Press Releases

Hensarling Opening Statement at Economic Growth Markup


Washington, June 15, 2016 - WASHINGTON- Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) delivered the following opening statement at today’s full committee markup of a series of bills that are designed to help boost economic growth as well as fight terror activity funded by Iran:

Just days ago the nation received the most recent monthly jobs report, and to say the report is a disaster is a huge understatement.  It was the weakest jobs report in nearly six years and adds to the litany of facts and figures showing that the American people continue to hurt.

Incomes are falling.  Wage growth is stagnating.  The number of Americans living in poverty has increased by nearly 7 million during the current administration.  The percentage of Americans working or actively seeking work is at its lowest level since the malaise of the Carter era.

The national debt has grown by 80 percent and we remain stuck in the slowest, weakest recovery in our history.  The economy clearly is not working for working Americans.

I’m confident all of us – on both sides of the aisle – want that to change.  But if we are to truly ignite strong and lasting growth, we must help create more jobs and build a healthy economy. The answer is not more debt, it’s not more spending, and it’s not more burdensome regulations from Washington that hinder capital formation.  Instead, we need more entrepreneurs and more small businesses on Main Street.

Considering that new businesses account for nearly all of the net new job creation and almost 20 percent of gross job creation, the importance of freeing up new capital for new and small business has perhaps never been greater.

Yet small businesses are not getting the capital they need to grow, hire and succeed.

Since the adoption of the Dodd-Frank Act, it is more difficult for small businesses to obtain crucial capital, especially at the early stages.

As we heard in testimony before our Capital Markets subcommittee just two months ago, there has been a serious decline in loans from banks to small businesses over the past several years, and we have gone a decade with no growth in the value of small business loans.

Therefore it is not surprising that during the first quarter of this year, nearly 40 percent of small business owners had to transfer personal assets to help keep their businesses running, according to the Pepperdine University Private Capital Access Index.  61 percent of small business owners feel their growth opportunities are restricted by the current business environment, an increase of 7 percent from a year ago.

As small business owner named Christopher in my hometown of Dallas recently wrote me, “we have seen wave after wave of federal regulations affect our ability to grow.”

Or Richard, a small business owner from Chandler, Texas in my district, summed up the economic harm caused by Washington’s regulatory burden:  “No one can keep up.”

Today our committee will focus on solutions that will more appropriately balance rules with the urgent need to provide small business entrepreneurs with more options to access capital so they can start up, hire workers and grow their companies.

We will remove duplicative burdens, reduce costs and support smart regulation that protects investors and maintains orderly and efficient markets – because this is key to economic growth.

We’ll also consider legislation to promote and improve accountability at the Securities and Exchange Commission; improve congressional oversight over international standards for insurance; and help stop financial abuse of senior citizens.

Finally, we will also consider much-needed legislation to require the Treasury Department to list the known assets of senior Iranian officials.  Iran and its senior military leaders are known sponsors of terrorist acts and organizations.  Developing and keeping a current estimate of the funds held by Iran’s political and military leaders will help combat terror financing and money laundering.

I want to thank all Members on both sides of the aisle who are sponsoring and co-sponsoring the 12 bills before us today. I thank them for their hard work, and I urge all members to support their bills. 

Print version of this document