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Hensarling Delivers Opening Statement at Committee Markup


Washington, Nov 14 -



House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) delivered the following opening statement as the committee began consideration of 22 measures on Tuesday:

We have a number of bills in front of us today so this will be a long, but I trust productive, mark-up. Most of the bills have a common theme and that theme is to once again ensure that our economy is working for all working Americans who, for too many years, have seen no pay increases, have seen their wealth never recover from the great financial crisis, and have seen their dreams diminish.

Fortunately, we see a number of positive signs happening in our economy today. The economy has created more than two million jobs over the past 12 months and unemployment is at a 16-year low.  Business owners aren’t the only ones who are more becoming more optimistic, so are consumers.  Consumer confidence is at its highest level in nearly 17 years.  Record stock market highs mean that retirement and pension funds are more robust.  And we have seen our economy grow at more than three percent for two consecutive quarters. 

So, again, we do see a lot of initial good news for the American people, and we certainly welcome the change from the previous eight years of anemic growth. But clearly we cannot stop now.  We have to do all we can to continue to move the American economy forward and the American people toward a more prosperous future.  The bills our committee will begin to debate today, almost all of them will help us move forward down that path.

They will increase investment opportunities for more Americans.  They will provide smaller businesses with greater access to the capital markets so those businesses can grow and create jobs.  And certainly, they will deliver much-needed regulatory relief to community banks and credit unions so those Main Street financial institutions can better serve their customers. 

Many of us look forward to voting on fundamental tax reform this week, but tax reform alone cannot assure us sustained growth of three plus percent GDP. We need regulatory relief as well, and many of the bills we have today will do just that.

We also have bills that will foster greater accountability and transparency at the Federal Reserve and restore congressional accountability for the Fed’s emergency lending—at least something that, in previous congresses, has received bipartisan support.  While we bring greater accountability to the Federal Reserve and Congress, we will also consider legislation to better protect our financial system by holding the regime of Iran – the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism – accountable for its illicit activities. 

We will make sure Congress can exercise effective oversight over any links between that regime and the U.S. financial system.  We will also consider legislation to streamline HUD’s Family Sufficiency program – a bipartisan measure – and broaden the supportive services it can provide to help families in public housing make progress toward economic independence.

All of these are worthy goals and worthy of this committee’s time.  In this case, it will be lots of the committee’s time. Again, I want to thank the sponsors and the co-sponsors of these bills, on both sides of the aisle.  I thank you for the work you’ve put into them and for giving our committee a chance to act upon them. 

Again, these are very, very good pieces of legislation that can make a difference for our constituents, they deserve support from every member and I look forward to moving these bills forward.