Congressman Jeb Hensarling's full interview with CSPAN
Jeb’s service as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee continues to be grounded in the belief that America’s prosperity depends on a healthy financial system rooted in free enterprise.
As many Americans continue to struggle economically, the work of the Financial Services Committee has perhaps never been so vital in addressing the challenges we face:
Under Jeb’s leadership, the Financial Services Committee has confronted these challenges with action.
* Despite these successes, unfortunately 36 bills passed by the Committee and the House never made it beyond Harry Reid’s door.
Free enterprise has made America the fairest, most prosperous, most creative and most generous society the world has ever known. It is economic freedom – not government regulation and bureaucracy – that allows people to earn their success and generates greater shared prosperity.
In 2014, Jeb challenged what he calls the “Washington insider economy” by taking a stand for taxpayers’ interests over corporate interests.
Although it is relatively modest in size and not widely known, the Export-Import Bank could be the leading poster child of the Washington insider economy and corporate welfare. This government-run bank takes Americans’ hard-earned money and lends it out to nations that openly challenge our economic and security interests – like China and Russia – while also lending taxpayer-backed money to oil-rich Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Ultimately, the real beneficiaries of the bank are multi-billion dollar corporations – as 60 percent of the bank’s financing benefitted just 10 big corporations last year. The facts brought to light under Jeb’s leadership have increased calls for reform and extended the debate over the bank’s future into 2015.
Although the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) was designed to be a temporary response to the attacks of September 11, 2001 – the program has been renewed multiple times with taxpayers continuing to be on the hook for commercial real estate interests and large insurance carriers. This year, Jeb successfully enacted legislation in the House that advances the cause of taxpayer protection under TRIA. This included reforms that double the amount of losses necessary to trigger a government backstop and it actually ensures – for the first time in the program’s history – that the taxpayers are compensated for the government’s use of their hard-earned dollars.
Washington’s disastrous housing policies were at the epicenter of the financial crisis, forcing taxpayers to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the tune of nearly $200 billion. In the 113th Congress, the Committee introduced and passed the Protecting American Taxpayers and Homeowners (PATH) Act which gives Americans meaningful reform and a sustainable housing finance system. This marked the first time that Members of the House or Senate voted to terminate Freddie and Fannie while overhauling our nation’s mortgage finance system.
Under President Obama, Washington is churning out roughly 4,000 regulations a year. The Dodd-Frank Act alone adding more than 400 new regulations to the Federal rulebook.
Jeb is leading the Financial Services Committee in a fight to reduce the excessive red tape burdens that are making it nearly impossible for the private sector to grow and create much-needed jobs. In the 113th Congress, the Committee held 15 hearings to advance ideas that help grow the economy and put more Americans back to work, while passing 38 bills to reduce the burden of outdated, unnecessary, and excessive red tape.
A powerful, unelected, and often unaccountable fourth branch of government is driving much of the policy that impacts the way Americans lead their daily lives. The Dodd-Frank Act alone created three new bureaucracies, each purposely designed with a troubling lack of transparency and accountability.
In the 113th Congress, the Financial Services Committee worked to hold Washington accountable with 57 hard-hitting oversight hearings that held government agencies accountable to the people they serve by exposing massive waste of taxpayer funds, troubling allegations of discrimination, and expansive collection of American’s financial data. The Committee also passed 17 reform bills in the Committee and four in the House to create greater accountability and more transparency in Washington.
Since the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve has attempted to stimulate the U.S. economy by taking extraordinary actions and unconventional monetary policy measures that many believe pose substantial risks to long-term economic growth and financial stability. To mark the 100th anniversary of the Fed, the Financial Services Committee began conducting the most rigorous examination of the Fed’s record, purposes, and policies in history through its Federal Reserve Centennial Oversight Project, holding 11 oversight hearings on the Fed’s monetary policy that focused on the need for reform of its operations. Furthermore, Committee Republicans introduced the Federal Reserve Accountability and Transparency Act, which the Washington Post called "audit the Fed on steroids."
Real economic growth flows from Main Street up, not Washington down. In 2014, Jeb continued to fight for the belief that the most effective method for creating a better environment for job growth is to enact policies that enable businesses to grow, allow job creators to keep more of what they earn, and keep the government out of the business of picking winners and losers through politically-based corporate welfare. In order to prod comprehensive tax reform, Jeb supported the Tax Code Termination Act, and the American Renaissance in Manufacturing Act to promote pro-growth tax, legal and regulatory reform policies that will ease the competitive disadvantage facing our manufacturers in a global economy. Jeb also led the charge to stop the government from continuing to use the politically-charged, taxpayer-backed Export-Import Bank that helps some of our manufacturers at the expense of others. He supported legislation to unlock our nation’s immense energy reserves while co-sponsoring legislation to end the government mandate for ethanol production. Jeb continued to support workers’ freedom to choose to work over union bosses and their political agenda – with the National Right to Work Act and the Employee Rights Act.
Washington is a virtual factory for senseless, job-killing regulations that empower bureaucrats and stifle job creation. In the 113th Congress, Jeb supported legislation to reign in IRS abuse; to force the EPA and other agencies to publicly account for the potential economic impact of their rules and regulations; and to give Americans the right to their privacy in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s massive consumer data collection that would make the NSA blush. Jeb constantly fought for legislation that would ensure Washington adheres to the rule of law and upholds the Constitution, so that we may once again be a nation of limited government and unlimited liberty.
Our nation is on the road to bankruptcy, driven by Washington’s reckless spending. Our debt is a staggering $145,000 per American household and it’s growing every day because Washington continues to spend money we don’t have. In the 113th Congress, Jeb continued to be a leader in the fight to stop Washington’s wasteful spending by cosponsoring legislation that would reduce non-veterans and non-defense spending by as much as 5%. He continued to support a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution that would cut trillions in spending, and the Pro-Growth Budgeting Act to force the use of Fair Value accounting for federal credit programs to ensure taxpayer exposure is not artificially understated.
From the broken promises that Americans could keep their doctor and healthcare plan to the $716 billion cut to Medicare to pay for this scheme, Obamacare is hurting Texans. Jeb fought this bad law from day one and has continued to support measures that would fully repeal Obamacare, as well as legislation repealing Obamacare piece by piece, such as repeal of the exchange subsidies; a repeal of the Medicaid expansion; and a repeal of the unaccountable bureaucratic rationing board (IPAB). Jeb also supported the Empowering Patents First Act and the American Health Care Reform Act – bills that move us away from Obamacare to commonsense, patient-centered reforms that give Texans, not Washington bureaucrats the freedom to choose the healthcare that is best for them.
In 2014, Texans were on the frontline of a crisis created by the President’s unilateral amnesty measures (DACA) and an unsecured southern border. At the end of the year, the President doubled down on his unlawful and unconstitutional executive overreach with a new amnesty measure that could legalize millions of illegal immigrants without authorization from Congress. In response, Jeb was a staunch advocate of the House measures to stop the President’s immigration actions. In August, Jeb supported legislation to freeze DACA and in December, he supported legislation to legally prevent the President’s planned executive amnesty. Like most legislation, these measures never saw the light of day in the Senate. However, with a new Republican majority in 2015, the fight will continue.
Jeb supports efforts to reform our broken immigration/border security system. However, he does not support any effort that amounts to an amnesty proposal that gives legal advantages to people who came here illegally and does not require them to go back to their country of origin.
The United States is a nation of immigrants and should remain so, but we are also a nation of laws. Jeb will not support any reform bill that does not increase beyond existing law the level of protection we have at our borders, nor require illegal immigrants to repay back taxes they owed for the time they illegally spent in America.
While Jeb is sympathetic to those who come here to work hard in order to feed their families, illegal immigration is a flagrant violation of our laws. It threatens our national security and is unfair to all those who worked diligently to become American citizens the right way. We need a properly-constructed guest worker program.
To build it, it must pass a four-point test:
As a life member of the National Rifle Association, Jeb is a firm believer in our right to bear arms.
Jeb has been working to protect the rights of all Americans — including the rights of the unborn. Human life is a precious commodity that in today’s society is often taken for granted. Jeb believes in his heart and mind that life begins at conception and is working to make abortion rarer in America. In addition to making our nation’s laws more family-friendly and ensuring the dignity of human life, we must work to change hearts and minds as well.
"Thanks to his chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee, the rising Tea Party star now holds political clout on the most important financial services issues." – The Hill, 7/17/14
"Together with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who is expected to become chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Hensarling will drive economic policy in the House. A cerebral veteran lawmaker who opposed the bank bailouts, he carries the respect of both tea party conservatives and establishment moderates within the GOP." – Wall Street Journal, 10/18/14