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FSC Majority | Week in Review
Posted by Staff on May 22, 2015
Committee Passes 13 Jobs Bills

The committee passed 13 bills on Wednesday to help Main Street businesses gain access to the capital they need to grow and create jobs. 

"We still have millions and millions of our fellow countrymen, hardworking moderate-income taxpayers, who find themselves with stagnant to lower paychecks; bank accounts that are less than before the great economic crisis -- and they need more jobs, better jobs, and you can’t have more and better jobs without more and better capital formation,” said Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).

By passing the JOBS Act in 2012, Congress took an important bipartisan step toward easing the regulatory burden on small businesses and startups seeking access to capital markets.  However, more needs to be done to eliminate and streamline the regulations that make it difficult for them to open their doors and create jobs.

For more information about the 13 bills approved by the committee, click here.

Subcommittee Examines How the Financial Sector Addresses Cyber Threats

The Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), held a hearing on Tuesday to focus on how to protect financial institutions and consumers’ financial data from cyberattacks

"We should all remember that no single institution or system is 100 percent protected from cyberattacks. The sector faces threats posed by a growing array of cyber criminals, nation-state actors, and terrorist organizations," said Chairman Neugebauer.

The U.S. financial sector is a critical asset and part of the nation’s infrastructure.  A broad-scale cyberattack that disrupts financial markets or payment system could bring enormous harm to our economy.

Because cyber threats against the financial sector are constantly evolving, subcommittee members discussed the importance of information sharing – both within the financial sector and between the financial sector and the federal government.  Sharing information about threats and vulnerabilities would contribute to  the early warning of threats and likely attacks.

Subcommittee Conducts Oversight of Rural Housing Service

The Housing and Insurance Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), convened a hearing on Tuesday to review the Rural Housing Service's (RHS) budget, operations and overall performance.

"Like many of my colleagues, I represent a rural area. My hometown has 336 residents. It’s a place where it takes two jobs to make a living, and where the incredible benefits of living in rural America far outweigh the challenges," said Chairman Luetkemeyer. "The status quo simply isn’t acceptable. Rural Americans deserve more. RHS should heed suggestions made by GAO [Government Accountability Office] and increase interagency collaboration, and consider consolidation where appropriate."

Subcommittee Members expressed their concerns regarding the effectiveness of RHS programs and their impact on American families living in rural communities.

"If we're moving people from dependency on the government to independence, self-sufficiency, that to me is success. That would be a program I would be interested in supporting," said Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY).


Task Forces Dives into Links Between Terrorism, Crime and Corruption

The Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing, chaired by Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), held a hearing on Thursday to listen to testimony from experts on the links between terrorism, crime, and corruption.

Although terrorist organizations and criminal actors have different motives in their quest for finances, these groups may cooperate with each other in order to achieve their own objective. Beyond individual anecdotes and case studies, a 2014 network analysis by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point suggests that criminal and terrorist groups may be highly interconnected.

"Terrorist groups have become entwined with trans-national criminal syndicates or, in some cases, evolving into the role themselves - engaging in criminal activities which yield greater profits than simply relying on state sponsorship or big pocket donors. These activities range from, but are not limited to, corruption, drug trafficking, human smuggling and extortion," said Chairman Fitzpatrick. "It is this type of connection - the intersection between terrorism, crime and corruption – that today’s hearing will focus on, including current techniques being used by these groups, effectiveness of the current U.S. policy in combatting them, and where these tactics can be improved upon."

One of the hearing’s witnesses, Professor Celina Realuyo, testified that “financial intelligence and investigative tools like ‘following the money trail’ are instrumental to better understand, detect, disrupt and dismantle these illicit networks of terrorism, crime and corruption. Tracking how terrorists and criminals raise, move, store and use money has been instrumental in degrading and defeating groups such as Al Qaeda Core, the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka and the FARC in Colombia.”


MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

Rep. Dennis Ross | Operation Targets Legal Businesses

Whether you utilize any of the targeted businesses or not, think about how future administrations could implement similar programs that "choke off" other forms of business. Where does it stop? Legitimate businesses rely on their banks to grow, hire more employees, pay taxes and provide basic services and products vital to our communities. Moving forward, as a member of the House Financial Services Committee, I will continue to fight to end Operation Choke Point.

Weekend Must Reads


Wall Street Journal | Government Warns of Systemic Risks It Created

Taxpayers, you’ve been getting a bargain from the regulators who sit on the U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Council. You might have thought you were paying them simply to identify risks in the financial system. But it turns out they’ve been creating them too. And you’re getting this additional service at no extra charge—at least until the next financial crisis and bailout.

The Weekly Standard | Mortgage Mess

The answer to the financial crisis may have been hidden in plain sight, but the failure to see it was willful. A powerful coalition of interest groups dominated housing policy for a generation, and they still do—despite the damage that policy caused in the Great Recession.

Fortune | Jeb Hensarling takes a swing at corporate welfare

People feel constrained. The regulatory burden, as you know, can fall disproportionately on small businesses. Financial regulators have gone from under-reacting to over-reacting. I have an 11-year-old and sometimes when every teacher gives you homework on the same night, you just feel overwhelmed. And that’s what we’re seeing now, particularly with our community institutions. The sheer volume, complexity, and weight of regulatory costs just drags them down.

Forbes | If You Like Your Financial Adviser, You Should Be Able To Keep Your Financial Adviser

The substantive flaws go on, but it is important to acknowledge that there are politics in play here. The administration withdrew this rule because it was too politically sensitive prior to the 2012 election. Now, they are rolling it out with a progressive senator known for bashing Wall Street.

The Hill | Reform regulation to let more banks serve Main Street

But there has been one area of bipartisan agreement: financial regulation should not stifle banks’ ability to deliver credit to small and medium-sized business located on Main Streets in communities all across the U.S. These are the firms that are critical to economic growth and the source of the most of the new job creation in the U.S.


 
  In the News

Bloomberg | Committee Clears Package of 13 Bills, Most to Ease Parts of JOBS Act, Dodd-Frank

Politico Pro | 13 SEC Bills Advance in House

Augusta Free Press | Financial Services Committee approves two Robert Hurt bills

MinnPost | Emmer named to House Financial Services Committee

Bucks County Courier Times | Terrorists Buying Our Used Cars, Analyst Tells Congress

Wall Street Journal | Republicans Ask Fed’s Yellen to Testify Four Times More a Year

Washington Post | Small businesses in Washington and around the country are rushing to go public. Here’s why.

MPBN News | Poliquin Expresses Concerns About Terrorism Financing

Associated Press | Lawmaker Subpoenas Fed, Seeking Evidence of a Leak
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