Chairman Hensarling Opening Statement at Today's Full Committee Markup
May 7, 2013 -
Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) delivered the following opening statement today at the committee’s markup of bipartisan legislation related to the JOBS Act and the derivatives title of the Dodd-Frank Act, and a bill to require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to conduct cost-benefit analyses of regulations:
"Today the Committee will consider nine separate pieces of legislation. Two to amend the bipartisan JOBS Act, six to amend Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act, and one to enhance the economic analysis performed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in carrying out its regulatory responsibilities.
"Pundits typically have said in this town that nothing is possible in divided government, that partisanship will always trump statesmanship. Today is a good day to prove them wrong and to work together to improve our economy. Eight of the nine bills that the Committee will consider today are bipartisan. Four of these bills were approved either by the full Committee or the House in the previous Congress with significant bipartisan support.
"Although the changes in some respects are modest, they are certainly not insignificant changes with respect to our constituents and a challenged economy. I want to thank our colleague, Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, for advancing the derivatives bills on which our committees share jurisdiction. Our committee certainly benefited by having him serve on both committees.
"The two bipartisan bills to amend the JOBS Act, H.R. 701 and 801, simply set a date certain for the SEC to complete the rules to amend Title IV, and clarify that savings and loan companies are eligible to avail themselves of the new shareholder registration and deregistration thresholds established by the Act- not unlike banks.
"The next six bills will impact the Dodd-Frank Act, Title VII of the derivatives market. This committee has debated the Dodd-Frank Act in the past; we will debate it in the future. Most on our side of the aisle feel it is dramatically bad. Most on this side of the aisle feel it is dramatically good. But I do not believe that is the debate we are having today. Hopefully all would recognize it is almost a 1,000-page bill that is complex, sweeping, dramatic, and has generated almost 10 pages of regulations for every one page of legislative text. And the regulations are roughly one-third complete.
"According to one analysis, the derivatives title has generated over 3,700 different tasks for those who are impacted. I think many of us have heard from farmers, ranchers, and factory owners in our district who are concerned that potentially there may be some unintended consequences to the legislation and that perhaps regulators have not thoroughly carried out Congress’ intention.
"We now have the benefit of almost three years to analyze the impact of the law, to be able again to analyze the unintended consequences of the law. We have the benefit of more knowledge. I believe this committee would be negligent in its duties, I believe, if we did not continue to monitor and improve the Act. I hope no one out of blind loyalty to a brand name will fail to work to improve this Act. Both Mr. Dodd and Mr. Frank previously signaled their willingness to improve the Act that bears their name. I hope that today will not be any different. Regardless of your thought of how good the Act might be, it was not chiseled into stone, it did not come down from Mount Sinai.
"At a time when far too many of our fellow countrymen remained unemployed or underemployed, the derivatives title is a critical one for those who are seeking employment to find work. We have heard again from our famers, our ranchers, our factory owners, from end users, how problematic the current interpretation of these laws may be- or again, an opportunity to add greater certainty where currently uncertainty lies. We know that how companies hedge their risk, so goes their employment opportunities.
"Last but not least, we will consider H.R. 1062 offered by Chairman Garrett. The bill will require the SEC to ensure that the benefits of regulations justify its costs. This is another idea that has bipartisan support. More than two years ago, President Obama issued an executive order requiring executive branch agencies to ensure the benefits of any rulemaking outweigh the costs. The President’s executive order does not apply to the SEC. Many believe it is time to ensure, again, a simple cost-benefit analysis."