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McHenry Outlines Financial Services Republicans’ Priorities in Letter to Appropriators

Washington, March 3, 2022 -

Today, the top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry (NC-10), sent a letter to the leaders of the House Appropriations Committee. The letter outlines Financial Services Committee Republicans’ priorities for the fiscal year 2022 omnibus spending bill—including oversight of pandemic relief funds, protecting investors and supporting access to capital, protecting consumers, countering China’s global influence, and increasing our housing supply.

Read the full letter here.

Read key excerpts from the letter:

“Dear Chairwoman DeLauro and Ranking Member Granger:

“Two years have passed since the onset of the global pandemic. Our country and economy continue to move forward. But there is reason for concern. Inflation from massive spending bills is plaguing our economy. Prices are at a 40-year high for consumer goods. Gas prices, food costs, rent, and clothing have all increased if not doubled over the last year. American families paid an extra $3,500 in 2021 to keep pace with inflation, a trend that shows no sign of abating in 2022.

“Economists point to the American Rescue Plan Act as the primary driver of inflation. Disturbingly, hundreds of billions of dollars of this ‘emergency relief’ remains unspent. Ironically, in some cases, federal agencies have up to eight years to spend the money.  As this Committee continues its work to draft a FY 2022 omnibus spending bill—fiscal discipline, transparency, and accountability must guide its decision-making.  To that end, I request that you consider the following issues.

Oversight of Relief Funds

“Yet, oversight and taxpayer stewardship in 2021 took a back seat. For example, while rhetoric from Democrat leadership in 2020 suggested a serious commitment to providing oversight of the largest economic stimulus package in history, little oversight has occurred. In fact, neither the massive $1.9 trillion spending bill nor the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act have provisions in place to ensure federal funds are being used as intended. The once bipartisan-supported SIGPR, which has received over 1,500 complaints through its hotline and recovered taxpayer funds, is in jeopardy of closing its doors in June 2022 because Democrats have failed to fund it. Effective oversight of federal funds must be a priority in this spending package.

Protect Investors and Support Access to Capital

“During the previous Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) worked to ensure there was clarity and certainty in our public markets. This included making much needed reforms to private offerings and expanding the definition of accredited investors. The Committee should resist efforts to limit the effectiveness of these reforms, including efforts to add burdensome disclosure requirements or changes to the regulatory approach of how holders of record for privately held companies are determined.

“Finally, as interest in digital assets continues to grow, investors would benefit from certainty in the regulatory paradigm. This Committee should direct the creation of a SEC-Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) working group as set out in H.R. 1602, which passed the House on a bipartisan basis in April 2021. The working group should study and report back to the Committees of jurisdiction on necessary reforms to the current regulatory regime. 

Protect Consumers

“There have been internal and external efforts over the last several years to shift the U.S. Post Office’s focus away from its core mission to provide mail services and towards nonbank financial services. The most recent four-city pilot in which post offices were authorized to provide financial services/products served six individuals. It is another example of why this Committee should prevent funds from being used to support postal nonbank financial services programs.

“Under the Obama Administration, senior officials within the federal financial regulators, including the FDIC and OCC, were found to have illegally targeted legitimate businesses based on partisan biases. Operation Chokepoint, as the campaign was known, was an effort to shut down industries based on personal and partisan preferences. The ongoing events in Canada suggest that government targeting still occurs today. The Committee should ensure that no federal funding goes toward targeting Americans for expressing their constitutional rights.

Counter China’s Global Influence

“The Committee must oppose the inclusion of any authorization for IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). This current fiscal year’s SFOPS appropriations act included authorizing language giving the Chinese Communist Party more than $130 billion in unconditional liquidity through SDRs. Adversaries such as Russia and Iran would receive tens of billions of dollars more, which they could exchange for renminbi as they solidify their trade relations with Beijing. This would be entirely inconsistent with U.S. national security interests and run counter to the goals of ongoing sanctions programs.

“Finally, as the pandemic has demonstrated, we should be focused on strengthening our domestic supply chain as set out in H.R. 1466, the American PPE Supply Chain Integrity Act. The Committee should support reforms to the Defense Production Act as set out in H.R. 3146, the SAVE Act, which has already passed the House under suspension of the rules.

Support Increasing our Housing Supply

“Local zoning, ordinances, and land use restrictions have played an outsized role in increased barriers to affordable housing. As housing shortages continue to plague urban and rural areas, this Committee should support language directing GAO to study the impact local zoning, ordinances, and land use restrictions has on America’s housing supply and access to affordable housing in the United States. This is the first step in addressing our housing supply shortages.

“In conclusion, our country is facing serious challenges both at home and abroad. Congress must rise to meet these challenges. The first step is to restore fiscal discipline. This includes reviewing the massive spending bills that have propped up federal agencies over the last year and ensuring new funds are targeted. At the same time, this Committee should ensure that existing funds are not vulnerable to waste, fraud, and abuse. Congress should restore the free-market principles that have made our economy and country strong. This includes fostering capital formation and making low-cost credit available to businesses of all sizes. Finally, this Committee must lead abroad. This includes ensuring the international community has clear direction from the United States and the tools it needs to forcefully counter both Russia and China. A strong America at home evokes strong power abroad.”


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