House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) on Wednesday said he’ll seek to to amend financial rules and push for oversight of Washington's regulators.
Hensarling highlighted the issues his committee will focus on for the upcoming Congress as he begins his third year holding the gavel in his six-year chairmanship term.
“Although our committee bears the name of the Financial Services Committee, I’ve always considered that our committee probably should be named the Economic Growth, Upward Mobility and Financial Security Committee,” Hensarling said. “And when the American financial system works properly, this is exactly what it helps foster. It fuels entrepreneurship and innovation.”
The business community will cheer portions of his eight-page plan that reiterate his commitment toward pushing for more oversight of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), as well as the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Democrats, however, are sure to oppose his continued efforts to reform “the governance structure and funding mechanism” of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Republicans have pushed for the CFPB to receive funding through Congress and not through the Federal Reserve, arguing that without Congressional oversight it has become a “rogue regulator.”
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the panel's top Democrat, issues a warning to Republicans. She noted that President Obama threatened to veto legislation that weakens Wall Street regulations during his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
“We have made great progress with the passage of the Wall Street Reform Act,” Waters said at the hearing. “That’s why I was so pleased last night to hear our president say he would veto any legislation that would 'unravel' Wall Street reform.”
Hensarling will also continue to focus on ending the Export-Import Bank. Congress faces a June 30 deadline for extending the bank’s charter.
Hensarling and other Tea Party Republicans argue the bank is a form of “corporate welfare” for big businesses. But centrist Republicans and Democrats say Ex-Im financing helps sustain U.S. jobs by making inroads for businesses in emerging markets.
Waters said that Congress “must extend the Export-Import Bank’s charter for the long term, to ensure it continues to support hundreds of thousands of workers and keeps the playing field level so that American businesses large and small can compete successfully in global markets.”
Though Hensarling didn't refer to Ex-Im directly by name, he seemed to allude to it when he said: “If a program isn’t working, if it does more harm than good, it is time to reform it or it is time to get rid of it.
“If policies or regulations don’t make common sense, let’s make them sensible. That will lead to a better economy,” Hensarling said.