Released by U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling
WASHINGTON – Congressman Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, delivered the following opening statement at today’s full committee markup of its oversight plan for the 113th Congress.
“I always think of people in my district, whether it be the hardworking individual at the convenience store in Mineola, Texas, the lady who works on the counter at Red Hat Rentals in Athens, the gentleman who works at the Pepsi bottling plant (in Mesquite). Knowing how hard they work to pay their taxes helps me know that an incredible level of accountability is deserved by these people in our oversight plan.”
“The Rules of the House, as most know, require each standing committee to adopt an oversight plan -- as well they should -- and submit it to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on House Administration. Today our committee, the Financial Services Committee, will fulfill our obligation under this rule.
“At a time when the American economy continues to struggle with subpar growth, chronically high unemployment and a lack of jobs, clearly the work of our committee is vital.
“There are a multitude of economic challenges that face our nation and a multitude of challenges from the people who sent us here to represent them. These challenges also represent opportunities for action, and I look forward to working on a bipartisan basis to develop common sense solutions and opportunities for oversight.
“Conducting strong, efficient, effective oversight for the agencies and programs within our jurisdiction is of vital importance and we must be vigilant. We must carefully monitor and examine the agencies and the programs, so that we can continue to protect the taxpayers’ money from waste, fraud, abuse, duplication, and mismanagement. Only by asking the tough questions and demanding the correct answers can we hold government accountable to the people that it serves.
“I always think of people in my district, whether it be the hardworking individual at the convenience store in Mineola, Texas, the lady who works on the counter at Red Hat Rentals in Athens, the gentleman who works at the Pepsi bottling plant (in Mesquite). Knowing how hard they work to pay their taxes helps me know that an incredible level of accountability is deserved by these people in our oversight plan.
“Allow me to me briefly touch upon a few of the priority areas where the committee will focus its attention on in the 113th Congress.
“We will conduct careful oversight of the financial regulators and ensure they can sensibly exercise their authority without unduly hampering the ability of consumers and businesses to obtain credit that is again available and affordable.
“We will review the impact of federal regulations with the goal of reducing those regulations that are unnecessary, duplicative, or overly burdensome, and we will explore ways to ensure access to mainstream financial services for all Americans.
“As many know, the costliest bailout from the economic crisis did not go to AIG or GM, but instead to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Accordingly, this committee will examine proposals to modify or terminate the GSEs’ statutory charters and wind down their operations in order to protect taxpayers from further losses or another bailout. We look forward to working on a bipartisan basis to create a vibrant, innovative, and competitive private mortgage market.
“We will closely monitor the performance of various foreclosure mitigation initiatives, many of which have fallen far short of their objectives and been subject to repeated criticism from government watchdogs.
“We will continue to look at ways to improve the health of our economy and clearly examine the effectiveness and the consequences of the extraordinary measures undertaken by the Federal Reserve.
“Finally, let me mention that this committee has identified several potential spending programs that could be considered for possible reduction, consolidation, or elimination. In yesterday’s hearing, I displayed the National Debt Clock. It is the great existential threat not only preventing a healthy economy today but potentially eroding the futures of our children and grandchildren.”