Committee on Financial Services

Jeb Hensarling

Democrats: Big on Rhetoric, Short on Facts


Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling just rolled out the Financial CHOICE Act, a plan to replace the failed Dodd-Frank Act and grow the economy for all Americans.

And, like clockwork, left wing Democrats found the nearest possible microphone to trot out stale talking points about “Wall Street” and criticize the plan before they even knew what was in it.

Just like President Obama, we’re in “myth-busting” mode.  Here are some of their fact-free whoppers – and reality.


Claim: Senator Elizabeth Warren claimed the Financial CHOICE Act is nothing but a “wet kiss” for Wall Street full of “giveaways.”

Fact: The Big Banks on Wall Street oppose the Financial CHOICE Act (as the New York Times reported here).  And PoliticoPro reports that while big banks aren’t supporting the Financial CHOICE Act, “small banks, however, did not hesitate to get behind the plan.”

We remind Senator Warren that the CEO of Goldman Sachs said his big Wall Street firm would be “among the biggest beneficiaries” of Dodd-Frank and the CEO of JPMorgan Chase said Dodd-Frank benefits Big Banks by creating a “bigger moat” – “deterrents for small financial institutions to jump into new business lines and steal market share.”


Claim: Rep. Maxine Waters purported that the Financial CHOICE Act “
gives Wall Street a ‘get out of jail free’ card”

Fact: The Financial CHOICE Act imposes the toughest penalties in history for financial fraud, self-dealing, and deception to protect consumers and strengthen markets.  It demands real accountability from Wall Street. (Side note: It’s the Obama Justice Department – with its prosecutorial discretion and power – that has treated Wall Street as Too Big To Jail.)  


Claim: Senator Sherrod Brown claimed that we are attempting to “
make life easier for mega bankers and tougher for ordinary Americans.”

Fact: To use the Senator’s terminology, “mega bankers” are opposed to our plan. Why? Because Democrats gave them a competitive advantage with Dodd-Frank.  Today, Big Banks are the only ones with the manpower and resources to navigate Dodd-Frank’s regulatory maze. Community financial institutions don’t have the same luxury, which is why we’re losing an average of 1 per day.

And Senator Brown’s attack seems hypocritical since the Financial CHOICE Act takes a similar approach to one he proposed regarding capital standards.   

By the way, Senator:  It’s Dodd-Frank that has made life “tougher for ordinary Americans.” 

  • Before Dodd-Frank became law, 75 percent of banks offered free checking.  By 2015, just 37 percent of banks offered free checking.  Not in the 12 years Bankrate has been studying it have so few banks offered real free checking -- a checking account with no monthly fee, regardless of your balance or whether you do direct deposit.”
  • According to the Federal Reserve, when fully phased in, one-third of black and Hispanic mortgage borrowers will be hurt by Dodd-Frank’s Qualified Mortgage rule based solely on its rigid debt-to-income ratio; and one out of every five borrowers who borrowed to buy a home in 2010 will not meet the rule’s underwriting requirements.

Claim: White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest claimed the Dodd-Frank Act ensures “taxpayers will not be on the hook for bailing out the big banks.”

Fact:  The Orderly Liquidation Fund was created by Dodd-Frank and its sole purpose is to bail out Too Big To Fail banks. Here’s a pro-tip Josh, if it looks like a bailout and acts like a bailout, it’s a bailout. 


Claim:  “[T]here should be no more confusion about which party is on the side of big banks and large financial interests on Wall Street.” – White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest

Fact:  You got that right.  Unlike the failed Dodd-Frank Act, the Financial CHOICE Act will provide economic growth for all and bank bailouts for none.

Read More

Arbitration vs. Litigation


You’d be hard-pressed to find a consumer willing to pay more and wait longer only to receive a worse result. But that is what’s passing for consumer protection these days in the eyes of the CFPB and its new proposal to outlaw arbitration.

For the non-lawyers in the room, arbitration is a form of dispute resolution where parties agree to settle a claim with the help of an independent mediator, rather than hiring a lawyer, joining a class action lawsuit and waiting – sometimes for years – before our overcrowded court system can hear their case.  But the CFPB is trying to prohibit this more cost effective alternative and the many benefits it offers consumers. 

Without arbitration, consumers will be relegated to joining class action lawsuits, which is actually much worse for consumers according to a recent study from—wait for it—the CFPB. That’s right, the Bureau’s own 2015 study shows that only 13% of class actions are settled on a class-wide basis. And among the consumers eligible for relief in those 13% of cases, only 4% ever receive one red cent from the settlement.  In other words, class action lawsuits benefit just 0.5% of the class members…ONE-HALF OF 1%.  

Yet, that is what the federal government wants to force on consumers.

So what’s all this really about? Money.   

This CFPB rule is nothing but a big, wet kiss for trial lawyers who will reap the benefits of more litigation and exorbitant payoffs from class action lawsuits.

Seriously though, does anyone think that we need more litigation in America today?

The Bureau’s proposed rule would significantly increase costs, time-to-resolution, and the burden on our judicial system.

It may be a great deal for trial lawyers (like Saul), but it’s a bad deal for consumers.  


Read More

9 Seinfeld GIFs Help Explain the "Fiduciary" Rule


1. The Administration just published a rule to “protect consumers” which sounds great at first…

2. But then we realized that it’s 1,000 pages long. 1-0-0-0 pages…

3. And it doesn’t actually protect consumers at all.

4. The truth is this rule limits consumers’ choices and will make financial advice more expensive and less available – which is just wrong.

5. American consumers are already hurting and Washington bureaucrats shouldn't make it harder and more expensive for them to plan for retirement, send a child to college or open up their own small business. 


6. And when the Administration’s own experts warned this rule could hurt more than help, the political appointees basically said, facts, schmacts.


7. There is good news though – we have a BIPARTISAN solution to stop this harmful rule. You can read more about that here


8. We WILL fight to protect the retirement security and investment choices for all Americans.

9. And we WILL NOT let the Obama Administration deny millions of hardworking Americans access to reliable, affordable investment advice.

BONUS GIF: Thank you for reading.


Tweet: We WILL fight to protect the retirement security and investment choices for all Americans.  #4MainStreet We WILL fight to protect the retirement security and investment choices for all Americans. #4MainStreet

Tweet: This rule will limit consumers’ choices and make financial advice more expensive for those who need it most. #4MainStreet This rule will limit consumers’ choices and make financial advice more expensive for those who need it most. #4MainStreet

Tweet: Washington shouldn’t make it harder for Americans to plan for retirement, send a child to college or open a small business. #4MainStreet Washington shouldn’t make it harder for Americans to plan for retirement, send a child to college or open a small business. #4MainStreet
Read More

6 Photos from the Month of March


The Debt Clock
// Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testifies as the national debt continues to climb.

The Hoosier
// Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN) prepares to question a witness during a March hearing. 

The Gipper
// Chairman Jeb Hensarling waits near a portrait of a young Ronald Reagan as he prepares to address the Conservative Political Action Conference. 

“Maximize Pressure on Congress”
  // Secretary Jack Lew answers questions about a blistering new report that revealed the Treasury Department misled the public about the debt limit in order to “maximize pressure on Congress."

Article I
// Chairman Jeb Hensarling participates in a panel discussion with Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) about their project to restore Congress’s Article I powers.

The Snowmobiler // Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Bill Huizenga (R-MI) listens to witness testimony during a March hearing.

Read More

We are BIG fans of Dodd-Frank.


April Fools.

We are not fans of Dodd-Frank and we’re doing something about it.

Under Dodd-Frank (a.k.a. Washington’s Financial Control Law), Wall Street’s “too big to fail” banks have gotten even bigger, while community banks that had nothing to do with the financial crisis are being crushed under bureaucrats’ one-size-fits-all regulations. The harm to consumers has been very real.

We can do better.

In the coming months, Republicans on the Financial Services Committee will advance a bold alternative that will offer greater opportunity to all and demand more accountability from Washington and Wall Street.

Our better approach will toughen penalties for those who engage in wrongdoing and defraud consumers. It will end taxpayer-funded bailouts and empower consumers with more choices, not more red tape.

It will help level the playing field and grow the economy from Main Street up.

Instead of out-of-control bureaucrats and job-crushing regulations, we’ll offer working families more freedom and more opportunity, so they can achieve financial independence, raise their standard of living, and earn success.

And that is no joke.

Happy April. Stay tuned for more updates on our work.

Read More

7 Photos from February


WASHINGTON -- February may be the shortest month of the year, but the Financial Services Committee made every moment count – hosting 8 hearings, 1 markup, and passing bipartisan legislation to modernize federal housing programs, stop executive overreach and provide regulatory relief for Americans on Main Street.

7 photos from the Month of February:

The Debt // Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen makes her first public comments since the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates and since the national debt eclipsed $19 trillion.

The Markup
// Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) leads a markup of the Committee’s Budget Views and Estimates for Fiscal Year 2017. 

The Consumer
// Robert Sherill, a small business owner and former drug dealer, shares how his story of redemption wouldn’t have been possible without the help of a small dollar loan. 

// Housing and Insurance Subcommittee Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Ranking Member Emanuel Clever (D-MO) share a moment of levity during a recent hearing. 

Ash Wednesday
// Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) questions Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Ash Wednesday. 

Holding Them Accountable
// Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) poses tough questions to a CFPB witness about the Agency’s regulatory overreach. 

// Rep. French Hill (R-AK) listens as witnesses describe how Washington overregulation is “choking the U.S. economy and paralyzing American businesses.”  


Read More

Robert: A Story of Redemption and Financial Freedom




Robert Sherill was a drug dealer. He was young and he made some serious mistakes. In his own words, “When I needed money, I sold drugs.” Eventually his crimes caught up with him and after several years in prison, he emerged resolved to build a better life for himself.

The only problem was that no one would take a risk on Robert. He couldn't get a job. He couldn't get a loan. He couldn't even get a bank account. The deck was stacked against him. It was against these odds that Robert decided that if he was going to turn his life around, he needed to start his own business.

Enter a local small dollar lender who understood Robert’s situation and designed a financial product to fit his needs.

“The payday loan I got...was a lifeline,” said Robert. “It enabled me to start a business.”

Robert understood the loan needed to be paid back. He understood how much it would cost. And he made a decision that was right for him.

Today, Robert’s business employs 20 people and is still growing. He is a member of his local chamber of commerce and of the Better Business Bureau. He is a productive member of his community, but it all may have been for naught if he couldn’t access a small dollar loan.

That’s why the CFPB’s attempt to shutdown small dollar lenders through regulatory fiat is so disturbing. It threatens to cut off the roughly 51 million American consumers who are unbanked or underbanked from accessing what may be the only type of credit available to them.

What the CFPB is attempting is nothing less than a Washington power grab. It is decreasing consumer choice, increasing the cost of credit, and reducing credit availability to the most vulnerable Americans.

Republicans know that the greatest consumer protection is competition and choice.

If we promote more choices, then we can create more opportunities for low and moderate income Americans like Robert to rise up and build better lives for themselves. And if we don't -- if Washington is allowed to limit Americans' financial freedoms and choke off access to small dollar lenders -- then stories like Robert's will become a lot less likely.

The consequences of this regulatory overreach are very real, as demonstrated by Robert’s response to a lawmaker who asked where he may be today if he hadn’t had access to the credit to start his small business:

Read More

Media Buzz: Obama Misled Congress, Public During Debt Limit Crises



House Committee: Treasury Played Politics in Debt Ceiling Debate

"The U.S. Treasury for political purposes tried to suppress the existence of backup plans that would allow the government to continue making some payments in the event of a partial government shutdown, according to a newly published report from the House Financial Services Committee."


Secret Fed Docs Show Obama Misled Congress, Public During Debt Limit Crises

"Federal Reserve Bank of New York officials secretly conducted real-time exercises during the 2011 and 2013 debt-limit crisis that demonstrated the federal government could function during a temporary shutdown by prioritizing spending, even as Treasury Secretary Jack Lew publicly claimed many times that such efforts were 'unworkable,' according to a new report by the House Financial Services Committee obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation."


Treasury sought to withhold plans on debt: Report

"[E]mails from inside the New York Fed paint a picture of the Treasury as withholding information in order to gain leverage in the ongoing negotiations…Not everyone inside the New York Fed was happy with the Treasury's 'close hold' approach to the planning information. 'Agree the close hold here is crazy, counter-productive, and adds risk to an already risky situation,' wrote a New York Fed employee on Sept. 24, 2013."

Obama misled Congress on debt limit: House report

"The stunning revelation could fundamentally change the battleground between Capitol Hill and the White House heading into the next debt showdown early next year, because it means a president could no longer use the threat of a full government shutdown to win a debt hike."

GOP investigation: Treasury misled Congress, public about the debt limit

"The Obama administration considered prioritizing debt payments if the nation hit its borrowing cap, despite public assurances from the Treasury Department that such a plan would be unworkable… One internal email from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed that 'Treasury wants to maximize pressure on Congress by limiting communications about contingency planning.'"


Inside the Fed's `D-Day' War Games for Breach of U.S. Debt Limit

"Republicans on the panel said the documents show that the Obama administration misled the public about contingency plans during recent debt-ceiling showdowns and obstructed a subsequent congressional probe into the matter."

Obama Lied, and the Debt Ceiling Died

"What do you call it when an administration blatantly lies to the public to get its way in a debt ceiling fight, then covers it up for two years? For the Obama White House, it’s called 'par for the course.'"

The Obama Administration Misled Americans During the 2013 Debt-Ceiling Debate

"At the time, the White House and Treasury’s message was that there was no way to prioritize or sell anything. Well, as it turns out, documents subpoenaed by the House Financial Services Committee reveal that during the 2013 debt ceiling debate, 'the Obama Administration is not only capable of prioritizing payments in case the nation’s borrowing authority is not raised, it has run ‘tabletop exercises’ to prepare for such a contingency – contradicting earlier public statements from Treasury officials.'"

Probe: Obama Admin, Treasury Dept. Misled Nation on Public Debt Limit Plan

"One communication from the Federal Reserve was especially damning, saying, 'Treasury wants to maximize pressure on Congress by limiting communications about contingency planning.'


Subpoenaed Documents Reveal Obama Admin Deliberately Kept Congress in Dark Over Debt Ceiling Plans

"The Obama administration deliberately withheld information and kept Congress in the dark on how it was going to prioritize payments if the debt ceiling was not raised…”


House Report Says Treasury Secretary Misled Congress Over Debt Ceiling Risks

"Another internal email from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York complained, 'Treasury wants to maximize pressure on Congress by limiting communications about contingency planning,' according to the report."


Read More

7 Things President Obama CAN’T Say in His #LastSOTU


1.      A greater percentage of Americans are working than when I took office. 

2.      Community banks and credit unions are thriving 

3.      Too Big To Fail is a thing of the past.

4.      Our regulatory system has been streamlined

5.      Median household income has risen. 

6.      Taxpayers will never have to bailout Wall Street again. 

7.      New business startups have increased.


Read More

Still More Evidence Dodd-Frank Harms Hardworking Americans


It’s been a rough start to the year for the Dodd-Frank Act, as yet another nonpartisan study finds evidence that the massive law harms Americans. 

Not surprisingly, the new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) indicates an “increased compliance burden” among community banks and credit unions, which has “begun to adversely affect some lending activities, such as mortgage lending to customers not typically served by larger financial institutions…”

Meaning that, once again, we see that this law supposedly intended to rein in Wall Street is hurting Americans on Main Street. 

And it’s not going to get better.  As the GAO reports, “the full impact of the law remains uncertain” because the “array of new regulations” spewing forth from Dodd-Frank have yet to be finalized and fully implemented. 

Small hometown banks and credit unions tell the GAO the “trickledown effects” from this future “one-size-fits-all regulation” will fall on them.

The GAO report comes on the heels of a similar study by the Dallas Federal Reserve, which concluded that in the onslaught of Dodd-Frank regulations “more banks may become too small to succeed.”  

The Financial Services Committee is working to change this.  In 2015, 28 of our Committee bills were signed into law, including 6 dealing with Dodd-Frank.  In 2016, we’ll be working to present visionary proposals laying out a better vision for financial reform – bold ideas that promote more opportunities for low and moderate-income Americans, protect taxpayers from future Wall Street bailouts, and empower families and individuals to achieve financial independence. 

You can join our efforts and track our progress by signing up for regular updates here.

Read More

Contact Information

2129 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-7502
Fax 202-226-0471


Andy Barr


Robert Dold


Sean Duffy


Stephen Fincher


Mike Fitzpatrick


Scott Garrett


Frank Guinta


Jeb Hensarling


French Hill


Bill Huizenga


Randy Hultgren


Robert Hurt


Peter King


Mia Love


Frank Lucas


Blaine Luetkemeyer


Patrick McHenry


Luke Messer


Mick Mulvaney


Randy Neugebauer


Steve Pearce


Robert Pittenger


Bruce Poliquin


Bill Posey


Dennis Ross


Keith Rothfus


Ed Royce


David Schweikert


Steve Stivers


Marlin Stutzman


Scott Tipton


Ann Wagner


Lynn Westmoreland


Roger Williams


Recent Videos