Rep Cmte Financial Services


Washington, Sep 23 -

Treasury Secretary Faces ‘Aggressive Questioning’ From Committee

Republicans on the Financial Services Committee confronted Treasury Secretary Jake Lew at Thursday’s hearing about the Obama Administration’s decision to pay cash to Iran, labeled by the U.S. State Department as the “foremost state sponsor of terrorism.”

Secretary Lew “faced aggressive questioning from Republicans over the details of the administration’s transactions with Iran,” reported the Washington Examiner in its coverage of the hearing.  Secretary Lew described the fact that the transactions were made in cash as “a technicality.”

Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), noting that “cash is the currency of terrorism,” responded that it was not a technicality “to those on the receiving end of Hezbollah missiles in Israel.”

During his questioning of Secretary Lew, Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee Chairman Scott Garret (R-NJ) noted that members of Congress are outraged by news that employees at Wells Fargo & Co. opened as many as two million unauthorized customer accounts and that some are calling for executives’ compensation at Wells Fargo to be “clawed back.”

Politico Pro reported that Chairman Garrett suggested Secretary Lew’s compensation “should have been clawed back when Lew worked at Citigroup” during the financial crisis.

"The entire incident [at Wells Fargo] now has people clamoring that regulators be tough when they finalize executive-compensation rules," Chairman Garrett said. "Was any of your money ever clawed back for the time you were [at Citi]?"

“The secretary acknowledged that he was not subject to any action,” the Washington Examiner reported.

House Approves Iran Financial Transparency Bill

The Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act, approved by the Financial Services Committee and sponsored by Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME), passed the House on Wednesday with strong bipartisan support.

Approved 282-143, the bill requires the Treasury Secretary to develop and post online a list estimating the funds and assets held by Iran’s top political and military leaders.  Along with this estimate would be a description of how officials acquired these assets and how the assets are being deployed.  The report would be posted on the Treasury Department’s website in English but also translated into the three main languages used by the Iranian people so they might better understand the nature of their economy and how corruption is harming their fellow citizens.

“Iran’s top government leadership, including the Supreme Leader and the military and political leaders, have amassed substantial wealth from their tyrannical rule of their people. Reports have indicated these funds are being used to support and sponsor terrorism. I am proud Democrats and Republicans in the House acted today to move forward this important legislation to make these assets public so the world knows where the money is going,” said Rep. Poliquin.

Subcommittee Examines How Vouchers Open Up New Housing, Job and Educational Opportunities

The Housing and Insurance Subcommittee conducted a hearing on Tuesday to evaluate the effectiveness of the Housing Choice Voucher program.

“Too often, the regulatory regime surrounding public housing authorities has the ultimate effect of stifling opportunity for tenants.  Rules preventing flexibility and modernization for PHAs mean more work and fewer served.  Archaic rules surrounding housing vouchers limit the ability of residents to pursue financial independence.  All of this, combined with a budget situation that’s not improving, means that we need to think differently about the way we administer housing programs,” said Subcommittee Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) in his opening statement.

Enhancing voucher mobility will help recipients achieve economic independence by opening up better job, education, and housing opportunities. Improving the portability of housing assistance vouchers will also allow for greater efficiency and quality through non-profit organizations and other providers.

Hearing on Corporate Governance Held by Subcommittee

On Tuesday, the Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee held a hearing entitled “Corporate Governance:  Fostering a System that Promotes Capital Formation and Maximizes Shareholder Value.”

In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman Garrett noted that “well-funded and powerful activists have sought to turn the SEC’s mission on its head and advance their idiosyncratic agendas by way of the securities laws. This has resulted in consequences that range from minor nuisances to humanitarian disasters.”

Subcommittee Conducts Regulatory Oversight

Thursday’s hearing by the Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee focused on oversight of regulators, self-regulatory organizations and standards-setters.

“For the last six years, one of the primary objectives of this Subcommittee – and of the full Financial Services Committee – has been to hold regulators and other governmental bodies accountable to the American public who, lest we forget, ultimately pay the cost and have to contend with rules and regulations issued by Washington,” said Subcommittee Chairman Garrett.  “These hearings have allowed our Committee to take a deeper dive into the regulatory apparatus of agencies so that we can better understand their operations and agenda, and to ensure that they are actually carrying out their statutory missions.”

Member Spotlight

Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) |No Cash to State Sponsors of Terror - PERIOD

The confirmed reports of the Obama Administration’s covert payment of cash ransoms in exchange for American hostages are an abomination. This kind of action by the Executive Branch is reckless and puts more Americans at risk around the world.

Weekend Must Reads

Americans for Tax Reform |Rep. Hensarling’s Mission to Save the U.S. Economy

The Financial CHOICE Act is the solution to the stagnant economic growth that the United States has experienced over the past several years. By undoing key provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Financial CHOICE Act will add much needed stability to our financial system.

The Daily Signal |Opponents of CHOICE Act Aren’t Interested in Protecting Consumers

On Tuesday, Sept. 13, the House Financial Services Committee passed the Financial CHOICE Act. Among other needed financial reforms, the bill would make taxpayer-funded bailouts of big banks less likely and ease regulations that hurt community banks.

Wall Street Journal |Whipping Wells Fargo

What did federal regulators have to do with spotting or eliminating the problems at Wells? Nothing, but they did swoop in to get their cut of a $185 million fine.

Morning Consult |Congress Finally Acts to Rescue the ‘Unbanked’ Americans

Needless to say, the powerful retail lobby has mounted an all-out effort to strip repeal of the Durbin Amendment from the Financial CHOICE Act. But House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) and other lawmakers stuck to their guns, and the repeal was included in the Financial CHOICE Act as it was voted on in Committee.

Investor’s Business Daily |Dodd-Frank's Failure Reconfirmed

Dodd-Frank was sold to the American people as a fix for the financial system. Democrats shoved it through in 2010 without any Republican input. It's been a disaster, a major reason why the economy continues to stumble along at a 2% growth rate, well below the 3% norm.

In the News

Reuters | U.S. lawmakers have ‘grave concern’ over Boeing, Airbus Iran licenses

The Hill |Consumer bureau remains partisan target after Wells Fargo settlement

The Hill |House passes bill requiring report on Iranian leaders' assets

Washington Free Beacon |Obama Admin Seeks Pathway for Future ‘Ransom Payments’ to Iran

American Banker |GOP to CFPB: You Don't Deserve Credit for Catching Wells Fargo

Wall Street Journal |Regulators Take Heat Over Wells Fargo

Wall Street Journal |Fed Stands Pat, but Says Case for Rate Increase Has Strengthened

AP | House Approves Legislation Prohibiting Cash Payments to Iran

On the Horizon

Tuesday, September 27 at 10:00 A.M.

Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit

Examining Legislative Proposals to Address Consumer Access to Mainstream Banking Services"

Tuesday, September 27 at 2:00 P.M.

Monetary Policy and Trade

The Financial Stability Board’s Implications for U.S. Growth and Competitiveness

Wednesday, September 28 at 10:00 A.M.

Full Committee

Semi-Annual Testimony on the Federal Reserve’s Supervision and Regulation of the Financial System


Wednesday, September 28 at 2:00 P.M.

Housing and Insurance

The Impact of US-EU Dialogues on U.S. Insurance Markets


Thursday, September 29 at 10:00 A.M.

Full Committee

Holding Wall Street Accountable: Investigating Wells Fargo’s Opening of Unauthorized Customer Accounts