farm she recently visited.
“I really wanted to turn a dingy, swamp-like scene into one of color and beauty,” said Emma. “It’s an honor to represent Forney and to have my painting hanging in the halls of the U.S. Capitol.”
Each year, the Congressional Art Institute sponsors the nationwide Congressional Art Competition. Since its inception in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.
“This competition is a unique opportunity for students to showcase their tremendous talents and receive proper recognition for their work,” said Congressman Jeb Hensarling. “We had many great entries this year, and I want to commend Emma for her winning painting.”
Winning entries are displayed in a special exhibition located in a corridor of the U.S. Capitol.
WASHINGTON –Today, Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL) sent a letter to Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company and large manufacturer of commercial jetliners, asking questions about its negotiations to sell aircraft to Iran.
For decades the U.S. sanctions regime prohibited companies from selling goods to the world’s largest State sponsor of terror. But, in January, President Obama signed an executive order lifting some of the U.S. economic sanctions on Iran. This executive order came just months after the President signed the controversial Iran nuclear deal which Congressman Hensarling voted against.
Congressman Hensarling is concerned a deal between Boeing and Iran could benefit Iran’s military.
“American companies should not be complicit in weaponizing the Iranian Regime,” the members of Congress said in a letter sent on Thursday to Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg. “In light of recent reports that a deal is imminent, we seek information to assist the U.S. Congress in determining the national security implications of a potential sale of Boeing aircraft to Iran.”
The full text of the letter can be found here.
“President Obama claimed that the Iran Nuclear Deal was a ‘good deal,’” said Congressman Hensarling. “The problem is, it’s a good deal for Iran but a bad deal for America. I strongly oppose the sale of any items that could be used to enhance Iran’s military capabilities.”
Congressman Roskam serves as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, where he chairs the Oversight Subcommittee. Congressman Hensarling is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.Read More
WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) honored Briana Minter of Palestine for earning the Congressional Award Gold Medal.
Briana received this award for all of the hard work she has done to better her community and for setting challenging personal goals for her own development and growth.
“I was pleased to meet Briana in Washington today and to congratulate her on earning the Congressional Gold Medal,” said Congressman Hensarling. “She should be very proud of what she has accomplished. Not only did she set tough goals for personal improvement and meet them, she also completed more than 1,000 hours of voluntary community service. Briana is an asset to Palestine and is a great example of what this program is all about.”
The Congressional Award Foundation requires those interested in earning the Congressional Award to set goals in four established areas including voluntary public service, personal development, physical fitness and expedition/exploration.
Briana said earning the award was a lot of hard work but worth all the time and effort. She is a member of the Sea Scouts, a program run by the Boy Scouts of America, and says that the leader of her Sea Scout ship encouraged all the girls in her unit to complete the Congressional Award requirements.
“Community service in Palestine is very important,” said Minter. “I like being able to have my community know that they can rely on me and the girls of the Sea Scout ship.”
The Congressional Award is the United States Congress' award for young Americans. The program is open to all 14 to 23-year-olds. Participants earn Bronze, Silver and Gold Congressional Award Medals by achieving their own challenging personal goals. Since its inception in 1979, more than 49,000 people have earned Congressional Award Medals and have completed more than 3.5 million volunteer service hours.
To earn the Congressional Gold Medal, like Briana, students must spend two or more years completing 400 hours of community service and focus an additional 200 hours on personal development and physical fitness.
Today, Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, voted for the Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act (H.R. 5053). This bill protects organizations from potential ideological targeting by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by eliminating the disclosure of personal donor information that is not relevant to tax enforcement.
“Under the Obama Administration, key IRS personnel have been exposed for an inexcusable and indefensible pattern of working to silence the free speech of conservative Americans,” said Rep. Hensarling. “By passing the Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act, we took an important step to protect all Americans – whether liberal or conservative – from being a victim of state-sanctioned harassment due to their political beliefs.”
H.R. 5053 eliminates the Schedule B Form—part of the Form 990—that requires tax-exempt groups to report the names and addresses of anyone who contributes more than $5,000. Under current law, some organizations that are tax-exempt must report this personal information on its contributors even though this information is irrelevant to an organization’s tax-exempt status.
In the past, the IRS has improperly released Schedule B information containing personal donor information to the public, most notably when an IRS employee leaked the information of the National Organization for Marriage to the press in 2012. This information was then used by liberal activist groups to target conservative donors for public harassment. After the Attorneys General of New York and California demanded donor information for conservative groups operating in their states – which a federal judge In California has ruled was unconstitutional–the California Attorney General’s office improperly posted some 1,400 Schedule B Forms on Attorney General Kamala Harris’ public website.
“This should be a non-partisan issue,” said Hensarling. “The IRS has proven in the past it is capable of turning citizens into subjects by violating both our constitutional and civil rights. By eliminating the Schedule B Form, this important bill protects the privacy of donors, secures free speech and will help prevent Americans from being targeted for their personal religious or political beliefs.”
Since 2013, when an investigation revealed the IRS was targeting for increased scrutiny conservative groups with the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their names, House Republicans have worked to rein in the IRS and eliminate its ability to specifically target organizations based on their political affiliation.
H.R. 5053 passed in the House 240 to 182.
WASHINGTON –Today, the House passed, and Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) voted for, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA, H.R. 5278), a bill that will prevent a taxpayer bailout for Puerto Rico and avoid further default.
“Puerto Rico is in a financial crisis,” said Rep. Hensarling. “The island’s government has already defaulted on millions it borrowed, and without action, it is set to default yet again.
“When Puerto Rico defaults on its debt, it not only hurts the 3.5 million American citizens of the island but also the countless other Americans who have invested in Puerto Rican bonds through their retirement accounts and mutual funds. The government of Puerto Rico has abdicated responsibility for dealing with its spending-driven debt crisis and since Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to ‘make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States,’ Congress is forced to act.”
Under the U.S. Constitution, states are considered sovereign, but territories are not. Therefore, it is well-within Congress’ Constitutional power to address Puerto Rico’s spending-driven debt crisis with a structured bankruptcy through PROMESA. However, Congress could not take similar action involving a state.
“East Texans are sick and tired of taxpayer bailouts that raid their wallets and force them to pay for the bad decisions of others. I voted for PROMESA because this bill will impose fiscal responsibility on Puerto Rico’s government and will create a pathway to a non-bailout bankruptcy process which will allow Puerto Rico and its creditors to avoid further default on its debt. I led the opposition to the 2008 bailout and have consistently opposed bailouts throughout my time in Congress. This bill provides Puerto Rico and its creditors a workout, not a taxpayer bailout.”
The PROMESA Act also includes the following provisions:
The bill passed in the House 297 to 127 and now heads to the Senate for a vote.
Over the past decade, congressional legislation enacted into law by both parties have been regulatory job killers that are death knells to economic growth and prosperity. From Sarbanes-Oxley to Dodd-Frank, Congress’ costly red tape has affected everyone from credit card holders to Main street small businesses.
There is little debate that the cost of regulation is staggering. In 2012, Obama’s Small Business Administration (SBA) admitted that complying with federal regulations alone costs $1.7 trillion annually. Things have only gotten worse. American Action Forum released a study analyzing the overwhelming costs of Dodd-Frank alone was $24 billion in final rule costs and 61 millionpaperwork burden hours.
While politicians love to claim they are reigning in business, the real costs of their regulations are imposed on consumers. Prior to the enactment of Dodd Frank, 75% of banks offered free checking and just two years later only 39% of banks continued to do so. The minimum average balance necessary to qualify for free checking has doubled over the same time period. Credit card incentives like airline miles have been curtailed in part to the costs imposed by the bill’s Durbin Amendment, which imposed price controls on the fee paid between banks for the acceptance of card based transactions. The real beneficiaries of the Durbin amendment was not consumers but Durbin’s political allies — the big retailers.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling is preparing to do something.
Hensarling, a free market champion, is expected to release a congressional white paper next week outlining a true reform agenda designed to jump-start the economy by unleashing the regulatory shackles that hinder the economy. Sources suggest that the document will include plans to:
— Reign in the Most Undemocratic Institution in American Government: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CPFB). Housed at the Federal Reserve, the CFPB has the ability to put complete industries out of business in one full swoop. Its unelected Director has the discretionary power to declare financial products “abusive” and essentially outlaw it by declaratory fiat. Many believe the CFPB will use that power in the coming months to outlaw short-term lending, cutting off credit options for the middle class.
— Fix the Dodd-Frank-Volker Rule. Concocted in 2010, the rule was designed to prevent banks from engaging in proprietary trading. Of course, not one of the 450 institutions that failed in 2008 and 2009 failed due to proprietary trading. This form of trading allowed financial institutions to diversify their income streams to continue to lend money to small businesses in tough financial times. Without different sources of revenue, small business and entrepreneurs will be choked off from credit during tough economic times.
— End the Crony Credit Card Price Control Scheme. The Durbin Amendment, offered at the behest of big retailers, imposed price controls on credit card transaction fees. The end result was less consumer choices and the elimination of free checking for consumers. Lower and middle class Americans now must pay fees to put their money in the bank where they receive essentially no interest.
— Reform the Financial Stability Oversight Board (FSOB). Like the CFPB, the FSOB operates out of public view but has immense power to control large portions of the American economy. When regulators feel asleep at the wheel during the housing crisis, they were rewarded with more power. The FSOC allows regulators to unilaterally define vague statutory terms like “systemic risk,” “financial stress,” dictating the capital standards, product mix and lending activities of major financial firms within our economy. Should firms not bow to FSOC’s will, FSOC is even empowered to break them up.
Central planning of our financial sector has not created jobs, it has killed them. It has not limited risked, it has created more. It has not encouraged economic growth, it has shackled it.
The time has come to allow the power of the market to return us back to a prosperous America and Jeb Hensarling will be leading the way.
To view online at Red State, click here.Read More
Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Texas Republican and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, is an economic disciple of the Founding Fathers.
Adam Smith was their gospel. And Smith advised, based on all human experience, that:
“Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice; all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things. All governments which thwart this natural course, which forces things into another channel, or which endeavor to arrest the progress of society at a particular point, are unnatural and to support themselves are obliged to be oppressive and tyrannical.”
The monster 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act epitomizes what Adam Smith deplored and what Chairman Hensarling hopes to slay: ill-conceived handcuffs on the financial industry that thwarts the natural course of things.
Like an endless array of other congressional derelictions, Dodd-Frank confers limitless legislative power on federal regulatory agencies to hide from political accountability. Members of Congress would lose office immediately if they voted in favor of the economic follies of their regulatory offspring.
Among other things, Dodd-Frank empowered the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by rulemaking to restrict so-called “proprietary trading” by financial institutions beyond the harsh discipline of competition. There is no evidence that such trading was implicated in the 2008 financial crisis that caused 450 financial institutions to fail. But the art of modern politics is the art of scapegoating. The result of the SEC’s anti-free market labors was the Volker Rule, a 932-page convoluted document navigable only by $1,500 per hour lawyers affordable only by the titans of the financial industry. No small financial institution has a clue as to what the Volker Rule permits or prohibits.
Chairman Hensarling plans to fix or at least ameliorate the unnaturalness of the rule.
The Chairman also intends to repeal Dodd-Frank price controls for certain financial services that have precipitated a dramatic contraction of free checking accounts from virtual universality to 39 percent. The price controls force some bank customers who are less costly to serve to subsidize others who are more costly to serve—akin to having the frugal pay for the extravagant.
A third Dodd-Frank target for the Chairman’s overhaul is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a constitutional excrescence. The CFPB escapes the congressional power of the purse, which the Constitution’s framers intended as the invincible legislative weapon to redress executive branch excesses. It is financed from interest earned by the Federal Reserve Board on financial instruments it purchases by money it creates by fiat. Additionally, the CFPB Director commands virtually limitless discretion to prohibit any consumer credit product that is deemed “unfair” or “abusive.” These terms are subjective, and hang like a Sword of Damocles over any financial institution offering consumer credit.
A companion constitutional excrescence to the CFPB created by Dodd-Frank is the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). It perversely herds together the heads of agencies complicit in the 2008 financial crisis to police the nation’s capital markets wielding vague terms like “systemic risk,” “financial stress,” and “financial stability.” In applying these terms, the FSOC is able to dictate the capital standards, product mix and lending activities of the nation’s major financial institutions reminiscent of Bolshevik Vladimir Lenin’s control over the “commanding heights” of the Soviet economy. Chairman Hensarling is thus highly skeptical of the FSOC’s reason for being.
At a time when traditional Republican Party principles are honored more in the breach than in the observance, he is a refreshing hope that there is still something left worth salvaging.
To view online at Washington Times, click here.Read More
2228 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
First elected to Congress in 2002, Jeb Hensarling is a strong conservative and an outspoken advocate for limited government and unlimited opportunity.
As chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Jeb is a leader in promoting consumer choice, competitive markets, and smart regulation in our financial markets. He was the only member of Congress to have introduced comprehensive reform legislation for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the credit crisis, lauded in the media as “a concrete plan for fixing Fannie and Freddie.” Jeb was recognized by The New York Times for “leading the GOP Vanguard against the Bailout,” and was the only member of Congress to have introduced a legislative alternative to TARP during the heart of the credit crisis, which would have minimized taxpayer exposure and the politicization of the market.
A lifelong conservative dedicated to advancing the principals of faith, family, free enterprise, and freedom, Jeb was chosen by his colleagues during the 112th Congress to chair the House Republican Conference—the fourth ranking leadership position in the House—and in the 110th Congress, he was elected chairman of the Republican Study Committee—the largest conservative caucus in the House. The Associated Press recently recognized Jeb’s consistency on conservative issues saying, “he made cutting federal spending, ending earmarks and reducing the size of government his priorities before the tea party came into existence.”
In recognition of his relentless fight to cut wasteful Washington spending and remove barriers to job growth, Jeb was appointed to serve on the Congressional Oversight Panel for TARP, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and was most recently appointed co-chairman of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.
Prior to the 112th Congress, Jeb served as the number two Republican on the House Budget Committee—under now Chairman Paul Ryan—and has consistently fought to reduce our debt and stop out-of-control Washington spending. He is a co-author of the “Spending, Deficit, and Debt Control Act,” a landmark budget reform bill that was heralded as the “gold standard” of budget enforcement legislation by a coalition of conservative groups, including the Americans for Tax Reform, Citizens United Against Government Waste, Citizens for a Sound Economy, and the National Taxpayer Union. Jeb also authored the “Spending Limit Amendment”—a Constitutional amendment that would limit federal spending to no more than 20% of the economy—the historic average since WWII. For his work to rein in wasteful Washington spending and put our country back on a fiscally sustainable path, the National Review Online dubbed him “Rep. Budget Reform,” and The Dallas Morning News called him a “truth teller” who “has become one of the most important GOP members of Congress.”
Born in Stephenville, Texas, Jeb grew up working on his father’s farm near College Station. He earned a degree in economics from Texas A&M University in 1979 and a law degree from the University of Texas in 1982. Before coming to Congress, Jeb spent ten years in the private sector, serving as an officer for a successful investment firm, a data management company, and an electric retail company.
Jeb and his wife, Melissa, are members of St. Michael and All Angels Church, and reside in Dallas with their two children, Claire and Travis.
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Click on the link below for my reaction to the House Benghazi Select Committee report that was issued today:
Today’s Supreme Court ruling in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt is a devastating setback for the cause of life, and I am extremely disappointed
Today is a great day for 'We the People' and a bad day for President Barack Obama's imperial presidency. The Supreme Court’s decision today
Join me live at Heritage this morning as we discuss repealing Dodd-Frank and replacing it with the Financial CHOICE Act. Economic freedom for
A new report out of Houston today shows VA hospitals in Texas are manipulating patient wait times. It’s hard to believe that two years after