Posted by on February 29, 2016

WASHINGTON -- February may be the shortest month of the year, but the Financial Services Committee made every moment count – hosting 8 hearings, 1 markup, and passing bipartisan legislation to modernize federal housing programs, stop executive overreach and provide regulatory relief for Americans on Main Street.

7 photos from the Month of February:

The Debt // Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen makes her first public comments since the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates and since the national debt eclipsed $19 trillion.

The Markup
// Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) leads a markup of the Committee’s Budget Views and Estimates for Fiscal Year 2017. 

The Consumer
// Robert Sherill, a small business owner and former drug dealer, shares how his story of redemption wouldn’t have been possible without the help of a small dollar loan. 

// Housing and Insurance Subcommittee Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Ranking Member Emanuel Clever (D-MO) share a moment of levity during a recent hearing. 

Ash Wednesday
// Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) questions Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Ash Wednesday. 

Holding Them Accountable
// Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) poses tough questions to a CFPB witness about the Agency’s regulatory overreach. 

// Rep. French Hill (R-AK) listens as witnesses describe how Washington overregulation is “choking the U.S. economy and paralyzing American businesses.”  


Posted by on February 16, 2016



Robert Sherill was a drug dealer. He was young and he made some serious mistakes. In his own words, “When I needed money, I sold drugs.” Eventually his crimes caught up with him and after several years in prison, he emerged resolved to build a better life for himself.

The only problem was that no one would take a risk on Robert. He couldn't get a job. He couldn't get a loan. He couldn't even get a bank account. The deck was stacked against him. It was against these odds that Robert decided that if he was going to turn his life around, he needed to start his own business.

Enter a local small dollar lender who understood Robert’s situation and designed a financial product to fit his needs.

“The payday loan I got...was a lifeline,” said Robert. “It enabled me to start a business.”

Robert understood the loan needed to be paid back. He understood how much it would cost. And he made a decision that was right for him.

Today, Robert’s business employs 20 people and is still growing. He is a member of his local chamber of commerce and of the Better Business Bureau. He is a productive member of his community, but it all may have been for naught if he couldn’t access a small dollar loan.

That’s why the CFPB’s attempt to shutdown small dollar lenders through regulatory fiat is so disturbing. It threatens to cut off the roughly 51 million American consumers who are unbanked or underbanked from accessing what may be the only type of credit available to them.

What the CFPB is attempting is nothing less than a Washington power grab. It is decreasing consumer choice, increasing the cost of credit, and reducing credit availability to the most vulnerable Americans.

Republicans know that the greatest consumer protection is competition and choice.

If we promote more choices, then we can create more opportunities for low and moderate income Americans like Robert to rise up and build better lives for themselves. And if we don't -- if Washington is allowed to limit Americans' financial freedoms and choke off access to small dollar lenders -- then stories like Robert's will become a lot less likely.

The consequences of this regulatory overreach are very real, as demonstrated by Robert’s response to a lawmaker who asked where he may be today if he hadn’t had access to the credit to start his small business:

Posted by on February 11, 2016


House Committee: Treasury Played Politics in Debt Ceiling Debate

"The U.S. Treasury for political purposes tried to suppress the existence of backup plans that would allow the government to continue making some payments in the event of a partial government shutdown, according to a newly published report from the House Financial Services Committee."


Secret Fed Docs Show Obama Misled Congress, Public During Debt Limit Crises

"Federal Reserve Bank of New York officials secretly conducted real-time exercises during the 2011 and 2013 debt-limit crisis that demonstrated the federal government could function during a temporary shutdown by prioritizing spending, even as Treasury Secretary Jack Lew publicly claimed many times that such efforts were 'unworkable,' according to a new report by the House Financial Services Committee obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation."


Treasury sought to withhold plans on debt: Report

"[E]mails from inside the New York Fed paint a picture of the Treasury as withholding information in order to gain leverage in the ongoing negotiations…Not everyone inside the New York Fed was happy with the Treasury's 'close hold' approach to the planning information. 'Agree the close hold here is crazy, counter-productive, and adds risk to an already risky situation,' wrote a New York Fed employee on Sept. 24, 2013."

Obama misled Congress on debt limit: House report

"The stunning revelation could fundamentally change the battleground between Capitol Hill and the White House heading into the next debt showdown early next year, because it means a president could no longer use the threat of a full government shutdown to win a debt hike."

GOP investigation: Treasury misled Congress, public about the debt limit

"The Obama administration considered prioritizing debt payments if the nation hit its borrowing cap, despite public assurances from the Treasury Department that such a plan would be unworkable… One internal email from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed that 'Treasury wants to maximize pressure on Congress by limiting communications about contingency planning.'"


Inside the Fed's `D-Day' War Games for Breach of U.S. Debt Limit

"Republicans on the panel said the documents show that the Obama administration misled the public about contingency plans during recent debt-ceiling showdowns and obstructed a subsequent congressional probe into the matter."

Obama Lied, and the Debt Ceiling Died

"What do you call it when an administration blatantly lies to the public to get its way in a debt ceiling fight, then covers it up for two years? For the Obama White House, it’s called 'par for the course.'"

The Obama Administration Misled Americans During the 2013 Debt-Ceiling Debate

"At the time, the White House and Treasury’s message was that there was no way to prioritize or sell anything. Well, as it turns out, documents subpoenaed by the House Financial Services Committee reveal that during the 2013 debt ceiling debate, 'the Obama Administration is not only capable of prioritizing payments in case the nation’s borrowing authority is not raised, it has run ‘tabletop exercises’ to prepare for such a contingency – contradicting earlier public statements from Treasury officials.'"

Probe: Obama Admin, Treasury Dept. Misled Nation on Public Debt Limit Plan

"One communication from the Federal Reserve was especially damning, saying, 'Treasury wants to maximize pressure on Congress by limiting communications about contingency planning.'


Subpoenaed Documents Reveal Obama Admin Deliberately Kept Congress in Dark Over Debt Ceiling Plans

"The Obama administration deliberately withheld information and kept Congress in the dark on how it was going to prioritize payments if the debt ceiling was not raised…”


House Report Says Treasury Secretary Misled Congress Over Debt Ceiling Risks

"Another internal email from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York complained, 'Treasury wants to maximize pressure on Congress by limiting communications about contingency planning,' according to the report."


Posted by on January 12, 2016

1.      A greater percentage of Americans are working than when I took office. 

2.      Community banks and credit unions are thriving 

3.      Too Big To Fail is a thing of the past.

4.      Our regulatory system has been streamlined

5.      Median household income has risen. 

6.      Taxpayers will never have to bailout Wall Street again. 

7.      New business startups have increased.


Posted by on January 05, 2016

It’s been a rough start to the year for the Dodd-Frank Act, as yet another nonpartisan study finds evidence that the massive law harms Americans. 

Not surprisingly, the new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) indicates an “increased compliance burden” among community banks and credit unions, which has “begun to adversely affect some lending activities, such as mortgage lending to customers not typically served by larger financial institutions…”

Meaning that, once again, we see that this law supposedly intended to rein in Wall Street is hurting Americans on Main Street. 

And it’s not going to get better.  As the GAO reports, “the full impact of the law remains uncertain” because the “array of new regulations” spewing forth from Dodd-Frank have yet to be finalized and fully implemented. 

Small hometown banks and credit unions tell the GAO the “trickledown effects” from this future “one-size-fits-all regulation” will fall on them.

The GAO report comes on the heels of a similar study by the Dallas Federal Reserve, which concluded that in the onslaught of Dodd-Frank regulations “more banks may become too small to succeed.”  

The Financial Services Committee is working to change this.  In 2015, 28 of our Committee bills were signed into law, including 6 dealing with Dodd-Frank.  In 2016, we’ll be working to present visionary proposals laying out a better vision for financial reform – bold ideas that promote more opportunities for low and moderate-income Americans, protect taxpayers from future Wall Street bailouts, and empower families and individuals to achieve financial independence. 

You can join our efforts and track our progress by signing up for regular updates here.

Posted by Staff on January 04, 2016

Read on Medium

In a new report, the Dallas Federal Reserve acknowledged what we all know to be true: community banks are being crushed by the Dodd-Frank Act.

The report specifically warned of the consequences of the regulatory burden on small banks saying:

“…more than five years after [Dodd-Frank]… smaller community banks are finding it increasingly tough to survive...”

“Smaller community banks appear to have a valid concern that their compliance burden is rising and the playing field is becoming more uneven.”

The report went on to say:

“Regulatory oversight should match the level of risk an institution poses to the financial system and economy at large. Otherwise, more banks may become too small to succeed.”  

Translation? One-size-fits-all regulations do not work. And what’s worse is that it’s hurting community banks and credit unions and the hardworking Americans on Main Street who rely on them.

The report also cited the dwindling number of community banks—detailing the fact that since 2008, no new community banks have entered the marketplace. Supporters of Dodd-Frank said they were taking on the big banks.  Instead, with Dodd-Frank the big banks are getting bigger and the small banks are becoming fewer

The Financial Services Committee is working to change this.  In 2015, 28 of our Committee bills were signed into law, including 6 dealing with Dodd-Frank.  In 2016, we’ll be working to present visionary proposals laying out a better vision for financial reform – bold ideas that promote more opportunities for low and moderate-income Americans, protect taxpayers from future Wall Street bailouts, and empower families and individuals to achieve financial independence. 

You can join our efforts and track our progress by signing up for regular updates here

Posted by Staff on December 18, 2015
Subcommittee Questions CFPB's Consumer Data Collection Practice

On Wednesday the Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee held a hearing to find answers regarding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) collection of consumer data.

Subcommittee Chairman Sean Duffy (R-WI) warned, "We don’t know – and the American people don’t know – how much personally identifiable information the CFPB retains, how that data is protected and what the Bureau plans to do with all that data."

The American Banker reported on Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick's (R-PA) concerns regarding ongoing data breaches and the vulnerability of consumer data at the hands of the CFPB. "Increasingly our cyber infrastructure and private records are becoming the target of both state and non-state actors alike."

"For these reasons it is alarming that any organization… would collect any consumer data and store it in a single location like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau does," continued Rep. Fitzpatrick.

The Hill quoted Rep. Mia Love's (R-UT) concern over lawmakers' casual treatment of data collection in its coverage of the hearing"It is absolutely shocking to me the level of regulatory power these agencies have over the American people," she said.

Chairman Hensarling Continues Call for Transparency at the Fed

Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) responded to the Federal Reserve's interest rate hike with a continued call for more transparency at the Federal Reserve.

"The real question isn’t whether the Fed should be raising interest rates or lowering interest rates; it’s whether the Fed is giving our economy sustainable interest rates. Getting back to sustainable, market-based interest rates is better for consumers, investors and our economy overall. Unsustainably low interest rates clearly didn’t solve the problem or else Americans today wouldn’t be stuck in the slowest, worst-performing economic recovery of our lifetimes," remarked Chairman Hensarling.

The House of Representatives passed the Fed Oversight Reform and Modernization Act (FORM Act), sponsored by Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) on November 19. The FORM Act would require the Federal Reserve to choose a monetary policy and communicate it to the American people. The FORM Act does not infringe on the Federal Reserve's independence to choose its monetary policy, but simply sheds light on its decision-making.

"The FORM Act will help expand economic opportunity because consumers, job creators and investors will all have more confidence in making financial plans. The more Americans can understand how the Fed will act, the better they can plan for the future," added Chairman Hensarling.

For more infomation on H.R. 3189, the FORM Act, click here.


Rep. Scott Tipton | Tipton questions agency’s handling of personal data

Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez, a member of the committee, questioned the witnesses about the claim that the CFPB did not collect any personal identifying information that could be compromised by pointing out that the agency collects identifying markers from consumers such as gender, age and ethnicity.

Weekend Must Reads

Boston Globe | New regulations: headache for bankers, boon for bank lawyers

Talk to a community banker about the Dodd-Frank law and all the rules out of Washington as a result, and you’re bound to hear about the headaches. But the new rules have been a boon for these banks’ lawyers, the ones who are behind the scenes, assembling community bank mergers.

Wall Street Journal | The Fed’s Uncertain Leap Forward

Some uncertainty about future monetary policy is inevitable. The Fed has greatly added to that uncertainty by its decision to employ forward guidance rather than to follow a monetary rule. Unlike a rule, forward guidance reflects the thinking of policy makers today but does not bind them to action tomorrow. We have seen that play out through 2015. The chief effect of Wednesday’s action and accompanying statement is to once again increase uncertainty in financial markets.

Morning Consult | The U.S. Department of Labor’s Misguided ‘Fiduciary’ Rule

Both Democratic and Republican legislators have expressed concerns about proposed regulations from the Obama administration that will change the way Americans receive financial advice. The effect of these rules, if enacted as written, will be negative for savers in Northern Virginia as well as in the rest of the nation. They will disrupt an individual’s ability to access advice during the process of investment and retirement planning.

  On the Horizon 

Stay tuned!

  In the News

American Banker | Republicans Hammer CFPB Over Data Collection Efforts

Washington Examiner | Gingrich goes after consumer data collection

The Hill | Gingrich slams consumer protection panel's data collection

Morning Consult | Newt Gingrich Brings Fireworks and Intrigue to CFPB Hearing

Wall Street Journal | Republicans Push Proposal to Let Banks Get Back Money From Fed

Politico Pro | Republicans gather support for Fed dividend change in omnibus

DSNews | Do the CFPB’s Massive Data Collection Efforts Pose a Threat to Americans?

New York Times | Fed Raises Key Interest Rate for First Time in Almost a Decade

HousingWire | Moody’s: TRID Violations Found in 90% of Recently Reviewed Mortgages

Posted by on December 17, 2015

Unsustainably low rates didn’t solve the problem.   

If they had, Americans wouldn’t be stuck in the slowest, worst-performing economic recovery of our lifetimes.  Too many people are trapped in part-time work and more Americans than ever before have left the workforce all together. We can and must do better. 

We need economically sustainable rates.

The real question isn’t whether the Fed should be raising interest rates or lowering interest rates; it’s whether the rates are economically sustainable. Market-based interest rates are better for consumers, investors and our economy overall.

A more predictable Fed would mean a stronger economy. 

When the American market is whipped into a frenzy over whether or not the Fed will act, it hurts real Americans on Main Street. Fortunately, the House has passed a bipartisan measure to make the Fed more transparent and accountable than ever before. The Fed Oversight Reform and Modernization Act would expand opportunity by providing consumers, job creators and investors more confidence in making financial plans.  

Posted by Staff on December 11, 2015
Committee Passes Bipartisan Bills Aimed at Economic Growth and Consumer Protection

The Financial Services Committee on Wednesday approved several bipartisan bills designed to protect consumers, grow the economy and strengthen government transparency.

The committee also voted to extend the Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing so it can continue examining how the U.S. can improve its ability to stem the flow of terrorist financing.

Chairman Jeb Hensarling remarked, "I am proud that the Financial Services Committee continues to pass bipartisan legislation, all focused on the priorities of the American people. These bills can make a positive difference in people’s lives and help build a healthier economy with more opportunities for all. In addition, our Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing will continue its important work to fight the financial war against terrorists."

To view the list of bills that passed, click here.

Committee Questions FSOC Members on "Too Big to Fail" and Lack of Transparency

The Committee also held an oversight hearing Wednesday on the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). Eight of FSOC’s 10 voting members appeared as witnesses.

Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) said in his opening statement, "FSOC typifies not only the shadow regulatory system but also the unfair Washington system that Americans have come to fear and loathe: powerful government administrators, secretive government meetings, arbitrary rules, and unchecked power to punish or reward. Thus, oversight and reform is paramount."

In its coverage of the hearing, Reuters reported that Republicans on the Committee criticized FSOC for being “secretive and unwilling to share information.”  The American Banker reported that FSOC members “found themselves on the defensive that they were keeping lawmakers and the public in the dark about their activities.”

"You need to become more like us -- more transparent, more open to the American public," Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) advised the witnesses.

"'Do you know that this body gets intelligence briefings from the FBI in regards to ISIS and terrorist attacks?” asked Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI). “I would argue that American lives are in danger by these radical extremists. So we can get FBI briefings, but you won't give us briefings on the analysis that has gone into designation of certain companies in America?"

In addition to concerns about FSOC’s lack of transparency, Committee members “zeroed in on why insurance companies should have been designated” as SIFIs when FSOC’s independent insurance expert dissented in the decisions to designate Prudential and MetLife, reported the American Banker.


Rep. Frank Guinta | VIDEO: Guinta Bill Rebukes CFPB to Restore Discounts to Car Buyers

New Hampshire Republican Rep. Frank Guinta (R.-N.H) sponsored a bill that would restore the ability of car dealers to offer discounts to car buyers out of the commission they earn from financing the purchase. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau banned the practice, claiming their was a potential for discrimination.

Weekend Must Reads

Charlotte Observer | Number of community banks keeps falling

Nationwide, the number of traditional banks fell by more than 800 from 2007 through 2013. Most of that decrease was due to the dwindling number of community banks. As community banks consolidate, more market share is being concentrated in the hands of the nation’s biggest banks.

Wall Street Journal | Shouting ‘Racism’ Is a Career Move

A House Financial Services Committee investigation last week does a good job exposing the multiple dishonesties behind the CFPB’s crackdown on supposedly racist auto loans. The story’s most troubling aspect, though, is that Congress, not the press, took the lead in exposing it.

Detroit News | Dodd-Frank slows small business growth

Loans to small businesses are off sharply, down 38 percent since before the passage of the Dodd-Frank bill, which added layers of regulations on the financial industry.

Wall Street Journal | The Consumer Bureau Cover-Up

The Republican staff of the House Financial Services Committee has released a trove of documents showing that CFPB officials knew their information was flawed and even deliberated on ways to prevent people outside the bureau from learning how flawed it was.

Investor's Business Daily |
Hillary Clinton Doubles Down on Dodd-Frank’s Failure

Clinton crows that her re-regulation plan has already won the “praise” of people like former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank. What a persuasive endorsement. Frank, the former chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, announced on the eve of the crisis that he wanted to “roll the dice” on the housing market – which he did, losing bundles of taxpayer money. 

    On the Horizon 

December 16, 2015 10:30 a.m.
Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Hearing

"Examining the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Mass Data Collection Program"

  In the News

Washington Examiner | GOP Will Offer Banking Reform Plan to Counter Obama’s

Reuters | Republicans slam U.S. financial stability council as secretive

Wall Street Journal | Hearing Brings New Test for the Financial Stability Oversight Council

American Banker | FSOC Dangerously Secretive, Lawmakers Charge

The Hill | GOP airs gripes to financial oversight panel

Politico Pro | FSOC's insurance member wants Dodd-Frank changes

Politico Pro | Woodall in hot seat at FSOC hearing

The Hill | GOP airs gripes to financial oversight panel

Morning Consult | Republicans Say Financial Regulators Are Unresponsive

Politico Pro | Financial Services Committee approves data security, public housing, investment reform bills

Morning Consult | Top Finance Regulators Brace for Financial Services Showdown

Bloomberg | House Panel Approves Measure Easing Small Bank Debt Issuance

American Banker | House Panel Approves Data Security and Condo Bills

Posted by Staff on December 04, 2015
House Passes Hensarling's Amendment Including 15 Bipartisan Financial Services Bills

On Thursday the House of Representatives passed a five-year highway bill that includes Chairman Jeb Hensarling's (R-TX) amendment of 15 bipartisan financial services bills. These bills have all previously passed the House as stand-alone measures with strong bipartisan support.

Chairman Hensarling remarked on the passage of his amendment, "It is very difficult to come by bipartisan bills, but I am proud to say that the House Financial Services Committee has passed numerous pieces of bipartisan legislation. They are modest because they are bipartisan, but they are important and can make a difference in people’s lives."

To view the bills that passed, click here.

Subcommittee Discusses Legislation to Promote U.S. Capital Markets and Protect Due Process Rights

The Financial Services Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee held a hearing on Wednesday to continue the Committee's work on promoting Main Street small businesses.

The committee reviewed five legislative proposals to help facilitate capital formation in U.S. markets and to ensure that defendants' rights are protected when dealing with a Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) enforcement case.

"Four of these bills would build upon the success of the 2012 JOBS Act by lowering barriers to capital formation for small and growing businesses," said Subcommittee Chairman Scott Garrett (R-NJ) said in his opening statement. "The 5th bill [...] would allow defendants in litigated SEC enforcement cases to have their case removed to a federal district court, thereby availing themselves of the due process protections under Article III of our Constitution and relevant federal law."

Chairman Garrett expressed concern that “In recent years, the SEC has transformed itself into a veritable judge, jury and executioner as it has brought more and more enforcement cases before its in-house tribunal, where they are heard by administrative law judges, who are themselves employees of the SEC," Bloomberg reported.


Rep. Bill Huizenga | Reform bill would make Federal Reserve accountable

Today, the Federal Reserve has an unprecedented level of influence and control over the financial system, and despite this unbridled concentration of power the Fed has failed to accurately predict and respond to changing economic conditions. Because of these shortcomings, nearly every generation of hardworking Americans, since the Fed’s creation, has suffered through a financial crisis. No bureaucracy, especially one with as poor a record as the Fed, should be allowed to go unchecked.

Weekend Must Reads

Washington Examiner | Report: Less than 1 percent of all Obama regs tested for costs

The administration frequently says that new rules have positive net benefits, but CEI's vice president for policy, Clyde Wayne Crews Jr., explained that most of the rules are never subjected to a cost analysis, raising concerns that politics is at play.

Investor's Business Daily | Obama Regulators Inflate Consumers' Bank Complaints

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau documents reveal the out-of-control agency is larding a first-of-its-kind national Consumer Complaint Database with bogus accusations against financial lenders.

U.S. News | Take Away the CFPB's Keys

In a stunning rebuke to the president who created the CFPB, 88 House Democrats voted in favor of the change and to clip the agency's wings just a bit. The bill is now headed to the Senate where, one hopes, it will pass and go to Obama's desk and be signed into law. If you want to argue discrimination, you should have to prove actual discrimination – not just submit a statistical model that is vulnerable to the "garbage in, garbage out" defect. Hopefully other regulatory agencies will get the message.

    On the Horizon 

December 8, 2015 10:00 a.m.
Full Committee Hearing

"Oversight of the Financial Stability Oversight Council"

December 8, 2015  2:00 p.m.
Full Committee Markup

"Markup of HR 2187, HR 2205, HR 2287, HR 3700, HR 3784, HR 3791, HR 4168, and the Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing Resolution of 2016"

  In the News

Wall Street Journal | Consumer Watchdog Pushed Discrimination Case on Vulnerable Firm: Report

New York Times | Consumer Bureau Faulted on Auto Lending Inquiry

American Banker | House GOP Accuses CFPB of Improper Auto Lending Crackdown

Washington Examiner | GOP says feds using 'junk science' to attack auto dealers

Politico Pro | House Republicans slam CFPB's auto-lending enforcement

American Banker | CFPB Critics See Glimmer of Hope in Auto Lending Bill

Bloomberg | CFPB Unconstitutional, House Panel Chair Tells Court

Bloomberg | Lawmakers, Others Question SEC In-House Court

Wall Street Journal | Former Official Says SEC Beset by ‘Crisis of Confidence’ Over In-House Judges

Wall Street Journal | SEC Faces `Crisis of Confidence’ Over In-House Court, Ex-Official Says