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McHenry to CEOs: Rather Than Appeasing the “Woke” Left, We Should Focus on Rebuilding the Greatest Economy in the World

McHenry to CEOs: Rather Than Appeasing the “Woke” Left, We Should Focus on Rebuilding the Greatest Economy in the World

May 27, 2021 

Today, the House Financial Services Committee is holding a hearing with the CEOs of six Global Systemically Important Banks (GSIBs), including Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs. Republicans will emphasize the need for banks to focus on what they do best—providing capital and serving customers—to ensure a full economic recovery.

Watch Republican Leader Patrick McHenry’s (NC-10) opening remarks here.


Read Republican Leader McHenry’s opening remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Thank you, Madam Chair.


“We’re here today for the sequel nobody asked for.


“In 2019, Democrats held this exact hearing to grill you on everything from your firm’s size to your salaries. 


“Republicans used the hearing to focus on systemic risks to our financial system. Clearly, none of us could have predicted what would happen just one year later.


“The pandemic presented us with a once in a generation challenge. Congress, the Fed, and Treasury stood together and met this crisis head on. Your institutions also played a critical role, making sure that support was available to families and small businesses. You deserve credit for that.


“So where are we now? Nearly 50 percent of adult Americans have been fully vaccinated.  Businesses are starting to reopen. And we should be talking about the amazing recovery that is taking place.  


“But I am very concerned about some of the troubling data that is starting to emerge. 


“The April data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed unemployment increasing by only 266,000.  At the same time more than 8 million jobs remain unfilled. Businesses are struggling to hire workers and the cost of household goods is rising sharply. 


“Our economy is at a fragile moment right now. To be clear – I agree that things are looking up. But make no mistake, there are very troubling signs ahead.


“So, our focus must be on jobs and getting people back to work. That is what Republicans are doing. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 17 out of the 20 states led by Republicans are recovering jobs the fastest. 


“But Democrats seem to have other priorities. Their so-called ‘American Rescue Plan’ actively discouraged people from returning to work.  And now they are preparing to ram through trillions more in spending and massive tax hikes, all under the guise of ‘infrastructure’. 


“Americans are quite literally being forced to pick up the tab for Democrats’ progressive agenda.


“Our witnesses might be wondering what this has to do with them. Well, I think this is a cautionary tale to be careful what you wish for.


“My colleagues on the other side want you to focus on political activism instead of what your institutions do best – provide capital and serve customers. 


“As we learned during COVID, when you mix science and politics, you get politics. And as we’re learning now, when you mix business and politics, you get politics. 


“Shunning law-abiding businesses to appease the ‘woke’ left won’t help employers, their workers, or our recovery.


“Instead, we should be working together with a shared goal of rebuilding the greatest economy in the world and moving forward. 


“Speaking of moving forward, Madam Chair, when will this committee? 


“For months now we’ve gone back and forth about returning to in person committee hearings with the option for members to join remotely. 


“I think that is a reasonable request. 


“I also think the Americans we represent would be pretty ticked off if they knew that we’re urging them to get back to work, but we won’t do the same. 


“We should be setting the example. The vaccines work. The CDC has provided us with guidelines on how to safely meet in person. In fact, we did so earlier this month for a markup. So, what’s different about a hearing?


“I look forward to your response to my Monday letter asking how we can get back to working together, in person, to better serve the American people.

“I yield back.”


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