WASHINGTON- Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) delivered the following opening statement at today’s committee markup of 10 bills to help grow the economy through regulatory relief and capital formation for our nation’s Main Street businesses:
Last year was an active and a productive year for our committee. We favorably reported 60 bills to the House. 43 of those bills were considered on the House floor, and all 43 passed with bipartisan support. 28 bills reached the President’s desk and were enacted into law. In an era of divided government, that’s not a bad record.
So as we start our first legislative markup of 2016, I want to commend members on both sides of the aisle for working on a bipartisan basis during the last year.Although I am not oblivious to the fact that it is an election year, I hope that we can continue in today’s markup and have more bipartisan legislation sent to the president’s desk, for we have much to do on behalf of the American people. Today we have an agenda with 10 bills – all of which are designed to help grow our economy and provide hardworking Americans with greater economic freedom. And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that one of my daughter’s favorite stars, Kanye West, recently reminded us, “The only true freedom is economic freedom.” I do that for the benefit of my daughter.
Let me briefly review the bills before us today.
I believe most of us would agree that our economy works better for all Americans when small businesses can focus on creating jobs rather than navigating bureaucratic red tape. That’s the idea behind the Fostering Innovation Act, the bipartisan bill sponsored by Ms. Sinema and Mr. Fitzpatrick, which would reduce compliance costs for growing businesses that benefitted from the JOBS Act in 2012.
Another needed bipartisan reform is the Expanding Proven Financing for American Employers Act, sponsored by Mr. Barr and Mr. Scott. The changes in this bill will ensure job creators on Main Street are able to obtain the affordable financing that’s essential for job growth.
In the climate of uncertainty brought about by a lot of complicated Washington regulations that harm our economy and destroy opportunities for growth, we’ll consider several bipartisan ideas to bring some common sense to Washington’s rule-making.
The bipartisan Investor Clarity and Bank Parity Act, sponsored by Mr. Capuano and Mr. Stivers, makes a technical modification to regulation in order to ensure that Main Street businesses and banks have access to affordable financing and growth capital they need.
Both the HALOs Act – Helping Angels Lead Our Startups – sponsored by Chairman Chabot of the Small Business Committee and Ms. Sinema and Mr. Hurt of our committee – and Mr. Garrett’s Main Street Growth Act will help ignite the entrepreneurial spirit by helping small businesses attract investments so they can open their doors even wider.
We’ve heard from countless witnesses who tell us that small community banks and credit unions – which had nothing to do with the financial crisis – desperately need relief from regulations designed for big banks. We know that services customers once took for granted – like free checking – are being eliminated because of the cost and complexity of these burdensome regulations.
Under bipartisan legislation we’ll consider today sponsored by Mr. Tipton and co-sponsored by Mr. Perlmutter, federal regulators will be required to tailor regulations to fit the diversity of financial institutions instead of wantonly imposing inefficient and damaging one-size-fits-all regulations that harm consumers and are suffocating their hometown banks and credit unions.
While protecting community financial institutions and their customers from Washington’s unfair regulatory assault, we’ll also discuss legislation to protect the vital due process rights of defendants in proceedings before the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Garrett has introduced the Due Process Restoration Act, which gives defendants the option of having their cases heard before a federal court rather than being forced to appear before the SEC’s in-house judges.
We’ll also give options to homeowners and lower their costs when it comes to flood insurance with the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act sponsored by Mr. Ross and Mr. Murphy. This bipartisan bill will remove unreasonable regulatory barriers that are hindering homeowners’ flood insurance options. There is no doubt the National Flood Insurance Program is badly in need of reform. It is $23 billion in debt to taxpayers, it is unsustainable, and it hinders the development of a competitive private flood insurance market which would give homeowners more choices, lower costs, and protect hardworking taxpayers from more bailouts.
Finally, we have two other bills on our agenda. The SAFE Transitional Licensing Act – sponsored by Mr. Stivers and Ms. Sewell – creates a 120-day grace period during which licensed mortgage loan originators retain the right to continue originating loans when they change jobs.
And Mr. Hill is sponsoring the Preserving Access to CRE Capital Act, which makes very modest changes to the risk retention rules, providing relief for certain commercial real estate loans that provide economic growth.
The members of this committee are to be commended for working together in a bipartisan manner to identify problems that create economic uncertainty and stifle growth, and for developing these solutions to those problems.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t wish everybody a happy Texas Independence Day for all the Texans on the committee and for those who wish they were.