WASHINGTON – Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, released the following statement on Thursday after the State Department admitted that the United States would not hand over $400 million in cash to Iran until it released four American hostages:
“There’s a word for that. It’s called ransom. But two weeks ago, President Obama insisted to the American people that the $400 million cash payment to Iran was not in any way, shape, or form ransom. The Administration clearly has a lot of explaining to do. Already, Hensarling’s committee has asked the Justice Department, the Treasury, and the Federal Reserve for all records related to the secret delivery of this cash to Iran. The State Department’s admission that this money was indeed a ransom payment intensifies the need for Congress to fully investigate this outrageous action by the Administration and the urgency for the Administration to turn over these records immediately. Just months before making this ransom payment to Iran, the Obama Administration was threatening ordinary Americans with criminal prosecution for proposing private ransom payments to win the release of their family members. But it seems the Obama Administration will bend over backwards to accommodate the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism."Read More
WASHINGTON –US Congressman Jeb Hensarling (TX-05) recently wrapped up a series of town hall meetings across the 5th Congressional District of Texas. It was an opportunity for Constituents to get an update on what’s happening in Congress and for East Texans to ask the Congressman questions about the issues they care about.
Congressman Hensarling focused his Congressional update on his efforts in Washington to roll back job-killing regulation and re-establish the Constitutional balance of power between the executive and legislative branches of government.
One of those efforts is the Article I Project (A1P), which he co-leads with Senator Mike Lee (R-UT). A1P was established to develop and promote an agenda of structural reforms that will strengthen Congress and reassert the power of “We the People” established by the Constitution.
“Our democracy requires that the nation’s laws be made by representatives who are elected by the people,” said Congressman Hensarling. “The modern regulatory state flips this constitutional logic on its head, severing the line of electoral accountability and consent that connects the people to their government. This leads to government officials who are insulated from public control. With that, accountability evaporates, the public good is subordinated to special interests, and wealth is redistributed up the economic scale from working Americans to the powerful and well-connected. By putting Congress, and therefore the American people, back in charge of the federal regulatory state, we can begin the hard work of winning back the people’s trust and rebuilding this still exceptional nation.”
Hensarling’s work to rein in Washington red tape and executive overreach also includes repealing and replacing the President’s financial control law known as the Dodd –Frank Act. As Chairman of the Financial Services Committee, Hensarling has introduced the Republican proposal for Wall Street reform called the Financial CHOICE Act. It’s a proposal that Hensarling says will result in “economic growth for all and bank bailouts for none.”
“Dodd-Frank has failed. It has contributed to the slowest, smallest, weakest and worst economic recovery of our lifetimes,” said Hensarling. “We must instead offer all Americans greater opportunities to raise their standards of living and achieve financial independence by replacing Dodd-Frank with real reforms that work.”
National security and the President’s dangerous nuclear deal with Iran was also a topic of conversation across the 5th District. As a result of that deal, which Rep. Hensarling voted against, the President signed an executive order in January lifting some of the U.S. economic sanctions on Iran. Since that time, the Boeing Company, one of America’s largest aerospace companies, has negotiated a deal to sell that country more than 100 aircraft. Many in Congress, including Hensarling, are concerned that the deal between Boeing and Iran could benefit Iran’s military. Hensarling stressed his work on the Financial Services Committee to prevent American assets from falling into the hands of the world’s largest state sponsor of terror.
“One of the last things we should be doing is allowing Boeing to export military fungible aircraft to Iran and providing that country access to the U.S. financial system. We are working at the Financial Services Committee to ensure that American taxpayers and depositors will not have their funds used to back financing for the Ayatollahs and Iran’s terrorist regime.”
Press Coverage of Town Hall Events
Athens Review: “Hensarling Speaks in Athens”
Palestine Herald Press: “US Congressman Hosts Town Hall Meeting, Legislative Update”
Jacksonville Progress: “Hensarling Hosts Town Hall Meeting in Rusk”
Tyler Telegraph: “Congressman Jeb Hensarling Outlines ‘Better Way’ Agenda”
WASHINGTON—This week, the House marked the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s dangerous nuclear deal with Iran by passing several bills to hold Iran accountable for its illegal behavior and to block the President from granting more concession to the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.
“The Iranian regime’s dishonesty with regards to its nuclear program leaves it wholly undeserving of the trust that the administration has placed in it. Iran is a dangerous actor that has doubled down on its ballistic missile program and continues to commit human rights abuses. Stringent sanctions are what gave the United States leverage in our dealings with Iran in the first place, yet the Obama Administration continues to relieve the pressure. The bills we passed this week would ensure that the U.S. does not continue to reward Iran for bad behavior and would stop the President from granting Iran access to the U.S. dollar.”
The bills passed this week in Congress include the following:
No 2H2O from Iran Act (H.R. 5119)
In April, the administration announced an $8.6 million purchase of a nuclear chemical called heavy water from Iran. That means $8.6 million could be used to directly subsidize the regime’s nuclear program or fund terrorism against the West. This bill blocks the administration from purchasing heavy water from Iran and prohibits funds from being used to issue licenses for these purchases.
United States Financial System Protection Act (H.R. 4992)
Rumors have circulated for months that the administration is also considering granting Iran access to the dollar, which would be yet another unprecedented concession above and beyond the letter of the nuclear agreement. This would give Tehran access to billions of dollars in additional commerce to supplement the billions already provided in the form of nuclear sanctions relief. This bill, which comes from the House Financial Services committee which Hensarling chairs, would prevent Iran’s access to the dollar until the regime ends its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and ceases its support for terrorism.
Iran Accountability Act (H.R. 5631)
President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran did nothing to address the regime’s egregious human rights record, illicit ballistic missile program, or its continued role as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. While the deal lifted billions of dollars of nuclear-related sanctions, it promised to leave in place those related to Iran’s human rights abuses, ballistic missile development, and terror financing. This bill imposes new sanctions on Tehran for these dangerous activities.
Each of these bills now heads to the Senate for consideration.
WASHINGTON—Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, released the following statement after the House passed the Conscience Protection Act:
“The House took another important step today to protect life and defend every American’s First Amendment Right to follow the dictates of their conscience. The Conscience Protection Act ensures that those who are morally opposed to abortion are not forced by the government to pay for it, support it, or perform it.
“Currently, there is longstanding, bipartisan, annual federal appropriations language, known as the Weldon Amendment, which protects health care providers from discrimination if they choose not to participate in abortions. Unfortunately, that’s not enough. The Obama Administration’s Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services has distorted the law to allow states to violate the conscience rights of Americans. Among several reported cases, nurses in California have recently been forced to participate in life-ending procedures under the threat of losing their employment. This is unconscionable, unacceptable and flouts our fundamental Constitutional rights.
“In my heart and in my head, I can come to no other conclusion than that life begins at conception. As a matter of law, science, and faith, there is no more fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution than the right to life. No American should ever be compelled against his or her will to contribute to the loss of innocent human life. This bill helps to ensure that won’t happen.”
The Conscience Protection Act passed in the House 245-182.
WASHINGTON—Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and co-founder of the Article I Project (A1P), released the following statement after the House passed and he voted for the Separation of Powers Act (H.R. 4768). This bill, introduced by Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX), is the first A1P initiative produce by the project’s members.
“Article I of the Constitution states that ‘all legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States.’ Article II says that the president ‘shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.’ The lines separating one branch from the other couldn’t be clearer.
“Yet, instead of a limited federal government operating from a clearly defined enumeration of powers, we have seen the balance of power tilt wildly towards the Executive Branch and become a leviathan that has metastasized into the nation’s largest creditor, debtor and lender; its largest employer, property owner and tenant; its largest insurer, health care provider and pension underwriter.
“This process has accelerated as we currently have a President who governs with his pen and his phone rather than the Constitution’s system of checks and balances. A prime reason Congress has been relegated to the legislative sidelines is through a legal doctrine established by the Supreme Court known as Chevron Deference. Chevron simply says that federal judges must give deference to an agency’s interpretation of an ambiguous statute, essentially granting federal agencies the ability to rewrite the laws passed by Congress.
“Obviously, this is a significant departure from our Founders’ vision of a federal government. This imbalance is exactly why Senator Mike Lee and I launched the Article I Project earlier this year—to re-establish Congress as a co-equal branch of government. The Separation of Powers Act simply helps to restore the balance of power that our Founders bequeathed us and helps to restore their vision of the people’s right to self-governance.”
For more on Congressman Hensarling and Senator Mike Lee’s Article I Project, click here.
WASHINGTON—U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, delivered the following remarks on the House Floor after the tragic police shooting in Dallas that left five officers dead, seven wounded:
I rise today as a proud and sad citizen of Dallas, Texas.
I’m so proud of that thin blue line that keeps all of our citizens safe, including my wife, my son, and my daughter…So sad for the fallen, their families, their sons, their daughters, their spouses.
This is a time of mourning. It is a time of prayer, but it is also a time of justice—swift and sure justice for anyone who engaged in this act of evil.
Mr. Speaker, it is also a time for healing and a time to remember Martin Luther King’s dream—every American’s dream—that one day our children will grow up to be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.
I dream also that one day we may decide that it is not a controversial statement to say “all lives matter”—because it is not a time for us, it is not a time for them; It is only a time for “We the People” to treasure all life and respect the dignity of all of God’s children.
And, it’s time to look into our hearts and ask the fundamental question: “Today, will I promote a color conscious society, or will I promote a color blind society? Today, will I exploit the wound, or will I attempt to heal the wound?”
May the God who gave us life and liberty heal the wounded of our nation, heal the wounded of the city of Dallas, to lift up the families of the fallen and bless our land with greater peace and greater understanding.
I yield back.
Congressman Hensarling also joined Fox News’ Martha MacCallum on America’s Newsroom this morning to address the tragedy.
Martha MacCallum: Now joining us is Congressman Jeb Hensarling. His district covers parts of the city of Dallas which was hit so hard and so devastatingly last night with the loss of five police officers and we wait on news on the others. Welcome, sir. Good to have you here this morning.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling: Thank you.
Martha MacCallum: First, your thoughts on Dallas and then I want to get your thoughts on the Congressional Black Caucus.
Rep Jeb Hensarling: Well, this doesn’t hit close to home, this hits home. Dallas is where my wife and children are. They were a few miles away, so as a Dallasite this hits us all in the gut. It hits us all in the heart. We grieve, we pray, but we also demand justice. It’s a very, very tough time, but I’m proud of our Dallas police force. I’m very proud of that very thin blue line. From time to time I see them in coffee shops, and I thank them. I should do it more. We should all do it more. 99.99% of those officers who put on that uniform, they put their lives on the line for us so that we get to go to sleep safe and secure at night. You can’t say “thank you” enough, but it is a real kick in the gut. It is a real wound in the heart, and now the question is are people going to try to exacerbate this wound? Are they going to try to heal this wound? It’s time for America to come together and heal this wound.
Martha MacCallum: So true, and when you look at the comments made by the Congressional Black Caucus, we also heard from Nancy Pelosi this morning, Paul Ryan. You’re going to hear a lot of people speaking out, and I wonder what comes of it. Congressional Black Caucus, very frustrated specifically with Republicans in Congress, and they say the lack of ability to bring a vote to the floor and have an up or down vote on their measures on protecting us from gun violence. Your thoughts?
Rep Jeb Hensarling: Well, number one, I don’t think this is a situation to be exploited. Number two, I’m not sure that for every single tragedy that happens in America there’s necessarily a legislative solution to come out of Washington, D.C. Number three, the Second Amendment is enshrined in our Constitution, and it is something that we ought to treat with the utmost of respect. I believe in the Second Amendment just as much as I believe in the First Amendment, just as much as I believe in the Fifth Amendment as well. Again, there are those who may want to try to exploit this for partisan gain. I would hope that would not be the case. We need to get the facts. There are many different problems that we have to deal with, including the dealing with mental health issues, which a colleague of mine, Dr. Tim Murphy put forth a great bill that we voted on. In addition, ultimately there’s a question of what is in our hearts. We can’t change people’s hearts in Washington, D.C., but you know it’s just a few miles from here that Martin Luther King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. We look forward to our children one day being judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. We’re not living out Martin Luther King’s dream, and we should. That’s the world we want our children to live in. It shouldn’t be a controversial statement to say that “all lives matter” in America. That’s how we should feel. People are going to have to look in their heart. Do they want a color conscious society or do they want a color blind society? I think ultimately, one of the great American heroes, one of the great American icons, Martin Luther King said he wanted a color blind society, and we’re not moving towards that, and that’s a tragedy, and people are going to have to search deep and look in their own hearts.
Martha MacCallum: Boy, I think you’ve said it very well Congressman. I just saw a picture online of two police officers—one black officer, one white officer—written on their hands “His Life Matters” with an arrow pointing to the other one.
Rep Jeb Hensarling: Profound.
Martha MacCallum: I heard Dr. Ben Carson speak this morning, and he said, “Imagine for a moment a country without the protection of police officers.” Just let your mind go there for one moment, and think about what that would be like.
Rep Jeb Hensarling: I can’t imagine, and again, I’m thinking about a wife, and a twelve-year-old son, and a fourteen-year-old daughter who are back in Dallas as we speak who are miles away. Just a few miles away from downtown Dallas at our home in east Dallas, and I’m just so grateful that there are men and women who are willing to don that blue uniform of the Dallas police or the DART, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit. I am just so thankful and we are so blessed in Dallas to have brave men and women all over the country willing to do that, and they need to be appreciated, and they need to be respected. They should be revered and praised for what they do.
Martha MacCallum: You know, we know the motivation of one of those shooters who was killed on the scene. He said he wanted to kill white police officers and kill white people. Now they’re still questioning the other three, and we don’t know yet their connection to any of this. What kind of charges would follow in the state of Texas to that kind of motivation if they share it?
Rep Jeb Hensarling: Well, I’m not an expert on Texas state law as a federal legislator, but again we just want justice to be swift. We want justice to be sure, and it just speaks to an evil in one’s heart. Again, I think it’s time to have a very sobering moment. Everybody who’s involved in political debate has to decide: are you part of a society that wants to divide us up by race and by gender and supposedly by class, or do you want to bring us together? Is this an “Us vs. Them” society or is this a “We the People” society where everyone is a unique individual, everyone is a child of God, and every life is to be revered? That’s not something we can legislate out of Washington. That has to do with who we are fundamentally as a people, and what is in our heart and what is in our head, and our relationship with our Creator who has endowed us with life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We cannot have liberty, we cannot have life, we cannot have the pursuit of happiness unless we think about ourselves as “We the People” and everyone as a unique individual. They’re not judged by the color of their skin, they’re not judged by the color of their uniform, they ought to be judged by the content of their character.
Martha MacCallum: Well, life and liberty was taken from five police officers last night as they were carrying out their duty on the streets of Dallas to protect a very sacred right of Americans, and that is the right to protest peacefully in the street. Congressman Jeb Hensarling thank you very much, sir. Good to have you with us today.
Rep Jeb Hensarling: Thank you.
WASHINGTON—Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) released the following statement after five officers in Dallas were shot and killed in the line of duty:
“This tragedy literally hits close to home. This act of evil and cowardice took place just a few miles away from where my family goes to sleep every night—a place I’ve called home for more than 30 years. This tragic event reminds us that so much of our safety depends on that thin blue line—those that put their lives on the line for us each and every day.
“This is a day of mourning, a day of prayer, but it is also a day to say ‘thank you’ to every man and woman who wears the law enforcement uniform. Our hearts are broken for the loved ones of the victims. We pray for their families. We pray for healing hands on those who have been wounded. And, we pray for swift justice on the perpetrators of evil.
“My team stands ready to assist the Dallas Police Department, DART and the Mayor’s office in any way that we can. And, it is my hope and prayer that in America we get past ‘us vs. them’ and realize that the only collective that counts is ‘We the People.’”
WASHINGTON—Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) released the following statement after Speaker Ryan sent a letter to the Director of National Intelligence requesting that he refrain from providing classified briefings to former Secretary Clinton:
“I completely support Speaker Ryan’s call to end Secretary Clinton’s access to classified information. The FBI Director, James Comey, made perfectly clear that Secretary Clinton misled the public, mishandled classified information, and put our national security at risk while serving as Secretary of State. Hillary Clinton is no longer a public official, and she should not continue to have access to any sensitive information. There cannot be a double standard—one for the Clintons and one for everybody else— especially when it comes to our safety and security.”Read More
WASHINGTON— Congressman Jeb Hensarling (TX-05) issued the following statement in response to the Department of Defense decision to change regulations and allow transgender individuals to serve in the military:
“The number one job of our nation’s military is to defend our country and protect our freedoms. Decision-making at the Pentagon should always be driven by what is best for our national defense and for ensuring that our men and women are ready and able to carry out their mission. Unfortunately, for eight years, we’ve seen the Obama Pentagon make decisions that all too often appear to put self-serving politics ahead of sound national defense policy.
“The Obama Administration has yet to answer the serious questions that have been raised about how this decision impacts the military’s individual readiness requirements. Furthermore, such a momentous shift in a policy affecting our military should not have been unilaterally imposed by the Obama Administration. Instead, this decision should have thorough legislative input, oversight, and authority from the people’s elected representatives in Congress. House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry has said he will be looking at legislative options to address the readiness issues associated with this policy, and I look forward to working with him in that effort.”
WASHINGTON—Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement after the Benghazi Select Committee released its final report:
“Today, the Select Committee on Benghazi released their final report after more than two years, 81 witnesses and 75,000 pages of documentation. I am proud of my colleague and friend, Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), for all of his hard work to shed light on the events of that tragic day and to provide some answers for the American people and the families of those who lost their loved ones.
“Chairman Gowdy approached this responsibility as a dogged pursuit of the truth with no preconceived notions for what the outcome might be. Unfortunately, Democrats on this Committee and the Administration have spent the last two years blocking, obfuscating, and questioning Chairman Gowdy rather than pursuing the facts.
“Sadly, this report reveals that a series of miscalculations and failures led up to that fateful day when four Americans lost their lives. The lives of these heroes were further dishonored when the Administration put political expediency ahead of telling the American people the truth—the attack on September 11, 2012, was a terrorist attack, not a political demonstration gone awry.
“The Select Committee on Benghazi not only investigated and documented the truth about that tragic incident, but its investigation also exposed other systemic wrongdoing by Secretary Clinton—which continues to be the subject of an FBI investigation.
“I would echo Chairman Gowdy’s urging to the American people to read this report for themselves, look at the evidence collected, and reach their own conclusions. As he said, you can ‘read this report in less time than our fellow citizens were taking fire and fighting for their lives on the rooftops and in the streets of Benghazi.’”Read More
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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