WASHINGTON – Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) released the following statement after the introduction of a discussion draft of the Financial CHOICE (Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs) Act:
“There are principles incorporated into the Financial CHOICE Act that will make a positive impact on the lives of every American consumer. This legislation would create an environment in which competition and consumer choice can rule the markets instead of the government picking winners and losers. This is done in part through high capital requirements that make financial institutions more resilient and stable. In return for these higher capital requirements, financial institutions would be subject to much lower government involvement. This ensures that the American people are protected, but that banks are not being micromanaged from Washington.
“I applaud the hard work that has been done to make the Financial CHOICE Act a viable alternative to the disastrous Dodd-Frank Act. In the wake of the financial crisis, the Democrat-controlled Congress did not adequately study the causes of the crisis and instead rushed to throw a wet blanket over our financial markets. I am proud of the work Chairman Hensarling and our Committee have done over the last several years to bring forth a strong vision for financial regulation. The Financial CHOICE Act is based on a structure that can be tested and measured. It provides all market participants with a transparent and fair structure in which to do business. I appreciate that it already has the support of many community financial institutions and leading scholars.
“Finally, I am pleased the Financial CHOICE Act incorporates two of my legislative priorities – CFPB leadership reform and the repeal of debit swipe fee price caps. H.R. 1266, which institutes a five person, bipartisan commission to lead the CFPB, will ensure a balanced and politically-neutral agency that works for consumers. H.R. 5465, which repeals debit swipe fee price caps, commonly known as the Durbin Amendment, will ensure that consumers get the benefit of a competitive and innovative payments system.
“Americans do not need a government-knows-best approach to handle their finances. Americans need a competitive marketplace where they are free to choose the best products to meet their needs – they need legislation like the Financial CHOICE Act that frees smaller financial institutions to compete and innovate for consumers.”
WASHINGTON – Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) released the following statement today after it was announced that the United Kingdom had voted to exit the European Union, an event referred to as Brexit:
“The British people have spoken. The voting process is one that we, as American citizens, cherish and profoundly respect. I look forward to a continuation of the special relationship the United States shares with the United Kingdom. Our close alliance should not be impacted by this decision.”
WASHINGTON – Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) today welcomed Zoe Fuqua, a senior from Sweetwater High School and the winner of the 2016 Congressional Art Competition for the 19th District of Texas, to the United States Capitol to see her artwork in its home for the next year.
“The 19th District is an extraordinary place with extraordinary people. I was blown away by the talent of the high school students who submitted entries for this year’s Congressional Art Competition. It takes hard work to cultivate natural ability, and I appreciated every piece that was submitted,” Rep. Neugebauer said.
“I especially want to congratulate our winner, Zoe Fuqua, on her artwork entitled Texas Sun. I look forward to seeing it often as I walk through the Capitol. It was especially nice to have the privilege of seeing the artwork with the artist today as she came to Washington, DC to be honored for her accomplishment.”
Zoe’s piece will be on display in the Cannon Tunnel in the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC until May of 2017.
WASHINGTON – Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) released the following statement today in response to the United States Supreme Court’s 4-4 split ruling on President Obama’s executive order on immigration, which upholds a lower court’s ruling to block the 2014 order granting legal status to certain immigrants here illegally:
“Today’s ruling is a win for the Constitution. Despite the fact that President Obama does not have the authority to unilaterally change immigration law, he nevertheless attempted to do so by issuing an executive order. This was a clear instance of the Executive Branch seeking to legislate. Creating laws is the purview of Congress. Instead of constructively adding to the conversation on immigration and working toward fixing our broken system, President Obama’s action diverted resources and attention to a policy that the American people rejected. I am pleased with the Supreme Court’s ruling today, and I look forward to a renewed focus on ways to secure our border and repair the immigration system.”
Introduction of Legislation to Reinstate Innovation and Competition
Last week, I introduced H.R. 5465, legislation to repeal another part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law that is not working as promised. H.R. 5465 would do away with a section of law often referred to as the Durbin Amendment, which has proven to be an egregious example of the federal government picking winners and losers. Prior to Dodd-Frank, merchants, banks, and payment networks were free to negotiate and enter into contractual relationships to set certain fees for processing debit card transactions. The Durbin Amendment was enacted under the guise that it would provide significant savings that merchants would then pass along to consumers.
Unfortunately, several recent studies, including one by the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, have shown that consumers are not getting those savings. Instead, an estimated $30 billion, has simply been shifted from one industry to another, which not only discourages innovation, but also free market competition among payment providers. This government pricing regulation especially harms small businesses and those with a high volume of small-dollar transactions, since these price caps still apply. How often do you see signs posted with a minimum purchase amount in order to use your debit card to complete a transaction? Not only are consumers not seeing the savings, many are also paying the price through loss of services such as free checking accounts and higher fees. With the government picking winners and losers, we lose innovation and competition, the drivers of success in the free market economy we strive to maintain. For these reasons, I introduced this legislation to repeal the Durbin Amendment and reinstate beneficial free market values in this sector.
Solutions for Economic Growth and Government Reform
In a continuing effort to introduce solutions for the problems facing the nation in order to make sure the American people understand what we stand for, House Speaker Paul Ryan unveiled two more plans from the House working groups that have been meeting over the last several months. Last week started with an economic growth plan that included major aspects of legislation the Financial Services Committee, on which I serve, laid out earlier this month. One of the key components of this growth plan is to offer an alternative to the Dodd-Frank Act, including ending the prospect of bailouts and the concept of “Too Big to Fail.” Rather than holding out the promise that the government will step in to stop a failure, our plan would require banks to hold more money in reserve through higher capital requirements, which would help eliminate the risks posed by larger institutions. This change is accompanied by a move to smarter and more tailored regulations. While some large financial institutions might find the higher capital requirements too burdensome, it is important to point out the trade off – getting the government out of the board room. On the other hand, smaller banks, and the majority of banks in our district, are well positioned to take advantage of these capital levels and significant regulatory relief.
Speaker Ryan also introduced a plan for government reform that focused on restoring the separation of powers. Throughout my time in Congress, I have been working toward making the government smaller and keeping the bureaucracy from encroaching more and more into our everyday lives. As this plan says, Congress has got to be clearer in the language it uses when writing bills. One of the keys to making sure laws are carried out as Congress intends is designating distinct lines of authority when directing agencies to implement a law. Furthermore, regulations proposed by those agencies should be summarized in plain, understandable language and the approval procedure should change so that major regulations must be approved by Congress, adding another check to bureaucratic regulatory power.
I appreciate that both of these most recent proposals have themes of transparency, limited government, and simplification. Government should empower Americans to grow the economy, not hold back their progress and innovation.
Texas Tech Baseball in the College World Series
I congratulate Texas Tech University, my alma mater, for making it to the Baseball College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. Though I was sorry to see them lose their first game over the weekend to Texas Christian University, I was proud of the Red Raiders for being one of only eight teams to make it to the series. I look forward to watching their next game against Florida tomorrow.
WASHINGTON, DC – Texas Congressmen Randy Neugebauer (R – Lubbock) and Roger Williams (R – Austin) today released the following statements in anticipation of their alma maters’ face-off in the 2016 NCAA Men’s College World Series this Sunday in Omaha.
“I have total confidence in my Texas Tech Red Raiders and cannot wait to see them go all the way to the championship,” said Neugebauer. “As for beating the TCU Horned Frogs, all I have to say is Wreck ‘Em Tech!”
Williams, a former coach and player who made All-Southwest Conference and was named to TCU’s All-Decade Team for the 1960s, said he is optimistic about his Horned Frogs.
“Although some of these guys aren’t strangers to Omaha, it’s an honor for all of them to be there, so I know TCU will come in ready to play,” said Williams. “I look forward to watching the game Sunday and cheering on my team.”
Despite the friendly rivalry, Neugebauer and Williams said they are proud of the accomplishments of both schools.
“It is fantastic to see two such talented teams from Texas make it into the national spotlight. These fine institutions represent a commitment to excellence that extends beyond sports. The lessons these athletes are learning - including teamwork, leadership and self-discipline – will serve them well their entire lives. We commend both teams on their seasons.”
U.S. Congressmen Randy Neugebauer (R – Lubbock) and Roger Williams (R – Austin) sport their respective teams' caps prior to the matchup at the College Baseball World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.
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Mass Shooting in Orlando, Florida
Dana and I are praying for the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando over the weekend. We mourn for those who lost loved ones and hope that the injured heal quickly and that the city itself remains strong. It is sickening that groups like ISIS can applaud a tragedy like this and attempt to use it inspire others to commit violent acts. We must continue to address terrorism moving forward, including counteracting ISIS propaganda. Terrorists want to create fear and intimidate us, but Americans’ resolve is stronger.
Cyber Security Roundtable and Some Cyber Safety Reminders
Last week, I took part in a Cyber Security Roundtable discussion that focused on the financial services sector. Talking with industry experts, a few points really stood out to me. First, cyber and data security are such important issues because so many of our financial transactions are now electronic transaction. Protecting these processes from start to finish is vital to our economic and security interests. This is an issue I've been passionate about for a long time. Last year, I introduced H.R. 2205, the Data Security Act of 2015, which would ensure that every step of a credit or debit transaction is held to a high standard in order to keep that information secure. The system is only as secure as its weakest link. The other point that I took away from the Roundtable was the fact that cyber security is important for all businesses and all individuals. While I was talking to experts from very large operations, small businesses are equally vulnerable to harm from attacks via malware and ransom ware.
Something to keep in mind as a sort of "cyber hygiene" refresher is to ensure that the computers at your workplace require a password. Make passwords complex, but memorable. Take time to train employees to not click on links or attachments in emails unless they are from a verified source. Invest in cyber security protection software. There are many resources available to help protect you and your customers’ personal information, but these reminders are some good first steps.
Speaker Ryan Begins Rolling Out Republican Solutions
One of the things that Speaker Paul Ryan has been adamant about since becoming the Speaker of the House is that our Congress must put more focus on solutions. As the Speaker has said, the American people know what House Republicans are against, and now they deserve to know what we’re for. To that end, Speaker Ryan has been rolling out proposals crafted from suggestions from working groups held over the last several months. Last week, he introduced the two proposals, with several more to follow in the coming weeks.
The first proposal he released was on fighting poverty. Not only is poverty an issue that is close to Speaker Ryan’s, and my own, heart, but it is one that impacts every American to various degrees. The federal government has spent billions of dollars on programs, but we haven’t solved the problem. We want to reward work and expand the opportunities for the impoverished to benefit from skills training and education. It’s important that these programs fight poverty, actually address the needs of the individual, and, most importantly, do not punish success and hard work.
Speaker Ryan’s second proposal was on National Security. President Obama’s foreign policy has failed us again and again – a recent, blatant example being the detainees released from Guantanamo Bay who went directly back to their terrorist activities. Speaker Ryan’s proposal outlines a clear, coherent strategy for defeating ISIS, unlike what we have heard from President Obama. It also calls for being smarter and more consistent in regards to immigration – developing the means to track illegal aliens and detaining and removing criminals. We need to restore overall immigration enforcement in the U.S. The danger of terrorism at home and abroad is one of the biggest threats we face today, so we must work to stop these terrorists, including cutting off their funding.
I look forward to the coming weeks as Speaker Ryan unveils further proposals on a variety of other topics, making sure the public knows what we, as House Republicans, stand for, as well as what we are against.Read More
WASHINGTON – Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) released the following statement today upon the introduction of his bill, H.R. 5465, To repeal section 1075 of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 relating to rules for payment card transactions, and for other purposes:
“Today, I introduced H.R. 5465, which will repeal the misguided debit swipe fee reforms introduced by the Dodd-Frank Act. Section 1075 of the Dodd-Frank Act, commonly called the Durbin Amendment, represents an egregious example of the Federal government picking winners and losers. Simply put, it represents crony capitalism at its worst.
“Prior to Dodd-Frank, merchants, banks, and payment networks were free to enter into contractual relationships to set certain fees for processing debit card transactions. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and the retail lobby sold Congress on the need for debit swipe fee reform under the guise that consumers would see significant savings if the government controlled the price of these transactions. Instead, several studies, including research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, have definitely shown that consumers have not received any passed-through savings. Some studies have even shown that these price caps have resulted in reduced free checking accounts and higher minimum balances for consumers. Further, some small businesses and those with a high volume of small-dollar transactions are actually fairing worse with the price caps in place – a strange twist for the retail industry, which was lobbying so hard for the Durbin Amendment’s adoption.
“What the Durbin Amendment did do was artificially shift over $30 billion in revenue from one industry to another. Instead of promoting free market principles and technological innovation, such as enhanced data security capabilities, the Durbin Amendment was nothing more than a government action to manipulate the marketplace. Today, I am pleased to push for repeal of these misguided reforms. This legislation will restore competition in the marketplace, remove arbitrary government price caps, and ensure consumers have affordable access to basic banking services. I look forward to working with Chairman Hensarling (R-Texas) and my colleagues on the Financial Services Committee during consideration of the Financial CHOICE Act to ensure these important reforms make it across the finish line.”
A Trip to Europe and the Middle East
This past week I traveled to Europe and the Middle East with four other Members of Congress. The purpose of the trip was to meet with military leaders and heads of state to get their perspective on challenges in Europe and the Middle East, which include threats from Russia, terrorism and ISIS, as well as immediate efforts to address thousands of refugees from Syria.
We first traveled to Sweden, where we were briefed on the concerns of the countries in that region, which mainly focused on recent actions by the Russian military in the Baltic Sea. Russia’s continuing aggression against Ukraine has been a wakeup call for Western Europe. At a time when Russia is struggling economically, they appear to be increasing their military spending, which leads many to believe they are attempting to increase their influence globally. Additionally, Sweden’s leaders are worried about terrorism. With recent terrorist activity in Europe, almost all countries are expanding their counter terrorism resources and focus, and Sweden is no exception, beefing up their military spending.
While in Europe, we also visited the United States European Command (USEUCOM) to be briefed on threats and challenges from a U.S. perspective. Russia, terrorism, readiness, and capacity of NATO were among the topics we discussed.
Our Middle East stops included Israel and Jordan. In Israel, we traveled to an Iron Dome Battery Site. Iron Dome is a missile defense, anti-rocket system that intercepts rockets being fired into Israel from Gaza. The United States provides financial assistance for this program and other anti-missile systems. Israel is an important partner to the United States, providing intelligence and assistance in our anti-terror activities. The major issues for Israel are Iran, ISIS, Syria, Palestine, and the overall instability in the region. Israel is literally surrounded by hot spots in the Middle East.
We met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during our visit, who was right in the middle of negotiating his cabinet to expand his coalition government. He too has to deal with competing ideologies and agendas in his government. He was very gracious and appreciative of the relationship between our two countries. Israel is an anchor in the region, and its survival is extremely important to not just the United States, but the world, in my opinion.
Concluding our trip, we visited Jordan, another important partner, especially in the war with ISIS. It too sits in the middle of many hot spots in the region. Bordered by Syria, Iraq, and the West Bank, they are battling to keep their borders secure and at the same time dealing with hundreds of thousands of refugees passing out of Syria - almost 651,000 of them. This is an issue not easily resolved, and it is putting a strain on Jordan’s economy.
This opportunity to witness first-hand how our national security is intertwined on a global scale with so many other countries was extremely important to me. I appreciated the opportunity to learn more and to get a closer perspective on these vital security issues.
Severe Weather and Flooding
Much of the 19th District, and in fact, much of Texas, has recently experienced major flooding and property damage. Governor Abbott has declared a state of disaster for at least 31 counties across the state. While preliminary damage assessments are underway by local officials to help determine where further aid, such as a Presidential Disaster Declaration, might be warranted, some affected areas are under water or under threat of continued flooding. Therefore, it may be some time before was have a complete picture of the damage. In the meantime, if you have been affected by the flooding or other storm damage, please make sure to contact the proper authorities for your area. If you are not sure who to contact, please feel free to call my office so that we can do our best to point you in the right direction. Dana and I are praying for all those affected by these storms, especially Fort Hood and the soldiers who lost their lives. Please stay safe and approach any water with caution.
USDA Announces Cotton Ginning Cost-Share Program
Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced a limited cost-share assistance program on cotton ginning. This is an announcement we have been awaiting since the USDA declined to designate cottonseed as an oil seed under the Farm Bill. The new Cotton Ginning Cost-Share program would provide about $300 million in cost-share assistance payments to cotton producers. While I continue to be disheartened by the lack of oilseed designation for cotton, which is within the power that the Farm Bill gives to Secretary Vilsack, I am glad to see efforts made to help our farmers. The economic challenges facing cotton producers are significant, and when farmers are in trouble, the whole community is affected. I will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as they become available.
WASHINGTON – Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) released the following statement today in response to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announcing limited cost-share assistance through its new Cotton Ginning Cost-Share program:
“I know producers have been waiting for this announcement on ginning cost-share assistance from USDA, and I am pleased to see the Department put some assistance in place. This is not producers’ first choice for how USDA could have addressed the downturn in cotton, and I agree that more could have been done by designating cottonseed as an eligible oilseed. The economic challenges facing cotton producers in our area are significant, and when farmers are in trouble, the whole community is affected.
“I appreciate that signup for this assistance will begin later this month and am hopeful that use of existing acreage and cost information will help get assistance to producers in a timely manner.
“As this assistance is implemented, I will continue to support the farm communities that keep this nation running as I work with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Conaway to provide longer-term relief on this issue.”
1424 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Randy Neugebauer proudly represents the 19th Congressional District of Texas, which stretches across 29 counties. He has offices in the cities of Abilene, Big Spring and Lubbock.
As one of the most conservative Members of Congress, Randy works to keep Washington accountable to hardworking American taxpayers by requiring commonsense spending and borrowing limits.
Randy was raised in West Texas, and he is a voice for traditional Texan values in Washington. Randy graduated from Texas Tech in 1972 with a degree in accounting. He went on to work in real estate management, eventually starting his own land development company.
As a small business owner, Randy knows first-hand the dedication and commitment it takes to own and manage a successful company. He also knows how government regulations can quickly deplete the resources of a small business, causing hard times for families and communities. Randy brings this businessman’s perspective to Congress where he advocates for reduced spending, fiscal discipline, free markets, and limited government.
Randy serves on three committees in the House of Representatives, where he can work on legislation that directly benefits his constituents. He is a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee and the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. Additionally, he serves as the Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance.
As Housing and Insurance Subcommittee Chairman, he’s working to reform the housing market, cut regulatory burdens, and shift risk away from American taxpayers and back into the private sector.
Randy’s legislative initiatives include eliminating wasteful federal spending, improving crop insurance, and supporting diverse domestic energy sources. He continues to work on legislation that will empower the constituents of the 19th Congressional District.
Randy’s support of conservative principles has been recognized by many groups and organizations. He has received the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Spirit of Enterprise Award, the Club for Growth Defender of Economic Freedom Award, and the Taxpayer’s Friend Award from the National Taxpayers Union. He has earned a 100% lifetime rating by National Right to Life. He has been recognized by National Journal as one of the six most conservative members of the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition, Randy serves as an Assistant Republican Whip to House Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy.
Randy is married to his high school sweetheart, Dana, who is a Ropesville native. Together they have two sons, two daughters-in-law, and are the proud grandparents of three boys and one girl.
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Dodd-Frank has been a disaster–it’s time to get the government out of making product choices for America's consumers https://t.co/YJyAVBsZe5
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.@TTU_Baseball has a chance at redemption as they take on Florida in their second game of the College Baseball World Series. Go Red Raiders!
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Today, I introduced H.R. 5465, which will repeal part of Dodd-Frank that limits competition and innovation. See more https://t.co/9GBAtDBr2P
I had the honor of welcoming TX-19’s 2016 Congressional Art Competition winner to the U.S. Capitol today. Zoe Fuqua’s “Texas Sun” is
Texas Tech University Baseball has a chance at redemption today as they take on Florida in their second game of the College Baseball World Series
Good luck to Texas Tech University Baseball as they take on Texas Christian University today in the College Baseball World Series in Omaha, Nebraska!
Today, I introduced H.R. 5465, which will repeal a part of Dodd-Frank that limits competition and innovation. See more at https://randy.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/neugebauer-introduces-bill-reinstate-competition-and-innovation
Happy Flag Day!