Jeb Hensarling

Jeb Hensarling

TEXAS' 5th DISTRICT

Hensarling Votes to Bring Financial Transparency to Iranian Regime

2016/09/21

WASHINGTON – Today, the House passed, and Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) voted for, the Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act (H.R. 5461).  This bipartisan bill originated in the House Financial Services Committee, which Congressman Hensarling chairs.  H.R. 5461 will bring transparency to the financial assets held by Iran’s top political and military leaders and shed light on how these assets contribute to Iran’s funding of terrorism.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is identified as both the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism and a country of ‘primary concern’ for money laundering by the United States.  It is also characterized by high levels of official corruption and substantial involvement of its security forces – particularly the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – in that nation’s business sector,” said Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).  “Because of this volatile mix of terrorism, corruption, and wealth, it is vitally important for us to clearly understand the assets held by Iran’s most powerful people. That is what the ‘Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act’ will allow us to do.”

Specifically, the Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act requires the Treasury Secretary to develop and post online a list estimating the “funds and assets” held by senior Iranian political and military leaders, along with a description of how they acquired the assets and how those assets are employed. The report would be posted on the Treasury Department’s website in English, also translated into the three main languages used inside Iran, and would be available in any of those forms in a way that is easy to download and share.

Congressman Hensarling spoke on the House Floor today in support of the bill.  Click here for video of his remarks.  

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Financial Services Committee Opens Investigation of Wells Fargo

2016/09/16

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, said today the committee has launched an investigation into alleged fraud that led to the opening of unauthorized customer accounts at Wells Fargo and the role of Washington regulators in monitoring and investigating this activity.

As part of its investigation, the committee will be calling John Stumpf, the company’s Chairman and CEO, to testify at a hearing later this month.  In addition, the committee is requesting that Wells Fargo and regulators provide internal documents relating to the discovery and timing of these practices and is asking company officials to appear for transcribed interviews.  Chairman Hensarling said the committee will consider further actions, including subpoenas, as warranted.

In letters sent today to the heads of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the committee said it is requesting all records related to the allegations of fraudulent or improper activity by Wells Fargo employees, as well as any documents or communications between the Bureau and OCC employees in the course of their review of the bank’s sales practices.

The committee sent a separate letter today to James Strother, the Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Wells Fargo, requesting “all records relating to the questionable sales practices” that the bank produced or made available to the OCC, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, or the Bureau.  In addition, the committee asked that corporate officers be made available for transcribed interviews.

Below is the text of the letters sent by Chairman Hensarling:

September 16, 2016

James M. Strother
Senior Executive Vice President, General Counsel
Wells Fargo & Company
420 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA  94163

Dear Mr. Strother:

On September 8, 2016, Wells Fargo & Company (Wells Fargo) reached agreements with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney (LACA), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), regarding allegations that Wells Fargo enrolled and charged certain retail customers for products and services not authorized by the customers.

The Committee is very concerned by these serious allegations and is investigating Wells Fargo’s questionable sales practices and corresponding agreements with federal regulators in order to evaluate the application, administration, execution, and effectiveness of Federal laws.  Accordingly, to allow the Committee to carry out its oversight responsibilities under the House Rules, the Committee requests all records relating to the questionable sales practices that Wells Fargo produced or made available to the OCC, LACA or the Bureau.  Please produce all responsive records by not later than September 23, 2016.

Additionally, please make available the following corporate officers for transcribed interviews with Committee staff during the month of September:

1.     John Shrewsberry, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer;

2.     Timothy Sloan, President and Chief Operating Officer;

3.     Michael Loughlin, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer; and

4.     Carrie Tolstedt, Senior Executive Vice President for Community Banking.

Please promptly contact the Committee to schedule dates for these interviews.

Sincerely,

Jeb Hensarling
Chairman

cc:       The Honorable Maxine Waters, Ranking Member


September 16, 2016

The Honorable Richard Cordray
Director
Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection
1700 G Street, NW
Washington, D.C.  20552

Dear Director Cordray:

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) levied a $100 million civil penalty against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (Wells Fargo) “for the widespread illegal practice of secretly opening unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts.”  According to the Bureau’s Consent Order, Wells Fargo employees opened 1,534,280 potentially unauthorized accounts that resulted in the imposition of fees in excess of $2 million on unsuspecting consumers.  It has since been reported that these actions have been attributed to aggressive “cross-selling,” mostly in Wells Fargo’s Community Banking division, where over 5,000 employees have been fired, and that allegations of this misconduct first surfaced as early as 2011, and were “widely revealed in 2013.”

The Committee is very concerned by these serious allegations and is investigating Wells Fargo’s sales practices and corresponding agreements with the Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to evaluate the application, administration, execution, and effectiveness of Federal laws.  Accordingly, to allow the Committee to carry out its oversight responsibilities under the House Rules, please produce the following records by not later than Friday, September 23, 2016:

(1)  All records relating to aforementioned allegations of fraudulent or improper activity by Wells Fargo and/or its officers, employees, or directors;

(2)  Any documents or communications including, but not limited to, e-mails, between CFPB and Wells Fargo employees, officers, and/or directors, in the course of the CFPB’s review of Wells Fargo’s sales practices; and

(3)  Any documents detailing supervisory policies and procedures of the CFPB that were in force while Wells Fargo was initially alleged to have engaged in the fraudulent or improper activity in 2011, which were designed to detect such fraudulent or improper activity from occurring.

Sincerely,

Jeb Hensarling
Chairman

cc:       The Honorable Maxine Waters, Ranking Member


September 16, 2016

The Honorable Thomas J. Curry
Comptroller of the Currency
400 7th Street, SW
Washington, D.C.  20219

Dear Comptroller Curry:

Last week, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) levied a $35 million civil penalty against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (Wells Fargo), for unsafe and unsound sales practices, including “the unauthorized opening of deposit or credit card accounts and the transfer of funds from authorized existing accounts to unauthorized accounts.”  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) reported that Wells Fargo employees opened 1,534,280 potentially unauthorized accounts that resulted in the imposition of fees in excess of $2 million on unsuspecting consumers.  It has since been reported that these actions have been attributed to aggressive “cross-selling” by employees mostly in Wells Fargo’s Community Banking division, where over 5,000 employees have been fired, and that allegations of this misconduct first surfaced at least as early as 2011, and were “widely revealed in 2013.”

The Committee is very concerned by these serious allegations and is investigating Wells Fargo’s sales practices and corresponding agreements with the OCC and the Bureau to evaluate the application, administration, execution, and effectiveness of Federal laws.  Accordingly, to allow the Committee to carry out its oversight responsibilities under the House Rules, please produce the following records by not later than Friday, September 23, 2016:

(1)  All records relating to aforementioned allegations of fraudulent or improper activity by Wells Fargo and/or its officers, employees, or directors;

(2)  Any documents or communications including, but not limited to, e-mails, between OCC and Wells Fargo employees, officers, and/or directors, in the course of the OCC’s review of Wells Fargo’s sales practices; and

(3)  Any documents detailing supervisory policies and procedures of the OCC that were in force while Wells Fargo was initially alleged to have engaged in the fraudulent or improper activity in 2011, which were designed to detect such fraudulent or improper activity from occurring.

Sincerely,

Jeb Hensarling
Chairman

cc:       The Honorable Maxine Waters, Ranking Member

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Hensarling Votes to Prohibit Transfer of Gitmo Detainees

2016/09/15

WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) voted to stop the Obama Administration from continuing its reckless release of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay detention camp (Gitmo).  Under current law, it is illegal for the president to transfer Gitmo detainees to American soil, but that’s not stopping him from releasing these dangerous terrorist to other countries and putting our national security at risk.  In fact, the Administration has already cleared 20 of the remaining 61 detainees for release.

“The detainees at Gitmo are among the most dangerous and determined terrorists on the planet.  The Director of National Intelligence himself has said nearly one-third of all released detainees return or are suspected of having returned to terrorism,” said Hensarling.  “So, it seems to me, the Administration is more concerned about fulfilling a bad campaign promise than about our national security.  Handing these detainees over would essentially be returning terrorists to the battlefield to potentially commit more heinous acts of terrorism, and I will do everything I can in Congress to stop this.”

H.R. 5351 would stop the transfer of any Gitmo detainees until enactment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2017, or until the end of this year.  That’s because the House-passed NDAA includes a provision that requires written agreements between the U.S. and the government of any foreign country that agrees to accept Gitmo detainees.  The NDAA also requires the next administration to provide Congress with a comprehensive detention plan outlining how the release of any Gitmo detainee would fit into the broader strategy for handling individuals detained during wartime.

H.R. 5351 passed the House 244 to 174 and will now head to the Senate for consideration.  The President has already threatened to veto the measure. 

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Hensarling Votes to Hold VA Officials Accountable, Reform Benefits Appeals Process

2016/09/14

WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) voted for the VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act of 2016 (H.R. 5620).   This bill would speed up the VA disability benefits appeals process, strengthen protections for whistleblowers at the VA, and provide the Secretary of the VA increased flexibility to remove a VA employee for poor performance or misconduct.

“In order to truly fix our broken VA system, we must ultimately address the complete lack of accountability across the Department of Veterans Affairs,” said Hensarling. “This bill is a concrete step toward instilling that accountability.  For too long, our veterans have had to deal with dishonesty and incompetence across the VA as union bosses and some administration officials have seemingly prioritized the jobs of VA bureaucrats over the care of our veterans.  That is certainly the impression that many veterans I have visited with in the 5th District of Texas have of the VA.  That’s not fair to them, and it’s not fair to the hardworking and honest employees at the VA either.”

The VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act also reforms and streamlines the VA’s disability benefits appeals process.  “One of the issues that I constantly hear from veterans about is the length of time that they spend going through the VA appeals process.  It is simply mind-boggling that veterans can literally spend years tangled up in bureaucratic red tape waiting on an outcome.  I’m pleased that this bill will streamline the appeals process to shorten the time that our veterans spend waiting on a decision – all while protecting the due process rights of veterans.”         

“As a Congress, and as a nation, we cannot rest until our veterans are getting the care they have earned and deserve.  As President Coolidge said, ‘The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten.’ We must never forget the sacrifices of our nation’s heroes nor the promises we’ve made to them. I am committed to reforming the VA system, holding VA administrators and employees accountable, and keeping our promise to our nation’s veterans.”

H.R. 5620 would make the following reforms to the VA:

  • Shorten the firing/demotion/appeals process for rank-and-file VA employees from more than a year on average to no more than 77 days
  • Remove the Merit Systems Protection Board from the firing/demotion/appeals process for VA senior executives
  • Provide VA whistleblowers with a means to solve problems at the lowest level possible, while offering them protection from retaliation
  • Give the VA secretary the authority to recoup bonuses and relocation expenses from poorly performing employees
  • Give the VA secretary the authority to reduce the pensions of senior executives convicted of felonies that influenced their job performance
  • Reform the department’s broken disability benefits appeals process

The VA Accountability First and Appeals Modernization Act of 2016 passed in the House 310 to 116. 

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Committee Approves Financial CHOICE Act, the Republican Plan to Replace Dodd-Frank With Economic Growth for All and Bailouts for None

2016/09/13

WASHINGTON – Legislation to end bailouts for big banks, toughen penalties for wrongdoing on Wall Street, promote economic growth, and provide desperately needed regulatory relief for small community banks and credit unions passed the House Financial Services Committee 30-26 today.

The Financial CHOICE Act, which Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) introduced, ends the Dodd-Frank Act’s taxpayer-funded bailouts of large financial institutions; relieves banks that elect to be strongly capitalized from growth-strangling regulation that slows the economy and harms consumers; imposes tougher penalties on those who commit financial fraud; and demands greater accountability from Washington regulators.

“Democrats just voted against a bill that increases penalties against those who commit financial fraud.  They just voted against a bill that ends taxpayer-funded bailouts, and they just voted against legislation that provides relief from Washington’s crushing regulatory burden for small banks, credit unions, and consumers,” said Congressman Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.  

“The bill holds Wall Street accountable with the toughest, strongest, strictest penalties ever – far greater than those in Dodd-Frank.  And as recent headlines attest, obviously stronger penalties are needed.  It requires banks to be well capitalized to prevent another financial crisis and puts in place the toughest penalties in history to protect consumers from fraud and deception.

“The Financial CHOICE Act will help grow the economy for all Americans, not just those at the top.  It promotes strong and transparent markets to revitalize job creation in our poorest communities and ensures every American has the opportunity to achieve financial independence, no matter where they start out in life.”

The Financial CHOICE Act, which stands for Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs, received strong support from community banks and credit unions, small business groups and conservative organizations.  Large financial institutions did not offer their support for the bill.

Democrats on the Committee – despite having spent months criticizing the Financial CHOICE Act – refused to offer a single amendment to the bill.

For more information on the Financial CHOICE Act, visit www.financialservices.house.gov/choice/.

Organizations offering praise for the Financial CHOICE Act include the following:

“….[the Financial CHOICE Act] is precisely the right combination to get the American economy moving again. The CHOICE Act offers sensible regulatory relief for qualifying institutions, protects the American taxpayer and consumer from another Wall Street meltdown, and holds federal financial regulatory agencies accountable.” -- Independent Bankers Association of Texas

“This bill provides significant regulatory relief essential to restoring economic growth. Republican members of Congress have repeatedly promised to get rid of Dodd-Frank and stop taxpayer funded bailouts. Now they have the opportunity to fulfill that promise by bringing the Financial Choice Act to a vote in the House and Senate, and sending the bill to the President’s desk.” -- Heritage Action

“Chairman Hensarling’s CHOICE Act would be a win for Main Street consumers, workers and small businesses. Since Dodd-Frank was passed in 2010, access to free-checking has decreased while lobbyists’ importance has increased. The CHOICE Act helps reverse this trend.” -- Main Street Growth Project

“Americans for Prosperity applauds your leadership in reining in the overbearing financial regulations that threaten growth and threaten consumer financial stability. Repealing and replacing the failed policies established in the Dodd-Frank Act will mean that Americans will have greater access to capital, which will lead to greater job growth, personal wealth, and overall economic prosperity. We are proud to support the CHOICE Act, and we urge your colleagues to support it.” -- Americans for Prosperity

“The [Financial CHOICE Act] would provide meaningful regulatory relief to help community banks foster economic and job growth in their local communities.” -- Independent Community Bankers of America

“….several components of this legislation target reforms specifically to facilitate investment in small business. The inclusion of these provisions and others will provide regulatory relief and modernization that will allow the private sector to fuel economic growth in our 21st century economy.” -- Small Business Investor Alliance

“This is an important bill that will truly reform rules governing the financial system, encourage innovation across the system, vastly improve access to capital for entrepreneurs and small businesses, and transform a regulatory structure that lacks accountability, is too secretive, and ignores its responsibilities concerning small businesses.” -- Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

“We greatly appreciate the Chairman’s efforts in Title III of the bill to reform the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau). This title will help to ensure the Bureau serves as a non-partisan regulator that operates within the framework of the law by giving Congress more oversight authority, taking into account the opinions of all stakeholders, and properly weighing the impact its regulations have on the availability of credit.” -- Consumer Bankers Association

“NAR is pleased that the FCA [Financial CHOICE Act] includes provisions that will enhance transparency, accountability and fairness in our financial system. As a result, the FCA will help expand financial product choice and promote economic opportunity. These provisions are an important step towards making property ownership a reality for hardworking Americans and U.S. businesses.” – National Association of Realtors

“If we want the economy to improve — if we want to give all Americans the chance to prosper again — we need to put an end to Washington’s destructive regulatory agenda once and for all.  Thankfully, an increasing number of elected officials in Washington are fighting against the harmful effects and unintended consequences of these onerous regulations. Leading the fight in Congress has been House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), who recently outlined a comprehensive plan to turbocharge the American economy.  His new legislation, The Financial CHOICE Act, aims to curb regulations to create opportunity and choice for investors, consumers, and entrepreneurs nationwide.” -- Conservative Coalition Letter of Support

“If signed into law, the bill would end the era of too big to fail, and would move banking and financial decisions away from Beltway and back to Main Street. This bill is balanced, meets key conservative criteria, and should continue to move through the House to final passage.” -- FreedomWorks

“….[the Financial CHOICE Act] would begin the process of implementing sensible, necessary reforms to the U.S. financial system. That system has been saddled with an ineffective regulatory structure and an array of conflicting legislative and regulatory requirements that, individually or collectively, constrain growth. The Chamber believes the Financial Choice Act is a positive first step for unlocking the capital markets to better facilitate the financing of America’s economic growth and job creation.” -- U.S. Chamber of Commerce

“….the CHOICE Act offers a strong alternative to Dodd-Frank and the regulatory morass it created. Rather than creating a flurry of complex rules in response to the financial crisis, Congress should have mandated higher capital requirements for financial institutions. That is why NTU is enthusiastic about the CHOICE Act’s “off ramp” from the bulk of the current Dodd Frank regulatory regime.” -- National Taxpayers Union

“….the CHOICE Act and the substantial regulatory relief it provides…will generate meaningful economic and job growth in our communities.” -- Mid-Size Bank Coalition of America

“….[the Financial CHOICE Act] address[es] the challenging credit conditions that home builders and home buyers continue to experience as a result of an overly zealous regulatory response to the financial crisis. NAHB appreciates your efforts to initiate regulatory reform to support a more robust recovery.” -- National Association of Home Builders

“….it is vital that we take heed of any policy that claims to “fix” the voluntary actions of consumers. Price controls go against everything we stand for as a country and do nothing but redistribute wealth, damaging the lives of hardworking Americans. The first step forward is reform. The Financial CHOICE Act is that first step.” -- Red State

“….the Financial Choice Act if passed will restore competition in the marketplace by removing arbitrary government price caps. Additionally, it will allow banks the ability to recoup the money they spend on fraud protection from the retailers that reap the benefit of the use of debit cards. Consumers will once again have affordable access to basic banking services, and small businesses will have the freedom to negotiate processing fees that make sense based on the type of goods they sell. In short, all true conservatives in Congress should rally behind Neugebauer and Hensarling’s bill, because it will cut back on big government red tape and allow the free market to thrive again.” -- Liberty Unyielding

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Hensarling Statement on 15th Anniversary of 9/11

2016/09/09

WASHINGTON—Congressman Jeb Hensarling (TX-05) released the following statement today after a remembrance ceremony on the steps of the Capitol in recognition of the 15th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks:

“Although the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, occurred 15 years ago, those heinous acts are ever present in the minds of those who lost loved ones that day and are forever emblazoned in the minds of every American who still remembers exactly where they were when the first plane struck the World Trade Center that Tuesday morning. 

“The events of 9/11 demonstrated there are people in the world who despise America and are willing to wage attacks of incomprehensible evil.  Unfortunately, that is still true today. 

“But, what is also true today, are the words from President Bush who said, ‘Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America.’  Despite incredible evil in the world, the American spirit is still strong, and I believe our love of freedom is unwavering.  Ultimately, our commitment to winning the war on terror must be unyielding.

“I am grateful to our men and women in military uniform who have volunteered to place themselves in harm’s way each and every day.  I am also grateful to all of our first responders who we trust with our safety and who continue to demonstrate tremendous bravery here at home.

“No matter how many years go by, may we never forget the 2,996 lives we lost; and may we never lose our resolve to combat the threat of terror both at home and abroad.”

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Hensarling Grills Obama Administration Officials on Iran Cash Payment

2016/09/08

WASHINGTON— Congressman Jeb Hensarling (TX-05), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, raised serious questions Thursday about the Obama Administration’s $1.7 billion in cash payments to Iran during a hearing of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. Addressing a panel of witnesses from the Obama State, Treasury, and Justice Departments—who only appeared after he threatened them with subpoena—Chairman Hensarling delivered the following opening remarks:

“Any person here today can take out their iPhone or electronic device and google Merriam Webster’s definition of ransom: ‘money that is paid in order to free someone who has been captured or kidnapped.’

“The American people want to know: did this administration pay ransom? Does it meet the legal definition and, if it doesn’t, did the actions of this administration tragically achieve the same end that is to incent terrorists to kidnap American citizens? To put a price on the head of every tourist, soldier, sailor, airman, and marine who serves or visits overseas? Was the cash, cash transaction legal?

“My guess is, if any private citizen had done what this administration did, they would be indicted on money laundering. Instead, the administration calls it ‘diplomacy.’

“Was the cash transaction legal?

“If so, should it be legal?

“And, if perfectly legal, why did the administration go to such great lengths to hide it from the American people?

“Why did it take a Wall Street Journal exposé to bring the true nature of this transaction to our attention?

“Why did I have to threaten subpoenas to get the administration to show up in the first place?

“Did the Iranians demand that this payment be made in cash?

“We have a terrorism finance task force here that knows it is cash, cash transactions that fuel terrorism.

“It is the Obama State Department which has labeled Iran ‘the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism.’ It is the President’s Treasury Department that has classified it as ‘a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern.’

“So why, Mr. Chairman, why were they given $1.7 billion—$1.3 of which was interest, taxpayer money that could have gone to the United States Army but, instead, apparently is going to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

“The American people deserve answers.”

For video of Rep. Hensarling’s opening remarks, click here.

For video of Rep. Hensarling’s follow-up questions to the panel, click here.

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Hensarling Votes to Stop Obama’s Settlement Slush Funds

2016/09/07

WASHINGTON—Today, Congressman Jeb Hensarling (TX-05), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, voted for the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2016 (H.R. 5063). This bill stops the Department of Justice (DOJ), and all other agencies, from pushing defendants to donate money to favored political interest groups as part of settlement agreements with the federal government.

This legislation was the result of a 20-month House Judiciary Committee and House Financial Services Committee investigation into the DOJ.  It found the Department was systematically subverting Congress’ Article I power of the purse and diverting money from federal case settlements to left-wing activist groups that have supported President Obama’s political agenda—often times by giving companies significant breaks on the fines they are supposed to pay if they will funnel the money to their preferred political allies. 

“I might expect to see such a corrupt practice in a place like Russia,” said Rep. Hensarling. “But, in the United States of America?  How could this possibly be legal? These payments occur entirely outside of the transparent and accountable Congressional appropriations and oversight process— a clear violation of Congress’ Article I power of the purse, according to Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution.  By allowing for direct payments to non-victim, third-party political organizations, the Justice Department is trampling upon the Constitution, threatening due process, threatening separation of powers, and threatening checks and balances.  There is simply no justice to be found in the Obama Justice Department.”

The investigation by the House Judiciary Committee and the House Financial Services Committee found the DOJ used mandatory fines to direct as much as $880 million dollars to activist groups.  These payments occurred entirely outside the Congressional appropriations and oversight process. 

For example, in 2012, the DOJ forced Gibson Guitars to pay a $50,000 community service payment to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation even though the foundation had no direct connection to the case.  In 2014, Bank of America was able to reduce a multi-billion dollar mortgage fraud penalty imposed by the DOJ by giving millions of dollars to liberal groups like National Urban League, The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, and National Council of La Raza. The Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2016 would end this practice by the Obama Administration by sending settlement funds to victims or the U.S .Treasury, rather than favored political groups.

“While self-righteously claiming to be ‘tough on the big banks’ and for ‘protecting consumers,’ the Obama Justice Department’s special deals for big banks actually give the banks double credit or more toward their penalties for each ‘donation’ made to the Administration’s political allies,” said Rep. Hensarling. “This means these big banks could erase potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in federal penalties this way—not to mention, avoid giving the money to actual victims.  Using cash to reward your political allies instead of helping victims who have been genuinely wronged is the absolute epitome of what is unfair and wrong about this Administration.”

H.R. 5063 passed the House 241 to 174 and now heads to the Senate for consideration. 

Congressman Hensarling delivered a speech on the House Floor in support of H.R. 5063.  To view the video of that speech click here.

The transcript of the speech is provided below:

“Mr. Chairman, our Constitution is under assault, so I rise today in support of H.R. 5063, the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act.

“A nearly two-year long investigation—jointly conducted by the Financial Services Committee, which I have the privilege of chairing, and the Judiciary Committee chaired by Mr. Goodlatte, the sponsor of this legislation—has shockingly revealed that the so-called Justice Department is not only pushing, but even requiring, some defendants in settlements to send the fines not to victims, not to the U.S. Treasury, but instead to political allies of the Obama Administration.

“As one commentator wrote:  ‘Imagine if the President of the United States forced America’s biggest banks to funnel hundreds of millions – and potentially billions – of dollars to the corporations and lobbyists who supported his agenda.’

“Mr. Chairman, there’s nothing to imagine. It’s real.  It’s happening.

“Mr. Chairman, our Committees’ investigation uncovered that the Obama Justice Department has done exactly this.  They have used mandatory donations to direct as much as $880 million to political organizations that just so happen to be allies of the Obama Administration.

“Now, I might expect to see such a corrupt practice in a place like Russia…but, in the United States of America?  How could this possibly be legal?

“These payments occur entirely outside of the transparent and accountable Congressional appropriations and oversight process – a clear violation of Congress’ Article I power of the purse, according to Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution.  By allowing for direct payments to non-victim, third-party political organizations, the Justice Department is trampling upon the Constitution, threatening due process, threatening separation of powers, and threatening checks and balances. 

“Mr. Chairman, there is simply no justice to be found in the Obama Justice Department.

“I also note the sheer hypocrisy of what the Administration is doing.

“While self-righteously claiming to be ‘tough on the big banks’ and for ‘protecting consumers,’  the Obama Justice Department’s special deals for big banks actually give the banks double credit or more toward their penalties for each ‘donation’ made to their political allies.

“This means these big banks could erase potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in federal penalties this way—not to mention, avoid giving the money to actual victims. 

“Using cash to reward your political allies instead of helping victims who have been genuinely wronged is the absolute epitome of what is unfair and wrong about this Administration.

“I urge all Members to protect the Constitution and to vote for H.R. 5063, the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act and I yield back the balance of my time.”

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Hensarling Releases Statement on August Jobs Report

2016/09/02

WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement after the Department of Labor released the August jobs report:

“This latest jobs report demonstrates that Obamanomics is failing our economy as Americans continue to struggle in the weakest and most tepid recovery in our nation’s history.  Working Americans deserve better.  Government has grown too big, too intrusive, and too expensive to allow the private sector to create good-paying jobs at a rapid pace. The Obama Administration’s endless bureaucratic red tape discourages job creation by punishing the job creator.   One of the main culprits is the Dodd-Frank Act, weighing in at 2,300 pages and adding 400 new regulatory burdens on our economy.

"Under the Obama economic strategy of which Dodd-Frank is a central pillar, Americans are suffering through the weakest performing recovery of our lifetimes. The share of able-bodied Americans in the labor force has hovered at the lowest level in nearly 40 years. Small business startups are at the lowest level in a generation.

“But, there is a better way.  House Republicans are working on a bold agenda that will grow our economy, reduce poverty and increase paychecks, and I am proud to be a part of that effort in Congress. The House Financial Services Committee, which I Chair, has an alternative to the regulatory burdens of Dodd-Frank called the Financial CHOICE Act.  It is a plan that will grow the economy for all Americans and eliminate many of the bureaucratic barriers to job creation in this country.  Americans deserve the growing economy they’ve been looking for.”

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Hensarling Statement on State Department Admission That Payment to Iran Was Contingent on Release of Hostages

2016/08/19

WASHINGTON – Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, released the following statement on Thursday after the State Department admitted that the United States would not hand over $400 million in cash to Iran until it released four American hostages:

“There’s a word for that.  It’s called ransom.  But two weeks ago, President Obama insisted to the American people that the $400 million cash payment to Iran was not in any way, shape, or form ransom.  The Administration clearly has a lot of explaining to do. Already, the Financial Services Committee has asked the Justice Department, the Treasury, and the Federal Reserve for all records related to the secret delivery of this cash to Iran.  The State Department’s admission that this money was indeed a ransom payment intensifies the need for Congress to fully investigate this outrageous action by the Administration and the urgency for the Administration to turn over these records immediately.  Just months before making this ransom payment to Iran, the Obama Administration was threatening ordinary Americans with criminal prosecution for proposing private ransom payments to win the release of their family members.  But it seems the Obama Administration will bend over backwards to accommodate the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism."

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Hensarling Questions Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf

2016-09-29 20:26:02


Rep. Hensarling's Opening Statement at Wells Fargo Hearing

2016-09-29 20:21:35


Hensarling on CNN Ahead of Financial Service Cmt. Hearing on Wells Fargo

2016-09-29 15:23:02


Hensarling on CNBC Power Lunch to Discuss Upcoming Wells Fargo Hearing

2016-09-22 18:54:44


Hensarling Speaks in Support of Iran Asset Transparency Act

2016-09-21 21:47:21


Hensarling Discusses Wells Fargo Investigation on Fox Business

2016-09-20 21:56:40


Hensarling Exchange with Obama Admin Officials about Iran Cash Payment

2016-09-08 18:29:44


Hensarling Grills Obama Admin Officials on Iran Cash Payment

2016-09-08 18:26:47


Hensarling Urges Colleagues to End Obama’s Settlement Slush Funds

2016-09-07 19:00:30


Hensarling on FOX News, Calls for Healing After Dallas Shooting

2016-07-12 13:00:50


Hensarling Delivers Remarks on House Floor Following Dallas Police Shooting

2016-07-08 16:49:47


Hensarling on Fox News Addressing Tragic Murder of Five Dallas Officers

2016-07-08 15:29:53


Rep. Hensarling promotes Financial CHOICE Act on CNBC's Squawk Box

2016-06-09 16:26:37


Rep. Hensarling discusses Dodd Frank repeal with Fox Business' Stuart Varney

2016-06-09 15:26:55


Hensarling, Lee Implore Conservatives to Support Article I Project

2016-03-11 16:33:52


Article I Project: Restoring Our Constitutional Democracy

2016-03-08 16:39:50


Celebrating Texas Independence Day

2016-03-02 16:02:42


Rep. Jeb Hensarling Reacts to President Obama's Last State of the Union

2016-01-13 03:33:54


Rep. Hensarling Discusses Obama's Anti-Gun Executive Orders with CBS 19 in Tyler

2016-01-07 18:19:30


Hensarling Speaks about House Actions to Repeal Obamacare with Mark Davis

2016-01-06 20:06:00


Contact Information

2228 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3484
Fax 202-226-4888
hensarling.house.gov/

Committee Assignments

Financial Services

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.


Serving With

Louie Gohmert

TEXAS' 1st DISTRICT

Ted Poe

TEXAS' 2nd DISTRICT

Sam Johnson

TEXAS' 3rd DISTRICT

John Ratcliffe

TEXAS' 4th DISTRICT

Joe Barton

TEXAS' 6th DISTRICT

John Culberson

TEXAS' 7th DISTRICT

Kevin Brady

TEXAS' 8th DISTRICT

Michael McCaul

TEXAS' 10th DISTRICT

Michael Conaway

TEXAS' 11th DISTRICT

Kay Granger

TEXAS' 12th DISTRICT

Mac Thornberry

TEXAS' 13th DISTRICT

Randy Weber

TEXAS' 14th DISTRICT

Bill Flores

TEXAS' 17th DISTRICT

Randy Neugebauer

TEXAS' 19th DISTRICT

Lamar Smith

TEXAS' 21st DISTRICT

Pete Olson

TEXAS' 22nd DISTRICT

Will Hurd

TEXAS' 23rd DISTRICT

Kenny Marchant

TEXAS' 24th DISTRICT

Roger Williams

TEXAS' 25th DISTRICT

Michael Burgess

TEXAS' 26th DISTRICT

Blake Farenthold

TEXAS' 27th DISTRICT

John Carter

TEXAS' 31st DISTRICT

Pete Sessions

TEXAS' 32nd DISTRICT

Brian Babin

TEXAS' 36th DISTRICT

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