Chairman Hensarling Opening Statement at Full Committee Markup of Jobs Bills
May 7, 2014 -
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) delivered the following opening statement at today’s full committee markup of several bills designed to help grow the economy, create jobs, and relieve the regulatory burden for community financial institutions:
Today the Committee meets to consider a number of different bills to help relieve the burden of regulatory red tape from our financial institutions, our entrepreneurs, and our business startups. Many of these bills have bipartisan support, and I hope before the day is over the rest will enjoy bipartisan support. They should because these bills are on the one hand modest, but they are all designed, again, to provide regulatory relief for job creators at a time when tens of millions of our fellow countrymen remain unemployed or underemployed.
We received some bad news recently that more than 800,000 Americans, almost a million, left the workforce last month alone. Many simply could not find a job to make ends meet, no matter how hard they tried. Millions of others remain out of work. The latest economic figures show that during the first quarter of this year the economy slowed to a stall, with a barely discernable 0.1 percent annual growth rate.
And just yesterday, the Brookings Institution released a study showing that the American economy is less entrepreneurial now than at any point in the last three decades. According to this report, during 2009, 2010 and 2011 businesses were closing down faster than they were opening up.
The report goes on to say that if this decline continues, America will suffer “a continuation of slow growth for the indefinite future.”
So when we, as a committee, have the opportunity to help arrest this trend, to help put Americans back to work, to help create jobs, we have the responsibility to do so and hopefully to do so on on a bipartisan basis. This why our committee has already guided 22 regulatory relief bills to House passage. The vast majority of those bills, once again, have received strong -- not just token -- but strong bipartisan support.
Now it is most regrettable that the Senate, where all good ideas go to languish and fail, has indeed failed to take up a single one of those bipartisan bills. I would strongly encourage my Democratic colleagues, who may spend more quality time with the Senate Majority Leader and the President than do I, to encourage them to take up these bills, to contact their friends and colleagues in the Senate and in the White House and urge them to pay attention to what our committee has put forth on a bipartisan basis. This would indeed be very, very constructive. But again, despite the Senate’s failure to act, we must act.
Now I have been told on the eve of this markup that many of my friends on the other side of the aisle are upset over IRS matters, Benghazi matters and other matters. I assure my friends we, too, are upset over these matters, perhaps for different reasons. And if there are those who wish to use this markup to debate these issues that is certainly their right and privilege. But I assure you the majority of us today are going to work to try to get America back to work and to attempt to pass these bills to empower our entrepreneurs and our job creators, to put our fellow countrymen back to work, to end the anxieties we hear too often.
Those people like Adam from Mineola, Texas in my district, who wrote me: “The complexity of all of the different rules and regulations that the government imposes…creates a climate of incomprehensible confusion and uncertainty” for job creators. It should not be that way.
We’ve got to move forward for the sake of people like Joseph from Mabank, Texas, who I represent in Congress, who wrote me, “I am a disabled veteran and have been without work for over a year. [A]ll I want is to have a good paying job, and let the rest happen as it comes.” All members of Congress owe a debt of gratitude to Joseph of Mabank and the least we can do is help empower more companies to hire him and get him that good-paying job that he so richly deserves.
In order to do this, we are going to have to work together to alleviate the burden of complex and costly regulations. I want to thank the members on both sides of the aisle who have worked together on a number of these bills.
In addition, we had noticed in a markup the matter to subpoena certain records and information from the departments of Justice and Treasury. I am somebody who is patient, but my patience has limits. This has to do with a matter that has been the subject of bipartisan interest. Due to a conversation I had with the Ranking Member on the floor last evening, we haven’t quite seen eye-to-eye on the process. In the interest of trying to work on this together, I do not anticipate the matter will come before this committee during this markup. Stay tuned as the Ranking Member and I try to see eye-to-eye on moving forward on these matters.
Again, I encourage all of my colleagues at this time to work together to get these bills passed in a strong fashion and put America back to work.