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Republicans Stand Ready to Work with Democrats to Promote Competition, Free Markets, and Innovation

Washington, February 27, 2020 -

Today, the House Committee on Financial Services is holding a markup of seven bills, including three bipartisan measures: H.R. 5932, the Ensuring Chinese Debt Transparency Act of 2020, offered by the Republican Leader of the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy, French Hill (AR-2); H.R. 5931, the Improving FHA Support for Small Dollar Mortgages Act; and H.R. 4351, the Yes in My Backyard Act.

The Committee will also consider the Fiscal Year 2021 budget views and estimates and a resolution appointing Republican Members to subcommittees and task forces.

Watch Republican Leader of the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry’s (NC-10), opening remarks here.

Ranking Member McHenry’s opening remarks as delivered:

“Well thank you Chairwoman Waters and thank you for holding today’s markup.

“I know we have areas of agreement during this markup, we also have areas of disagreement. But let’s start with the areas of agreement.

“As I’ve raised in this Committee and over my significant period of time in Congress, I want to start by saying that I’m pleased that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are agreeing with Republicans that China poses a real threat to our national security. I think we’ve had a broader conversation in this committee than we’ve ever had before, and I’m grateful that Chairwoman Waters has been eager to engage in this conversation.

“I’m grateful that this year we’re seeing, especially in this markup, Committee Republicans have a bill through French Hill that helps with this debt trap that is a part of the Belt and Road Initiative from the Chinese Communist Party. And I’m glad that we can actually have a bipartisan vote on something important as it relates to China.

“In fact, a report by the Center for Global Development found eight Belt and Road Initiative countries are at a high risk of debt distress due to Belt and Road Initiative loans.

“Pakistan and Cambodia are two examples of those countries.

“So, Mr. Hill’s bill is a much-needed step toward combatting China’s plan to dominate the global economy by exposing their debt trap diplomacy.

“I’m glad to see we will be able to consider several housing bills. Affordable housing remains an important issue for this Committee, as well as the country.

“Committee Republicans agree, there is no place for discrimination in society. We need to ensure HUD and state and local enforcement entities have the tools they need to enforce the Fair Housing Act.

“This includes holding bad actors, even cities that are represented by members of this committee, making sure they’re held accountable and ensuring they do not benefit from any type of federal funding without significant improvements to their administration of those funds.

“We also need to bring our housing programs into the 21st century.

“I commend Chairwoman Waters’ commitment to addressing the housing shortage in this country. But I don’t believe giving a hundred billion dollars to America’s east and west coast cities is the solution.

“This approach will not increase housing availability or reduce the number of Americans who go homeless every night.

“Part of the solution is before us today.

“The bipartisan Yes In My Backyard Act is a good step forward in understanding the local barriers that hinder our nation’s housing stock. We need to look at local zoning laws. We need to look at the regulatory barriers, and we need to look at the local processes and procedures that are harming our cities.

“There are fantastic programs like the Rental Assistance Demonstration Program that was an Obama administration initiative pushed very strongly by them. What we’ve seen is 120,000 units of public housing using $12.6 billion of private sector dollars to make them the best available public housing stock.

“Just a few remarks on the latest mandatory disclosure bills, which come to us after countless others. There’s nothing new to see here, it’s just more mandates on the private sector.

“And I get it, some of the Members of this Committee need to look like they are accomplishing something, something of some value to their constituents.

“But these bills will not help families save for their first home, for their child’s college education, or for their retirement.

“In fact, these two bills will do nothing but raise compliance costs for companies that are already public and deter private sector firms, non-public firms, from going public.

“Finally, the last two items we will consider are the Democrats’ Budget Views and Estimates and the committee resolution appointing Republican Members to subcommittees.

“As I’ve said many times before: Republicans stand ready to work with Democrats to advance policies that promote competition, free markets, and innovation.

“We support policies that ensure our financial system is safe and sound and protects consumers.

“The policies reflected in the views and estimates before us today are once again a polar opposite.

“Democrats want to spend more, create more bureaucracy, nationalize more of private industry, and create more regulation. At least that’s what the views and estimates say. These policies will shrink our economy, cost American jobs, hinder markets, and raise the cost of financial products and services for all consumers – ultimately failing the individuals, families, and small businesses that these policies are intended to help.

“And so, we disagree on those items, and I think that is a disagreement that is representative of where we are as individuals and members of this committee, and I think that fulsome debate is a reasonable one for us to have.

“And so, with that, Madam Chair, if I may at this time ask unanimous consent to consider the Committee Resolution appointing Republican Members to subcommittees and taskforces.”

Learn more about today’s markup here.

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