Recent attacks in Paris, Mali and Beirut are horrific reminders that terrorist organizations are increasingly aggressive in their campaigns to spread death and chaos. From 2013 to 2014, deaths related to terrorism around the world have increased by 80 percent. As we mourn these senseless losses of life, we must adapt to new security threats.
Officials report that at least one of the terrorists in Paris traveled to the country by impersonating a refugee. We also know that President Obama has set the overall refugee ceiling at 85,000 total people and announced that the administration will admit 10,000 Syrian refugees over the coming year. The United States is faced with a delicate balancing act between protecting our country against those who wish us harm and ensuring that we support people who are fleeing tyranny and bloodshed in Syria.
We live in an imperfect world and there is no room for error when ensuring that incoming refugees are not a terrorist threat. Immediately following the attacks on Paris, ISIS made threats to our country — specifically targeting New York City and Washington, D.C. — that cannot be ignored. The House of Representatives is examining this national security issue, and many top officials have expressed their concerns about the vetting process.
Last month, FBI Director James Comey acknowledged that there are enhanced risks associated with bringing people to our country from conflict zones such as Syria. He said, "There is risk associated with bringing anybody in from the outside, but especially from a conflict zone like [Syria]. My concern there [about bringing Syrian refugees into the United States] is that there are certain gaps I don’t want to talk about publicly in the data available to us."
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson echoed Comey’s sentiment when he said, "It is true that we are not going to know a whole lot about the Syrians that come forth in this process ... we know that organizations like ISIL might like to exploit this [Syrian refugee resettlement] program … the bad news is that there is no risk-free process."
Obviously, we must reexamine our refugee program.
Safety and security
My top priority is the safety and security of the American people, and the attacks on Paris are a stark reminder that our enemies are willing to go to great lengths to commit acts of terror. Last week the House voted to fortify our refugee program by requiring supplemental certification and background investigations prior to admissions of refugees.
The bill would require the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence to unanimously certify through background investigations that a refugee is not a security threat. The bill also requires that DHS submit a monthly report to Congress on the number of refugees that are being certified, and those that are denied certification.
As Secretary Johnson and Director Comey alluded to, vetting refugees is a difficult process. One of the biggest problems when vetting refugees from Syria is our lack of diplomatic ties with their country, which means we have limited access to law enforcement information and pertinent documents. This problem is compounded by the fact that the Syrian government is in shambles and the information can be unreliable, incomplete and sometimes non-existent.
I’ve heard from countless constituents who are concerned that the United States will continue our refugee program without taking a moment to question our practices and implement safeguards to protect our country.
Ignoring the risk posed to our country would be a dangerous dereliction of duty. The United States is not turning its back on the Syrians who are legitimately looking for help. Our country has already committed billions of dollars to help the Syrian refugees around the world, and we will continue to meet those humanitarian obligations.
The Syrian people seeking refuge need the continued support of the international community, and we must continue to work on a balance between helping these people and our national security. The United States is, and will continue to be, a world leader in humanitarian aid operations, and those who are suffering from unspeakable horrors at the hands of oppressors will always have our support.
I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that we advance policies that protect the American people and provide relief for refugees both here and around the world.
Scott Garrett, R-Wantage, represents New Jersey’s Fifth Congressional District.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05) issued the following statement after voting in support of H.R. 4038, the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act.
“My top priority is the safety and security of the American people, and last week’s horrific attacks on Paris are a stark reminder that our enemies are willing to impersonate refugees and go to great lengths to commit acts of terror. Today the House voted to pause our refugee program until we can fully examine our vetting process to ensure that every refugee admitted to the United States does not pose a threat to our nation. The Syrian people seeking refuge need the continued support of the international community, and we must continue to work on a balance between helping these people and our national security. The United States is, and will continue to be, a world leader in humanitarian aid operations, and those who are suffering from unspeakable horrors at the hands of oppressors will always have our support while we work diligently to advance policies that protect our country.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05), Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises, spoke on the House Floor in support of H.R. 3189, the Fed Oversight and Modernization Act, to bring accountability and transparency to the Federal Reserve.
WATCH: Rep. Garrett calls on his colleagues to support
H.R. 3189, the Fed Oversight and Reform Modernization Act
“Despite the Fed’s failures to prevent the 2008 crisis, the Dodd-Frank Act bestowed upon the Fed tremendous new authority – authority it has used to try and regulate large swaths of the financial system and stamp out risk-taking in our capital markets,” said Garrett. “The Fed fails to conduct any kind of cost-benefit analysis of its rulemakings, and has conspired with a secretive international body – the Financial Stability Board – to re-write the rules of our financial system to the detriment of our capital markets. The FORM Act would simply shine a light on the Fed’s regulatory operations so that the American public can actually see what this powerful agency is up to.”
Rep. Garrett has been a longtime critic of the Federal Reserve’s lack of accountability to Congress and the American people. He is the author of H.R. 113, the Federal Reserve Accountability and Transparency (FRAT) Act. The FRAT Act would ensure greater accountability and transparency at the Fed and re-establish Congress’ robust oversight over the agency’s rulemaking functions. In particular, the FRAT Act would require the Fed to increase its responsiveness to Congress, increase the transparency of its regulatory activities, and foster accountability in its international negotiations.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05), Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises, spoke on the House Floor in support of H.R. 1737, the Reforming CFPB Indirect Auto Financing Guidance Act.
WATCH: Rep. Garrett calls on his colleagues to support
H.R. 1737, the Reforming CFPB Indirect Auto Financing Guidance Act
The Dodd-Frank Act specifically exempts auto lenders from the grasp of the unaccountable Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), but bureaucrats are going around the law and using lenders as agents of government to regulate auto dealers. The CFPB has issued guidance based upon faulty and error-prone methods to determine the race and ethnicity of consumers based on nothing more than their last names and zip codes, restricting the ability of auto dealers to give discounted interest rates to consumers. Additionally, this guidance was issued without a notice and comment period, causing tremendous uncertainty in the auto lending market.
The Reforming CFPB Indirect Auto Financing Guidance Act (H.R. 1737) rescinds the CFPB’s flawed and misguided guidance relating to indirect auto lending, providing more opportunities for consumers—particularly those with low and moderate incomes—to receive the best financing available to purchase a car or truck. H.R. 1737 will produce a more informed and transparent process by requiring the CFPB to study the impact of its policy on consumers and receive public input.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05) toured key railroad tracks and infrastructure carrying crude oil through NJ-05 in Haworth and Harrington Park with local officials. The tour allowed Congressman Garrett to see first-hand the measures being taken to prevent an environmental disaster and listen to the concerns of local elected officials about rail safety.
“The safety and security of northern New Jersey is my top priority, and it’s important that everyone knows that my office is a resource for the towns in my district,” said Garrett. “We need to ensure an open line of communication exists between local officials, the rail industry, federal officials, and New Jersey residents, and that’s why I’ve demanded answers from federal agencies such as the FRA, the DOT, and the OMB. I will continue to work with the mayors to guarantee the safety of our communities.”
With an increased number of trains carrying crude oil throughout the country, the safety and reliability of the train tracks and infrastructure carrying this oil through New Jersey is a top priority for Congressman Garrett. This year, he has called on the Department of Transportation (DOT) and OMB to finalize a rule about the safety of DOT-111 tank cars that carry crude oil, introduced an amendment to increase funding to rail safety and operations, and requested information from the Federal Railroad Administration about safety reports.
Press Release: Garrett Calls on FRA for Information about Safety and Reliability of NJ Train Tracks
Press Release: Garrett Introduces Amendment to Increase Funding to Rail Safety and Operations
Press Release: Garrett Calls on DOT and OMB to Finalize Hazardous Materials Rule for DOT-111 Tank Cars
Op-Ed: The Record - Repair infrastructure before taking on new projects
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05), Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises, questioned Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen about the Fed’s use of cost/benefit analyses on new regulations. Chair Yellen testified before the House Financial Services Committee today and admitted to Rep. Garrett that the Fed has no plans to conduct an economic analysis that would determine the cumulative impact that hundreds of new rules prescribed by Dodd-Frank and the Basel Committee will have on the economy. Watch the entire exchange below.
WATCH: Rep. Garrett (NJ-05) asks Fed Reserve Chair Yellen if the
Fed conducts cost/benefit analyses on their new regulations.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05), Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises, issued the following statement after the Financial Services Committee passed his bill, H.R. 3557, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) Transparency and Accountability Act:
“The Financial Stability Oversight Council is a powerful government body created by Dodd-Frank that holds closed-door meetings, refuses to publish substantive transcripts, and stonewalls requests from Congress when we need more information about its operations. This complete lack of transparency and accountability is an affront to anyone who believes that government should operate as a fair and open servant to the American people. With the committee passage of my bill, the FSOC Transparency and Accountability Act, the American people are one step closer to seeing behind the shroud of this secretive and unaccountable government body.”
The FSOC Transparency and Accountability Act would:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Scott Garrett, Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises, issued the following statement after Freddie Mac posted a third quarter loss of nearly half a billion dollars:
“We’re back to business as usual at mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Its third quarter losses are a harsh reminder of the not so distant past where its monumental failures cost hardworking American taxpayers untold billions of dollars. It’s not fair to expose American families to Fannie and Freddie’s liabilities, and it’s not fair to reward executives at these government-sponsored enterprises with huge salaries while taxpayers are on the hook for more bailouts. We need to stop the bailouts and limit executive pay as long as Fannie and Freddie’s misguided leadership continues to cost Americans money.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05), Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises, issued the following statement after voting against reauthorization of the controversial Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im):
"In a move that epitomizes Washington’s addiction to crony capitalism, Congress resurrected a dead government welfare program by voting to reauthorize the Export-Import bank today. Hardworking New Jersey families shouldn't be responsible for risky loans to well-connected, well-funded mega corporations, and they shouldn't have to pay for crony capitalism. I will continue to fight for my constituents who are fed up with business as usual in Washington by working to finally put an end to Ex-Im's corruption of the free market system.”
On June 30, 2015, the Ex-Im’s charter expired, forcing the bank to stop entering into new agreements to provide loans and loan guarantees. A seldom-used discharge petition was used to bring legislation reauthorizing Ex-Im directly to the House floor, bypassing the normal committee procedure. Ex-Im supports about one percent of all U.S. exports. Of that one percent, the vast majority goes to a handful of mega-corporations.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ-05) Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises, issued the following statement after voting for H.R. 1090, the Retail Investor Protection Act:
“Today the House stood up for New Jersey families who are scraping and saving their hard-earned money to have a comfortable retirement by giving them the ability to make investment choices that are right for them. If the Department of Labor (DoL) rule goes forward, access to good financial advice will become a privilege enjoyed only by the wealthy. The Retail Investor Protection Act will ensure that the DoL’s proposed rule won’t inflict even more damage on middle and lower income Americans who are seeking guidance from a financial professional about their retirement savings.”
The DoL’s proposed rule changes to The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) could limit the access of middle and lower income Americans to retirement planning and investment guidance. Because of the heightened liability for providers contained in the rule, account minimums will rise – in some cases to as high as $100,000 – leaving millions of Americans without access to their financial advisor. The Retail Investor Protection Act would prohibit the Secretary of Labor from issuing any regulation that would define when an individual would be considered a fiduciary until 60 days after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issues a final rule which would govern standards of conduct for dealers and brokers under the Dodd-Frank Act.
2232 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
On January 3, 2013, Congressman Scott Garrett was sworn in to the United States House of Representatives, representing New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District. Since his election to Congress in 2002, Scott has burnished himself with a reputation as a leading advocate of tax relief and pro-growth economic policies, earning him awards and accolades from a number of national taxpayer and small business groups.
As a senior member of the House Budget Committee, Scott is on the frontline of House Republican efforts to rein in runaway government spending and shrink our country’s ballooning national debt.
A member of the House Financial Services Committee since his election to Congress, Scott has been at the forefront of public policy deliberations dealing with issues related to the financial services industry, developing considerable expertise in areas ranging from securities and finance to insurance and regulatory oversight.
At the beginning of the 112th Congress, Scott was selected to serve as the Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Market and Government-Sponsored Enterprises. In this role, Scott presides over the subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In addition, the subcommittee also handles all matters related to capital markets activities such as business capital formation and venture capital, as well as derivative instruments.
As founder and Chairman of the Congressional Constitution Caucus, Scott is highly respected among his House colleagues as an authority on constitutional issues. Founded in 2005, the Constitution Caucus provides an effective forum for education on constitutional principles and discussion on the appropriate limitations of congressional action.
Born in Englewood, Scott has spent much of his life living in North Jersey, which has instilled in him a great appreciation for the outdoors. He is a leading proponent of preserving open space and protecting such natural treasures as the Highlands, the Musconetcong River and the Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge.
Prior to his election to Congress, Scott served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1990 to 2002, as the senior Assemblyman for the 24th Legislative District, Assistant Majority Leader, and Chairman of the Banking and Insurance Committee. During his tenure, he also served on the Education, Transportation, Agriculture & Natural Resources Committees, as well as the Joint Committee on Public Schools.
Scott earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Montclair State University and his Juris Doctor from Rutgers School of Law – Camden.
Scott resides in Wantage Township in Sussex County with his wife, Mary Ellen, and their two daughters, Jennifer and Brittany.
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Check out my op-ed about the need to pause our refugee program until we can fully examine our vetting process https://t.co/Lj6maR5Ejg
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My top priority is the safety and security of the U.S. Check out Facebook for my statement on the American SAFE Act https://t.co/f7Q0sEoTmR
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Held a roundtable to discuss how public companies interact with shareholders because many in NJ are investors. https://t.co/95sfhA3P8T
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Today we thank our brave veterans for preserving our rights and freedoms. May God bless our vets, and may God bless the USA. #VeteransDay
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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
In case you missed it, here is an op-ed I wrote that appeared in yesterday's Bergen Record. It’s about the need to pause our refugee program
My top priority is the safety and security of the American people, and last week’s horrific attacks on Paris are a stark reminder that our
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a bulletin that attempted to stop auto dealers from offering discounted rates to customers
If you have a pension or any kind of retirement savings portfolio, chances are you have an investment in a public company. Yesterday I organized