Committee on Financial Services

Jeb Hensarling

Hearing entitled “Examining the Export-Import Bank’s Reauthorization Request and the Government’s Role in Export Financing”


Hearing entitled “The National Flood Insurance Program: Oversight of Superstorm Sandy Claims”


ICYMI: $25,887,000,000,000



By Wall Street Journal Editorial Board

May 25, 2015

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond has again done the public service of toting up all the implied and explicit government guarantees backing the U.S. financial system. Are you sitting down?

Richmond Fed researchers find that as of the end of 2013 taxpayers were standing behind nearly $26 trillion of financial liabilities. The eye-watering sum represents 60% of the financial industry’s $43 trillion in total liabilities. The Richmond Fed calls this measure of the federal safety net its “Bailout Barometer.” Even more striking is that the amount has hardly changed since 2009, when the government was still employing allegedly temporary rescue programs.

The Dodd-Frank Act was then sold as a way to prevent such bank rescues. “There will be no more tax-funded bailouts—period,” said President Obama as he signed it on July 21, 2010. Five years later the Richmond Fed’s research suggests that he should have said, “If you like your taxpayer safety net, you can keep it.”

This gargantuan safety net hasn’t always been part of the Beltway furniture. As recently as 1999, the first year for which the Richmond Fed calculated its Bailout Barometer, taxpayers stood behind less than 45% of financial liabilities. That’s still way too high for a vibrant market that allows success and failure, but it’s libertarian heaven compared to the Dodd-Frank era. It shows that relatively recently the economy was thriving with much less federal support and could do so again.

As for the status quo, Richmond Fed researchers count almost $15 trillion in explicitly guaranteed liabilities. More than $5 trillion comes from government mortgage monsters Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. More than $6 trillion comes from bank deposit accounts, which are covered up to $250,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Taxpayers also stand behind nearly $3 trillion at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Throw in an implied trillion at the government-sponsored Farm Credit System and Federal Home Loan Banks.

Studying the lessons of the last crisis and recent claims of regulators, the Richmond team also counts all of the liabilities of the nation’s four largest banks— J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup and Wells Fargo. Does anyone believe regulators would let these giants fail?

Also included are the uninsured domestic deposits and short-term liabilities of all banks with more than $50 billion in assets, which Dodd-Frank considers systemically important. The Richmond researchers note that the law’s resolution provisions for large banks “permit the FDIC to pay some creditors more than bankruptcy might allow” and that the FDIC’s implementing rule “suggests that this treatment could apply to short-term creditors.” Implied bank guarantees add up to more than $7 trillion.

The researchers also count $2.7 trillion of money-market mutual funds, given that such funds were rescued in 2008. But they emphasize that their barometer measures 2013 and that the Securities and Exchange Commission has since enacted reforms that “may minimize the danger of runs” on some money funds and “therefore the market’s perception of federal government protection.” Ah, progress.

Some might say the obligations don’t matter because the government could never, and thus would never, meet them. That’s true in sum but even in chunks the bailout burden would be severe. The Richmond measure shows how far we’ve moved from a private financial system.

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FSC Majority | Week in Review


Committee Passes 13 Jobs Bills

The committee passed 13 bills on Wednesday to help Main Street businesses gain access to the capital they need to grow and create jobs. 

"We still have millions and millions of our fellow countrymen, hardworking moderate-income taxpayers, who find themselves with stagnant to lower paychecks; bank accounts that are less than before the great economic crisis -- and they need more jobs, better jobs, and you can’t have more and better jobs without more and better capital formation,” said Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).

By passing the JOBS Act in 2012, Congress took an important bipartisan step toward easing the regulatory burden on small businesses and startups seeking access to capital markets.  However, more needs to be done to eliminate and streamline the regulations that make it difficult for them to open their doors and create jobs.

For more information about the 13 bills approved by the committee, click here.

Subcommittee Examines How the Financial Sector Addresses Cyber Threats

The Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), held a hearing on Tuesday to focus on how to protect financial institutions and consumers’ financial data from cyberattacks

"We should all remember that no single institution or system is 100 percent protected from cyberattacks. The sector faces threats posed by a growing array of cyber criminals, nation-state actors, and terrorist organizations," said Chairman Neugebauer.

The U.S. financial sector is a critical asset and part of the nation’s infrastructure.  A broad-scale cyberattack that disrupts financial markets or payment system could bring enormous harm to our economy.

Because cyber threats against the financial sector are constantly evolving, subcommittee members discussed the importance of information sharing – both within the financial sector and between the financial sector and the federal government.  Sharing information about threats and vulnerabilities would contribute to  the early warning of threats and likely attacks.

Subcommittee Conducts Oversight of Rural Housing Service

The Housing and Insurance Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), convened a hearing on Tuesday to review the Rural Housing Service's (RHS) budget, operations and overall performance.

"Like many of my colleagues, I represent a rural area. My hometown has 336 residents. It’s a place where it takes two jobs to make a living, and where the incredible benefits of living in rural America far outweigh the challenges," said Chairman Luetkemeyer. "The status quo simply isn’t acceptable. Rural Americans deserve more. RHS should heed suggestions made by GAO [Government Accountability Office] and increase interagency collaboration, and consider consolidation where appropriate."

Subcommittee Members expressed their concerns regarding the effectiveness of RHS programs and their impact on American families living in rural communities.

"If we're moving people from dependency on the government to independence, self-sufficiency, that to me is success. That would be a program I would be interested in supporting," said Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY).

Task Forces Dives into Links Between Terrorism, Crime and Corruption

The Task Force to Investigate Terrorism Financing, chaired by Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA), held a hearing on Thursday to listen to testimony from experts on the links between terrorism, crime, and corruption.

Although terrorist organizations and criminal actors have different motives in their quest for finances, these groups may cooperate with each other in order to achieve their own objective. Beyond individual anecdotes and case studies, a 2014 network analysis by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point suggests that criminal and terrorist groups may be highly interconnected.

"Terrorist groups have become entwined with trans-national criminal syndicates or, in some cases, evolving into the role themselves - engaging in criminal activities which yield greater profits than simply relying on state sponsorship or big pocket donors. These activities range from, but are not limited to, corruption, drug trafficking, human smuggling and extortion," said Chairman Fitzpatrick. "It is this type of connection - the intersection between terrorism, crime and corruption – that today’s hearing will focus on, including current techniques being used by these groups, effectiveness of the current U.S. policy in combatting them, and where these tactics can be improved upon."

One of the hearing’s witnesses, Professor Celina Realuyo, testified that “financial intelligence and investigative tools like ‘following the money trail’ are instrumental to better understand, detect, disrupt and dismantle these illicit networks of terrorism, crime and corruption. Tracking how terrorists and criminals raise, move, store and use money has been instrumental in degrading and defeating groups such as Al Qaeda Core, the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka and the FARC in Colombia.”


Rep. Dennis Ross | Operation Targets Legal Businesses

Whether you utilize any of the targeted businesses or not, think about how future administrations could implement similar programs that "choke off" other forms of business. Where does it stop? Legitimate businesses rely on their banks to grow, hire more employees, pay taxes and provide basic services and products vital to our communities. Moving forward, as a member of the House Financial Services Committee, I will continue to fight to end Operation Choke Point.

Weekend Must Reads

Wall Street Journal | Government Warns of Systemic Risks It Created

Taxpayers, you’ve been getting a bargain from the regulators who sit on the U.S. Financial Stability Oversight Council. You might have thought you were paying them simply to identify risks in the financial system. But it turns out they’ve been creating them too. And you’re getting this additional service at no extra charge—at least until the next financial crisis and bailout.

The Weekly Standard | Mortgage Mess

The answer to the financial crisis may have been hidden in plain sight, but the failure to see it was willful. A powerful coalition of interest groups dominated housing policy for a generation, and they still do—despite the damage that policy caused in the Great Recession.

Fortune | Jeb Hensarling takes a swing at corporate welfare

People feel constrained. The regulatory burden, as you know, can fall disproportionately on small businesses. Financial regulators have gone from under-reacting to over-reacting. I have an 11-year-old and sometimes when every teacher gives you homework on the same night, you just feel overwhelmed. And that’s what we’re seeing now, particularly with our community institutions. The sheer volume, complexity, and weight of regulatory costs just drags them down.

Forbes | If You Like Your Financial Adviser, You Should Be Able To Keep Your Financial Adviser

The substantive flaws go on, but it is important to acknowledge that there are politics in play here. The administration withdrew this rule because it was too politically sensitive prior to the 2012 election. Now, they are rolling it out with a progressive senator known for bashing Wall Street.

The Hill | Reform regulation to let more banks serve Main Street

But there has been one area of bipartisan agreement: financial regulation should not stifle banks’ ability to deliver credit to small and medium-sized business located on Main Streets in communities all across the U.S. These are the firms that are critical to economic growth and the source of the most of the new job creation in the U.S.

  In the News

Bloomberg | Committee Clears Package of 13 Bills, Most to Ease Parts of JOBS Act, Dodd-Frank

Politico Pro | 13 SEC Bills Advance in House

Augusta Free Press | Financial Services Committee approves two Robert Hurt bills

MinnPost | Emmer named to House Financial Services Committee

Bucks County Courier Times | Terrorists Buying Our Used Cars, Analyst Tells Congress

Wall Street Journal | Republicans Ask Fed’s Yellen to Testify Four Times More a Year

Washington Post | Small businesses in Washington and around the country are rushing to go public. Here’s why.

MPBN News | Poliquin Expresses Concerns About Terrorism Financing

Associated Press | Lawmaker Subpoenas Fed, Seeking Evidence of a Leak
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Federal Reserve Subpoenaed Over Leak


Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) issued a subpoena today to the Federal Reserve for its failure to comply with document requests from the committee for information concerning the leak of market-sensitive Fed deliberations to a private financial newsletter.

Chairman Hensarling made the following statement today:

“This leak is another troubling example of the growing nexus between government and business that creates a crony economy where those with the best Washington connections receive special favors.  It is unacceptable, illegal and corrupt for anyone at the Fed to deliver inside information that could provide a financial advantage to the privileged few and lead to the manipulation of financial markets.  Despite the seriousness of this situation, the Federal Reserve has acted in a manner that can only be characterized as resistant to accountability and oversight.  It has repeatedly failed to provide complete and adequate responses to our committee’s valid questions and requests.

“Since the Federal Reserve refuses to cooperate, a subpoena for documents is a prudent and measured approach – entirely consistent with the rules of the committee and the House, and prior precedents established by both Republican and Democratic committee chairmen.”


The Federal Reserve has refused to provide the Committee with requested documents concerning the leak of confidential, market-sensitive information from a 2012 meeting on monetary policy.

February 5, 2015:  Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Sean Duffy (R-WI) requested from the Federal Reserve all records related or referring to an unauthorized disclosure of confidential, market-sensitive Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) deliberations in October 2012 that was revealed by news reports in December 2014, as well as all related communications between FOMC members and the Fed’s General Counsel or his designee about this matter.

  • According to news reports, confidential FOMC information was leaked to Medley Global Advisors, which then published this non-public information to clients in an investor advisory memo.
  • Anyone disclosing such information would be subject to possible criminal liability, and the unauthorized disclosure clearly suggests that proper internal controls are not in place to safeguard the confidentiality of FOMC meetings.
  • Despite the seriousness of this matter and the Committee’s important legislative interest in understanding how this breach occurred and ensuring that it does not happen again, the Federal Reserve has resisted the Committee’s oversight. Subcommittee Chairman Duffy’s letter of February 5, which required a response from the Fed by February 19, was ignored until the Committee sent a follow-up letter on March 13, 2015, reiterating the Committee’s request for information pertinent to the FOMC leak.
  • Not until March 25, 2015, did the Fed send the Committee a letter pertaining to the FOMC leak, but it did not provide any records relating to the unauthorized disclosure of confidential information and merely summarized the policies of the FOMC regarding the protection of confidential information – policies that obviously are not working.
  • The Federal Reserve to date has not provided any of the documents requested by the Committee and has not provided any legally justifiable reason for its failure to comply with the Committee’s document request.
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Hensarling Highlights Real Help for Small Businesses



Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) delivered the following opening statement at today’s full committee markup where the committee will consider a number of overwhelmingly bipartisan bills to help small businesses access the capital they need to grow the economy and create jobs:

I believe that it was last quarter that the economy showed something that was less than sub-par and less than anemic and that was showing barely a pulse of .2 economic growth.  I don’t want to read too much into one quarter’s GDP growth but regrettably we still seem to be mired in the longest, slowest recovery in the post-war era. We still have millions and millions of our fellow countrymen, hardworking moderate-incoming taxpayers, who find themselves with stagnant to lower paychecks; bank accounts that are less than before the great economic crisis -- and they need more jobs, better jobs, and you can’t have more and better jobs without more and better capital formation.

So we have 13 bills before us today; the vast majority of which I think, with the exception of two, are all bipartisan. I think with the exception of two all were seen in the last Congress and each and every one I believe passed either unanimously or with an overwhelming bipartisan vote. I hope they will receive the same fate today. Time will tell.

But we know that our small companies and startups continue to suffer and that is why one bright note has been the JOBS Act. Even though regrettably the SEC has taken their sweet time about acting on the rulemaking as those rules were promulgated we saw increased IPO activity. We saw some increased startups which is so vital because our entrepreneurial activity remains at a generational low. It is our small business -- we all know this, we know it anecdotally, we know it statistically -- but it is our small businesses that continue to be the job engine in America.

But regrettably a lot of the regulatory scheme has been made for larger financial companies and put an undue burden on smaller startups and our smaller companies. We must remember that the SEC, part of their three-part mission is capital formation. We should not as a United States Congress totally outsource that vital function of our economy to the SEC because regrettably they have occasionally dragged their feet on this. That is something that has been recognized on both sides of the aisle.  Thus, a number of these provisions, almost all of which are quite modest, some I believe are simply clarifications of drafting errors or oversights.  So to some extent, I think I would view a number of these bills as simply helping level the playing field between our larger companies and our smaller companies -- larger financial concerns and smaller financial concerns.

So I’m hopeful.  Again, most of these bills were designed for bipartisan support. It certainly doesn’t do everything I would like to see in the space of capital formation. But it remains our goal to try where we can to work on a bipartisan basis to try to get bills on the president’s desk that he could sign. And I hope again that the anemic pace of entrepreneurial activity and capital formation for the startups remains a bipartisan concern that hopefully can be addressed this morning.  

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Committee Approves Bipartisan Jobs Bills


As small businesses continue to be mired in the longest, slowest recovery in the post-war era, the Financial Services Committee today approved 13 bills that will help Main Street businesses access the capital they need to grow the economy and create jobs.

True, sustainable economic growth that increases paychecks and creates opportunity for all comes from Main Street, not Washington.  Yet excessive Washington regulations make it harder for small businesses on Main Street to grow and create jobs. Small businesses are the primary innovators and job creators of our economy, but the cost of regulation falls heaviest on them.  Businesses with fewer than 20 employees spend 45 percent more per employee complying with federal regulations than bigger businesses.

“We still have millions and millions of our fellow countrymen, hardworking moderate-income taxpayers, who find themselves with stagnant to lower paychecks; bank accounts that are less than before the great economic crisis -- and they need more jobs, better jobs, and you can’t have more and better jobs without more and better capital formation,” said Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX).

A list and summary of the bills passed today are as follows:

H.R. 432, the SBIC Advisers Relief Act of 2015

Sponsor: Rep Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO)

Summary: Amends the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 to reduce unnecessary regulatory costs and eliminate duplicative regulation of advisers to SBICs.

The Financial Services Committee approved the bill today by a vote of 53-0

H.R. 686, the Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales, and Brokerage Simplification Act

Sponsors: Reps. Bill Huizenga (R-MI) and Brian Higgins (D-NY)

Summary: Amends Section 15(b) of the Exchange Act to create a simplified SEC registration system for brokers known as M&A brokers that perform services in connection with the transfer of ownership of smaller privately held companies.

The Financial Services Committee approved the bill today by a vote of 36-24

HR 1334, the Holding Company Registration Threshold Equalization Act of 2015

Sponsors: Reps. Ann Wagner (R-MO), Steve Womack (R-AR), and Jim Himes (D-CT)

Summary: Applies the shareholder registration and deregistration thresholds contained in the JOBS Act to savings and loan holding companies.

The Financial Services Committee approved the bill today by a vote of 60-0

HR 1525, the Disclosure Modernization and Simplifications Act of 2015

Sponsor: Rep Scott Garrett (R-NJ)

Summary: Directs the SEC to simplify its disclosure regime for issuers and investors.

The Financial Services Committee approved the bill today by a vote of 60-0

HR 1675 the Encouraging Employee Ownership Act

Sponsors: Reps. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) and John Delaney (D-MD)

Summary: Allows the employees of privately-held businesses to take full advantage of JOBS Act shareholder provisions.

The Financial Services Committee approved the bill today by a vote of 45-15

HR 1723, the Small Business Freedom and Growth Act

Sponsors: Reps. Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Terri Sewell (D-AL)

Summary: Simplifies the registration process for new securities offerings.

The Financial Services Committee approved the bill today by a vote of 60-0

HR 1847, the Swap Data Repository and Clearinghouse Indemnification Correction Act

Sponsors: Reps. Rick Crawford (R-AR), Bill Huizenga (R-MI), and Gwen Moore (D-WI)

Summary: Repeals sections of the Dodd-Frank Act to increase market transparency and facilitate global regulatory cooperation.

The Financial Services Committee approved the bill today by a vote of 60-0

HR 1965, the Small Company Disclosure Simplification Act

Sponsor: Rep. Robert Hurt (R-VA)

Summary: Provides a voluntary exemption for certain Emerging Growth Companies from SEC filing requirements.

The Financial Services Committee approved the bill today by a vote of 44-11

HR 1975, the Securities and Exchange Commission Overpayment Credit Act

Sponsors: Reps. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) and Gregory Meeks (D-NY)

Summary: Allows self-regulating organizations to offset fee over payments with future fee assessments.   

The Financial Services Committee approved the bill today by a vote of 57-0

HR 2064, the Improving Access to Capital for Emerging Growth Companies Act

Sponsors: Reps. Stephen Fincher (R-TN) and John Delaney (D-MD)

Summary: Makes changes related to the treatment of Emerging Growth Companies and their registration with the SEC.

The Financial Services Committee approved the bill today by a vote of 57-0

HR 2354, the Streamlining Excessive and Costly (SEC) Regulations Review Act

Sponsor: Rep. Robert Hurt (R-VA)

Summary: Requires the SEC to review significant regulations it has previously issued.

The Financial Services Committee approved the bill today by a vote of 41-16

HR 2356, the Fair Access to Investment Research Act

Sponsor: Rep. French Hill (R-AR)

Summary: Directs the SEC to provide a safe harbor for research reports that cover Exchange Traded Funds.

The Financial Services Committee approved the bill today by a vote of 48-9

HR 2357, the Accelerating Access to Capital Act

Sponsor: Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO)

Summary: Further reduces the burdens of SEC registration on smaller companies.

The Financial Services Committee approved the bill today by a vote of 33-24

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Export-Import Bank Fact of the Day


FACT: 10 large corporations receive nearly two-thirds of Ex-Im’s financial assistance.

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Subcommittee Discusses Cyber Threats to Consumers and the Financial Sector



The Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, chaired by Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX,) held a hearing today to learn how the financial sector address cyber threats.
“We should all remember that no single institution or system is 100 percent protected from cyberattacks. The sector faces threats posed by a growing array of cyber criminals, nation-state actors, and terrorist organizations. Each has tremendous financial and political incentive to continue looking for weak spots and to cause sector disruption. Today’s hearing is important for Members to gain a better understanding of some of the top cyber issues facing the financial services sector,” said Chairman Neugebauer.

“Given the importance of this threat, the financial services sector has responded very well. The sector has been the leader on setting up an information sharing framework. It has been an active and constructive participant working with U.S. regulatory agencies and law enforcement,” Neugebauer added.

Key Takeaways from the Hearing:

  • Americans are rightfully worried about becoming the victims for the next major data breach and Congress must insist that Americans’ personal financial data is protected.
  • The increasing frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks demands heightened vigilance and enhanced efforts by industry participants to safeguard consumers’ financial data.  The number of significant U.S. data breaches hit a record high of 783 in 2014, representing a substantial increase of more than 27 percent from 2013, and an increase of more than 18 percent over the previous high of 662 breaches tracked in 2010.
  • A broad-scale cyber-attack that disrupts financial markets or payments system or undermines confidence in the banking system could detrimentally impact the U.S. economy or our standard of living.  The national and economic security of the United States depends on the reliable operation of our financial sector infrastructure.
  • Information sharing with appropriate privacy safeguards should be encouraged within the financial sector and the federal government to help counter the persistent and ever-changing threats of cyber-attacks. Continued collaboration between the financial sector and the federal government will ensure the flow of information used to identify and effectively mitigate cyber threats.

Topline Quotes from Witnesses:
“We have learned that a strong risk management strategy for cyber and physical protection involves participating in communities of trust that share information about threats, vulnerabilities, and incidents affecting those communities. That strategy is based on the simple concepts of strength in numbers, the neighborhood watch, and shared situational awareness”. – Greg Garcia, Executive Director, Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council

“From criminals seeking financial gain, to nation states committing corporate espionage, to cyber terrorists seeking to dislocate markets and destroy confidence, cyber threat actors are becoming more sophisticated, making cybersecurity an area of risk that must be actively managed by firms similar to all other areas of risk. The destruction of financial data including books and records or the disruption of our capital markets caused by a successful cyberattack would have a ripple effect across the economy and across the globe.” – Kenneth Bentsen, President and CEO, Securities Industries and Financial Markets Association

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Hensarling: What Kind of Economy Are You Looking For?



Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) joined several other conservative House members and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) at a news conference on Tuesday to call for an end to the Export-Import Bank.

Noting that business organizations in Washington appear to be fighting harder for the continuation of Ex-Im’s subsidies than the benefits of free trade, Hensarling challenged the nation’s business community to advocate for greater opportunity through free trade agreements rather than lobby for government subsidies, bailouts and special interest favors.

“This is a critical question that so many in the business community must ask themselves today:  what kind of economy are you looking for? Are you looking for one of privilege and subsidy and backstop and bailout? Or are you looking for an economy with even greater opportunity that trade could present?” Hensarling asked.

Hensarling also turned the question to his fellow Republicans.  “What is it that our party stands for? Do we stand for free enterprise and its hope, its fairness, its opportunity or do we stand for business interests? The two are not identical.”

Highlights of other comments Chairman Hensarling made at Tuesday’s news conference:

  • “I want to thank our leadership within the House for committing themselves to regular order, which is due process, fair process.  The Senate will be holding an Ex-Im hearing the first week of June.  We’ve already had a couple of hearings in my committee with Oversight and Government Reform.  We’ll have another hearing in June.  Members will be heard.  Momentum is in our favor because ultimately the American people do not want privilege and subsidy.  What they want is freedom and opportunity and that’s what this fight is all about.”
  • “I believe the momentum is in our favor.  I think every day that the facts are out about the corruption, the cronyism, the political lending, the ideological lending of this bank, more and more members of the House Republican Conference are saying, ‘You know what? I don’t want to be a part of that.  I don’t want to have my name associated with this effort.’  And so I’m optimistic that hopefully we can be victorious.”
  • “What members are awakening to is the corruption of this institution, and I use that in two different facets.  One, the criminal corruption.  31 ongoing investigations.  One individual pleading guilty to 19 counts of bribery.  But also corruption in the sense of corrupting our values and allowing free enterprise to get besmirched by cronyism and confusing the American public about what all this is about.  It’s one of the reasons why I think you see entrepreneurial startups at a generational low, that people are uncharacteristically pessimistic about the future because they see the unfairness of cronyism in the Washington context.  So if you’re asking me have I added up the figures on advertising campaigns? No, frankly I don’t know what they are.  But let’s put it this way, I’ve certainly seen, I think, the Chamber, NAM or Boeing’s work or somebody’s work in the fifth district of Texas, so I know they’re spending a fair amount on this.  Once again, I’d urged them to maybe take those resources and work on Trade Promotion Authority instead.”

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Subcommittee Examines the Rural Housing Service



The Financial Services Housing and Insurance Subcommittee held an oversight hearing on Tuesday to examine the performance, challenges and budget priorities of the Rural Housing Service (RHS).

“Today’s hearing will allow those concerned with the future of housing, members of this subcommittee and people across rural America, to better understand the challenges facing rural housing and the opportunities to improve a system plagued with inefficiencies,” said Subcommittee Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO).  “We continue to see throughout the nation an overwhelming need for affordable housing, and we need to ensure that RHS is doing everything in its power to fulfill that need.”

Key Takeaways From the Hearing:
  • While the RHS has generally agreed to and made improvements aligned with recommendations from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), further action is required in certain areas.
  • Overlap among housing assistance programs shows an opportunity to streamline products that are offered and areas that are served.
  • The RHS needs to take further actions to improve efficiency and oversight over its rental assistance and farm labor housing programs.
  • The RHS still has room for improvement in complying with risk-management practices.

Topline Quotes from Witnesses:

“The fragmented and overlapping nature of federal housing assistance stems partly from distinctions between urban and rural areas that existed when federal housing programs were created. However, the rural America of today is different than when the federal government first began to provide housing assistance to rural residents in the 1930s. Today’s constrained budget environment makes it especially important that federal housing programs adapt to changing conditions, reduce waste, and effectively manage risk in order to deliver housing assistance as efficiently and effectively as possible.” – Mathew J. Scirè, Director of Financial Markets and Community Investment for the GAO

“Rural communities are often isolated from population centers and product markets. They benefit most from initiatives integrating local institutions and businesses with State and Federal agencies that have intimate knowledge of local needs.”
– Tony Hernandez, Administrator, Rural Housing Service

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Export-Import Bank Fact of the Day


FACT: Nearly 99% of U.S. exports are financed without Ex-Im.


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Markup of H.R. 432, “SBIC Advisers Relief Act of 2015”; H.R. 686, “Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales, and Brokerage Simplification Act of 2015”; H.R. 1334, “Holding Company Registration Threshold Equalization Act of 2015”; H.R. 1525, “Disclosure Modernization and Simplification Act of 2015”; H.R. 1675, “Encouraging Employee Ownership Act of 2015”; H.R. 1723, “Small Company Simple Registration Act of 2015”; H.R. 1847, “Swap Data Repository and Clearinghouse Indemnification Correction Act of 2015”; H.R. 1965, “Small Company Disclosure Simplification Act”; H.R. 1975, “Securities and Exchange Commission Overpayment Credit Act”; H.R. 2064, “Improving Access to Capital for Emerging Growth Companies Act”; H.R. 2354, “Streamlining Excessive and Costly Regulations Review Act”; H.R. 2356, ‘‘Fair Access to Investment Research Act of 2015”; H.R. 2357, the ‘‘Accelerating Access to Capital Act of 2015”; and a resolution to name a new Republican Member of the Committee to subcommittees


Hearing titled “A Dangerous Nexus: Terrorism, Crime, and Corruption”


Hearing entitled “Protecting Critical Infrastructure: How the Financial Sector Addresses Cyber Threats”


Hearing entitled “The Future of Housing in America: Oversight of the Rural Housing Service”


Hearing entitled “TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure: Examining the Costs and Benefits of Changes to the Real Estate Settlement Process”


Hearing entitled “Protecting Consumers: Financial Data Security in the Age of Computer Hackers”


Hearing entitled “Legislative Proposals to Enhance Capital Formation and Reduce Regulatory Burdens, Part II”


Hearing entitled “The Dodd-Frank Act and Regulatory Overreach"


There is no media available for this committee.

Contact Information

2129 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-7502
Fax 202-226-0471


Andy Barr


Robert Dold


Sean Duffy


Stephen Fincher


Mike Fitzpatrick


Scott Garrett


Frank Guinta


Jeb Hensarling


French Hill


Bill Huizenga


Randy Hultgren


Robert Hurt


Peter King


Mia Love


Frank Lucas


Blaine Luetkemeyer


Patrick McHenry


Luke Messer


Mick Mulvaney


Randy Neugebauer


Steve Pearce


Robert Pittenger


Bruce Poliquin


Bill Posey


Dennis Ross


Keith Rothfus


Ed Royce


David Schweikert


Steve Stivers


Marlin Stutzman


Scott Tipton


Ann Wagner


Lynn Westmoreland


Roger Williams