WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, made the following speech on the House floor to urge his colleagues to vote for the American Safe Act of 2015 (H.R. 4038), a bill which he cosponsored:
“Mr. Speaker, I do rise in support today of the safety and security of the American people. As members of congress, we have no more sacred responsibility. Thus, I rise in support of the SAFE Act.
“I join all Americans and all the people of the world in standing with the people of Paris. We are so sobered as to what happened to their homeland, but we are also sobered by the challenge and the grave responsibility to thwart the same evil from coming to our homeland.
“The director of the F.B.I. has testified before Congress just last month that a number of people who are of serious concern were able to slip through screenings of Iraqi refugees. That’s what the director of the F.B.I. said. This disturbing information, Mr. Speaker, obviously raises very serious red flags about lapses in the security within our current refugee vetting system.
“Again, it is why I support and I encourage all members to support the American SAFE Act of 2015. It would effectively hit the pause button on the refugee program—not the stop, but the pause button. And it's simple legislation. It simply requires more rigid standards so that the F.B.I., the Department of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence would positively certify that each refugee from Iraq and Syria does not pose a security threat to us, to our homeland, to our families. Otherwise, they will not be permitted to set down on American soil. It is simple, it is common sense, and it is needed.
“Mr. Speaker, our hearts also go out to the millions of refugees forced to flee their homes and save their lives. There is no other country in the world – no other country in the world – that has been more generous with their time and treasure to refugees than the United States of America, but today is not the day to share our territory. Not until and unless these people can be properly vetted to ensure they don't threaten our families.
“Mr. Speaker, hopefully the world has awakened. There is a very real threat that ISIS poses, and it is not the ‘J.V. team,’ they are not ‘contained,’ and what happened in Paris was not merely a ‘setback.’
“I urge my colleagues to take the responsibility to secure our homeland seriously. This will be the first of what I know will be many steps that this chamber will take to address the growing threats that are posed to our families and our country. And I thank the sponsors of the legislation for bringing it to the floor. I urge all my colleagues to adopt it. I yield back the balance of my time.”
WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, recently took to the House floor to urge his colleagues to support legislation to audit and reform the Federal Reserve to make it more transparent and accountable to the American people. The following are excerpts from his comments:
“Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 3189, the FORM Act, to reform the Federal Reserve.
“To paraphrase an old automobile advertising campaign, ‘this is not your father’s Fed.’ Since the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve has morphed into a government institution whose unconventional activities and vastly expanded powers have, regrettably, not produced commensurate transparency and accountability.
“Since the financial meltdown of 2008, the Fed has carried out unprecedented rounds of asset purchases known as Quantitative Easing. Its balance sheet has swollen to almost $5 trillion – equal to one-fourth of the U.S. economy – and almost five times its pre-crisis level.
“We’ve had almost seven years of near-zero interest rates with virtually no guidance to investors on when rates might finally be normalized. This ongoing uncertainty is a significant cause of businesses hoarding cash and community banks conserving capital and reducing lending.
“Adding to the economic uncertainty is the Dodd-Frank Act granting the Fed sweeping new regulatory powers that directly intervene in the operations of the largest financial institutions. The Fed is even authorized to – on a vague finding – break up a financial institution they deem poses a threat to financial stability.
“In other words, the Fed can now literally occupy the board rooms of the largest financial institutions in America and influence how they deploy capital.
“Reform, accountability, and transparency on one hand; and independence and conduct of monetary policy on the other are not mutually exclusive concepts. The Fed Oversight and Reform and Modernization Act (FORM Act) would ensure that the Fed’s monetary policy is made clear and credible and its regulatory activities comport with the rule of law and bear public scrutiny. In short, the FORM Act holds the Fed accountable to the American people.”
WASHINGTON—U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) appeared on WBAP’s “The Chris Salcedo Show” to react to the terror attacks in Paris, President Obama’s response to the attacks, and what the U.S. response should be to ISIS and the Syrian refugees seeking asylum. The following are excerpts from Hensarling’s comments:
On the attacks in Paris and President Obama’s response:
“Well not only as a member of Congress, but as a father, you can’t think of anything more horrific than going about your business and then all of a sudden these evil forces come and do their evil deeds. Regrettably it’s not necessarily surprising, but it is absolutely horrific… I was listening before you had me on to the president’s comments. His comments frankly are just shocking. I mean, to say he has a knack for the understatement would be an understatement. From a man that called ISIS the ‘JV’, a man who just said hours before the Paris attack that ISIS was contained—I mean, the president is just removed from reality. And then to say that we don’t need another strategy—the thing I fear most for my nation right now is the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue….
“He is tragically wrong, and it is hurting the security of our country.”
On the security concerns surrounding resettling Syrian refugees in the U.S. :
“Within this refugee stream there is an incredible opportunity for ISIS to infiltrate that….This is a process that just needs to be frozen right here, right now. We cannot verify where databases don’t exist of who these people are. We ought to be exploring trying to create some type of safe zone within parts of Syria and Iraq. I mean listen, it is a horrible human tragedy – millions and millions of refugees – but we can care for these people on territory other than ours. We need not invite them here and now. Until the House and the Senate can be convinced that we have a way to vet these people – which today I don’t believe we have – we should not be taking refugees on our own shore.”
On President Obama’s claims that the government can thoroughly vet all refugees and prevent ISIS from infiltrating the U.S. through the resettlement process:
“…he is certainly receiving different briefings than I think just about every member of Congress is, and talking to different experts. You would have a hard time finding a majority in Congress being convinced again that theses refugees can be thoroughly vetted. So I don’t think the president is shooting straight with the American people. He is regrettably ignorant of the situation himself—I hope that’s not the case. I just don’t believe you can guarantee the safety and the security of the American people by bringing in thousands and thousands of Syrian refugees and have no idea who these people are. It just defies common sense. And I think the president, frankly, is being a little just disingenuous to imply somehow that America is not being compassionate when we provide millions and millions of dollars as part of an international community in trying to deal with the immediate needs of this refugee stream.”
On steps he is supporting in the House is taking to address the refugee crisis and threat posed by ISIS:
“There are a number of different bills that have been proceeding through Congress. One is H.R. 3573, [authored by] Chairman Mike McCaul of Texas, who chairs our Homeland Security Committee. This has to do with the oversight of refugee resettlement, and it would require an affirmative approval by both the House and Senate before any refugees are admitted to the U.S. It would allow Congress to block any type of refugee resettlement plan put forward by the president if it is inadequate. It would prioritize, to the extent that resettlement takes place, repressed religious minorities. There’s also H.R. 3999, which is known as the Safe Act of 2015, which is authored by Congressman Hudson of North Carolina. It would require that the DHS along with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office would certify that refugees being admitted to the U.S. from Iraq and Syria do not pose any threat to security of the U.S. It would require an affirmation by all of those agencies. Those are just a couple of bills that are working their way through the system. I have cosponsored both of these. The speaker has put forth a task force of different committees of jurisdiction….principally our Judiciary Committee, Homeland Security, and Armed Services Committee. I expect there will be another bill by week’s end, so stay tuned on that.”
WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (TX-05) released the following statement commemorating Veterans Day:
“Veterans Day is an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to those patriots who’ve answered the call to defend us, going into harm’s way so that we can enjoy the blessings of freedom, peace, and prosperity. Freedom is not free – it comes at incredible cost. Today, and every day, let us never forget that.
“We must also remember our military families, who are left to carry on while their spouse, parent, or child is away serving on the front lines. Though they may not wear the uniform, they too serve and sacrifice much for the cause of freedom.
“Few opportunities are more meaningful to me as a Congressman than when I am given the chance to help our veterans, whether it is obtaining long overdue medals for a hero of WWII, securing VA benefits for a struggling veteran of Korea or Vietnam, or paying tribute to the life of a soldier that was cut short defending freedom in Iraq or Afghanistan.
“As the son, grandson, and brother of veterans, I have and will continue to fight for our nation’s soldiers and military veterans. As President Calvin Coolidge once said ‘A nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten.’ I am committed to making sure we never forget.”
WASHINGTON—U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) appeared on Fox News Channel’s “The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson” to react to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling upholding the injunction against President Obama’s unlawful executive action on immigration. Below are excerpts from that interview.
On the court’s ruling:
“I think undoubtedly, it probably will go to the Supreme Court. But, at least for the moment, it’s a good day for legal immigration, a bad day for illegal immigration; a good day for the constitution and rule of law, a bad day for the imperial presidency so thus, a bad day for Barack Obama. As we all know illegal immigration is a huge threat to our national security and a huge threat to our economic security and, the way the president practices it, it's a threat to the rule of law. So what the Fifth Circuit said is, ‘No, there is a constitution, there are checks and balances, and you cannot rewrite the law.’ Essentially what the president did is he managed to persuade the fifth circuit that he could not lawfully do this. Apparently he didn't convince himself because, as we know, on at least twenty previous occasions the president indicated that he did not have the power to do what he is doing.”
On the administration’s reaction to the ruling:
“We know this is a president who has a pen and a phone. Regrettably he just seems to lack a copy of the constitution. The Fifth Circuit could be no more clear on their injunction. So I don’t know what executive order that the president is planning. We know this has been the most lawless administration since the Nixon administration. But particularly with the American people, I would hope they would be outraged.”
On his recent trip to the Texas-Mexico border and what he learned about the state of border security:
“Well what I found is that again the Obama administration is a huge impediment to enforcing our laws. The greatest impediment we have is that the Obama administration will not allow our border patrol to actually have access to many federal lands where the illegal immigrants and human traffickers do their business. And so we know that also there are people from all around the world including nations where we know there has been terrorist activity who are infiltrating our Southern border. It’s not just Mexico and Central America. It’s a huge problem, something that the administration continues to turn their back on.”
WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (TX-05) released the following statement upon news that President Obama will reject the application for the Keystone XL Pipeline:
“I am highly disappointed, though hardly shocked, by the president’s decision to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline. President Obama has once again put the will of special interests ahead of jobs for the American people. Instead of listening to the countless reports – including the findings of his own administration – which said the Keystone XL Pipeline is safe, will increase North American energy independence, and create jobs, or to the majority of Americans who support the project, President Obama has chosen to listen to left-wing environmental lobbyists.”
WASHINGTON—U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, released the following statement upon Paul Ryan’s nomination to be the next Speaker of the House by the House Republican Conference.
“It’s not my way to kick someone as they’re walking out the door, but it’s time for a new Speaker. Our nation is in bad shape, Congress is in bad shape, the party is in bad shape. I just think that when you look at the totality of the ingredients you need for a Republican leader right here, right now - Paul Ryan is the guy.
“I don’t view the selection of Speaker as just a contest of who has racked up the highest interest group vote rating by simply voting NO on bills.
“What we need right now is somebody who will take the conservative message to non-conservatives. I’m looking for the best communicator of the conservative message of hope and fairness and growth and freedom. I’m looking for the person who has more courage and accomplishment to actually advance the conservative cause through the Republican Conference and beyond. I think Paul Ryan is that person.
“Paul Ryan is the guy who made entitlement reform mainstream for the Republican Party. He’s the first guy in a decade to get a balanced budget through the House. He’s been our fundamental leader on tax reform; our fundamental leader on budget reform; and our fundamental leader on battling Obamacare.
“I know that a handful of members have supported Dan Webster for Speaker. Daniel Webster is a good guy. However, I believe Dan’s vision for reform will give Democrats more latitude, leeway and leverage to influence House proceedings and lead to conservatives having a weaker hand. Paul Ryan has a track record of courage, accomplishment, and leadership that I have seen firsthand, and I look forward to working with him to advance the conservative cause.”
WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement concerning the House’s vote on the Export-Import Bank:
“The more Americans learn about the Export-Import Bank’s political lending, corruption and fundamental unfairness, the more they want it to end. That’s why we’re seeing a record number in Congress vote to end Ex-Im both in the Senate, where a majority of Republicans voted against it in July, and today in the House. The last time the House voted on a long-term reauthorization of Ex-Im, only 93 members voted against it. Today, 118 voted no. Momentum is moving in favor of those who oppose Ex-Im’s corporate welfare and instead support a competitive, free enterprise economy.
“On three separate occasions, a majority of Republicans on the Financial Services Committee said that they opposed bringing Ex-Im up for a vote. As Chairman, I strongly supported that decision reached by a majority of the majority.
“Fifty one years ago today Ronald Reagan said, “a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth.” But thankfully for hardworking taxpayers, today’s vote does not reopen the corporate welfare spigot at Ex-Im. Ex-Im’s charter remains expired and Senate leaders have already made it clear the Senate will not take up this bill.
“But this debate has accomplished something very important. It demonstrates once again to the American people that while Democrats like to give fiery speeches decrying how Washington rigs the system to help big corporations, Democrats are perfectly fine with voting to rig the system to help big corporations. It’s nearly Halloween and Democrats once again are handing out tricks to hardworking taxpayers and treats for big corporations. How many times have we heard Democrats vilify Wall Street banks? Yet the big banks profit off Ex-Im like few others, receiving billions in Ex-Im corporate welfare. Of course, Wall Street’s big banks vigorously support Ex-Im. After all, they have hardworking taxpayers to bail out any Wall Street losses. By voting for Ex-Im, Democrats are throwing Wall Street a big, wet kiss.
“Ex-Im is a part of yesterday’s economy. Our focus needs to be on tomorrow’s economy and on reforms that will give every American greater opportunities to succeed. Fundamental tax reform, tort reform and regulatory reform will do more to grow our economy and help small business entrepreneurs than corporate welfare ever could. Healthy debate on these issues, not discharge petitions for corporate welfare, are a much better use of Congress’s time. It’s hard work, but it is necessary for the American people.”
WASHINGTON—U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement upon House passage of the Restoring Americans’ Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act (H.R. 3672), a package of budget reconciliation recommendations aimed at dismantling Obamacare and protecting life.
“In April – for the first time since 2009 – Congress complied with the law and passed a budget resolution agreement through both the House and Senate. This fiscally-responsible budget put our nation on a sustainable path by balancing in less than 10 years, stopping our out of control spending, and eventually paying off our nation’s $18 trillion and rising national debt.
“This budget also set up an opportunity implement reforms it called for through a process known as reconciliation. These reforms will save taxpayers $130 billion – all while improving the health care of Americans by beginning to finally dismantle Obamacare and using the power of the purse to protect innocent life.
“To protect the unborn and promote access to health care, today’s legislation uses our Constitutional power of the purse and defunds abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. Instead of funding an organization whose main business is killing innocent life, we redirect those taxpayer dollars and invest in community health centers that provide quality accessible care for women, men, and children—including the unborn.
“Today’s legislation also takes several key steps to dismantle Obamacare by repealing some of the law’s most harmful provisions, including the individual and employer mandates. This legislation also repeals several of the law’s most burdensome taxes – like the medical device tax and the “Cadillac Tax” – and gets rid of the Obamacare slush fund which has enabled the Administration to spend billions each year without input from the people’s elected representatives in Congress.
“While I would have preferred to be voting on a full repeal of Obamacare, the American people would still be much better off than they are today if this bill becomes law. And the processed used will ensure this bill that begins dismantling Obamacare lands on the president’s desk where he will be forced to either admit that his signature piece of legislation is harmful and unpopular or ignore the will of the American people and veto these changes.”
WASHINGTON—U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement upon House passage of the Default Prevention Act (H.R. 692), which he cosponsored.
“That sound we hear is the alarm of our debt ceiling telling us our nation’s fiscal house is on fire. Instead of simply turning off the alarm, we must put out the fire.
“Our nation is on the precipice of a spending-driven debt crisis. Despite collecting a record $3.25 trillion in taxes in the just-completed fiscal year, our nation still spent $439 billion more than it received. Clearly, the problem isn’t lack of revenue as some suggest. The problem is that Washington is spending money we don’t have and borrowing from the futures of our children and grandchildren—setting up a legacy of little more than an $18 trillion and growing national debt.
“Raising the debt limit allows our nation to pay bills and obligations already incurred. However, the nation’s debt ceiling places a speed-bump on the road to national bankruptcy by forcing Congress to actively allow the nation to borrow more money instead of simply allowing Washington to keep spending unchecked. In other words, the debt ceiling gives Congress an opportunity to address the unsustainable fiscal path we find ourselves on.
“President Obama and Congressional Democrats should fear the debt, but instead they promote fear over the debt ceiling. Unfortunately, Democrats have taken the nation’s creditworthiness and economy hostage in a cynical attempt to create a crisis that maximizes the Administration’s leverage. Even though President Obama is using the specter of default as a political weapon, House Republicans will not. That’s why we have passed the Default Prevention Act to take a default on our nation’s sovereign debt off the table.
“In the event that the debt ceiling is not raised and the federal government cannot meet all of its obligations, this legislation allows the Treasury Department to prioritize principal and interest payments on our national debt. Given that interest on our national debt accounts for approximately 7 cents out of every revenue dollar, this explicit authority would be more than enough prevent a default on sovereign debt. In other words: if this legislation becomes law, the only way our nation defaults on our sovereign debt is if President Obama and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew decide to not to pay it.”
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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Our hearts go out to the millions of refugees who are forced to flee their homes to save their lives. And there is no other country in the world
I joined The Chris Salcedo Show on WBAP this morning to discuss my support for House legislation to stop President Obama's refugee policy, which
I'll join The Chris Salcedo Show on WBAP at 9:45am CT to discuss the #ParisAttacks and what the U.S. response should be. Hope you'll tune in:
Veterans Day is an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to those patriots who’ve answered the call to defend us, going into harm’s way so that
In case you missed it, here is my interview on #TheRealStory with Gretchen Carlson.