FSC Majority | Week in Review
Posted by Staff on March 28, 2014

Committee Holds First in a Series of Hearings on the Impact of the National Debt

On Tuesday, the Financial Services Committee held a hearing on the threat posed by our nation's rising national debt. Tuesday’s hearing was the first in a series of hearings the committee has planned to focus attention on the harmful impact the debt has on economic growth, jobs, national security, and the federal government’s ability to fund discretionary spending and entitlement programs.

"Recently, I saw in the newspaper a headline that read, ‘Debts, deficits - once a focus – fade from agenda.’ Shame on us if we allow that headline to prove accurate. In the last six years we’ve accumulated more national debt than we did in our nation’s first 200 years. We’re experiencing debt to GDP ratios not seen since the aftermath of World War II. That level of debt was episodic and temporary; today’s is structural and unsustainable. As a veteran of the Super Committee, Simpson-Bowles, and now chair of this committee, my laptop is regrettably full of reports describing our debt as ‘unsustainable.’ Yet denial, justification and inaction continue to rule the day," said Chairman Hensarling.

"That is why as Chairman I am launching a series of hearings to be focused on the pending debt crisis. There is much at stake. We can no longer allow the debt deniers among us to mask the threat or change the subject. I believe any reasonable examination of history and economics will show that we are indeed headed for a debt crisis. It is the most foreseeable crisis in our nation’s history. As members of the House of Representatives, we can disagree about the solutions to avert the crisis, but we should unanimously agree that debt matters and debt matters today," Hensarling said.

Expert witnesses urged Washington to refocus its attention on the debt crisis. “For those who think this is just a Wall Street problem, look at it this way: When 10 year Treasury notes go to seven percent, and as a result home mortgages go to 10 percent and car loans to 13 percent, families will have fewer dollars,” said David M. Cote, Chairman and CEO of Honeywell, in his testimony.“That’s now a Main Street problem.”

The witnesses agreed that low-income Americans would be some of the most hurt if Washington fails to act now and change our fiscal path.

Allegations of Discrimination and Retaliation Against CFPB Employees to Be Focus of Hearing Next Week

Allegations that the CFPB has engaged in discrimination and retaliation against its employees will be the subject of a Financial Services Committee Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing next week.

The subcommittee hearing comes amid reports, first published in the American Banker, that CFPB managers “show a pattern of ranking white employees distinctly better than minorities in performance reviews used to grant raises and issue bonuses” and that “management has been accused in several cases of favoring Caucasian men and of creating a hostile work environment.”

"The revelations uncovered in the American Banker story are extremely troubling,” said Chairman McHenry. “Coupled with the significant number of discrimination claims filed by CFPB employees, this raises serious questions about the management of the Bureau.”


Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick | Fitzpatrick Highlights Newtown, PA Student Letters in Financial Services Hearing 

“Mr. Chairman, these letters have all been received in my office since January this year – and they’re all about the national debt. The interesting thing about these letters is that every one of them was written by a teenager concerned about the national debt,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick.

Weekend Must Reads

Dallas Morning News | Chairman Hensarling "National Debt Matters in a Big Way"

'Debt matters — and we can’t keep waiting for the next election or next generation to tackle it. To quote a Kenny Chesney song, “Everybody wants to go to heaven … but nobody wants to go now.” If we don’t “go now,” it’s not just our children, but many of us who will soon live in smaller homes, compete for fewer jobs with shrinking paychecks, live in a less secure America, and be limited to small, timid dreams. This is America. We can and we must do better.

Wall Street Journal 
| Obama's IMF Gambit

One of President Obama's favorite legislative gambits is wait and hurry up. Witness his attempt, which failed Tuesday in the Senate, to link urgent aid for Ukraine to International Monetary Fund changes negotiated by G-20 countries four years ago.

American Banker | DOJ’s 'Operation Choke Point': An Attack on Market Economy 

History teaches that when government bureaucracies try to direct economies, stifled creativity, distorted markets and low economic growth are inevitable results. One of the easiest and most insidious ways for bureaucrats to control the U.S. economy is through the banks, directing who gets – and who can't get – loans and other essential banking services. That's happening today, and it ought to alarm and frighten all of us.

Investor's Business Daily | Reaganomics Vs. Obamanomics: Two Wholly Different Outcomes

Contrary to President Obama's prescription of more government spending and regulation, President Reagan diagnosed government as the problem and prescribed a plan of lowering tax rates and reducing regulations to free firms and workers from disincentives to invest and work.
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