McHenry: Use Advances in Technology to Bring More Unbanked and Underbanked Americans Into the Fold
May 19, 2021 -
Read Republican Leader McHenry’s opening remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you, Madam Chair. I’d like to start by welcoming the regulators today, some familiar faces and some new.
“Chair McWilliams, Vice Chair Quarles, I’d like to again thank you for your work throughout the pandemic to ensure our financial system remained strong.
“Your quick and decisive action to provide appropriate flexibility for financial institutions and consumers set us up for our strong economic rebound.
“Mr. Hsu, I also want to welcome you to the Committee in your new role as Acting Comptroller of the Currency.
“However, I think it’s safe to say that many of us expected to hear from the confirmed Comptroller of the Currency at this point.
“There’s been a lot of speculation about who President Biden’s nominee will be. He seems to be taking a goldilocks approach here. First, Michael Barr was deemed too conservative, if you can call someone who helped write Dodd-Frank conservative.
“Then Mehrsa Baradaran, who advocates for socialized banking and opposes innovation. She seems to appease far-left progressives, but still, no formal nomination.
“So, we’re left to wonder, who will be deemed as ‘safe and sound’, at least in the eyes of Mr. Biden, to permanently fill the role.
“But indecision has real world consequences.
“As President Biden tries to cater to his party’s political whims, the OCC and our financial institutions are left without a clear path forward.
“Former Comptroller Otting and former Acting Comptroller Brooks made great strides in a nonpartisan, non-ideological way to remove regulatory roadblocks and support financial inclusion through innovation.
“But now these positive steps forward are stuck in limbo, or worse, in danger of being scrapped altogether for political optics.
“This is not the right way to regulate. But I fear this is just the start of Democrats’ one-party rule mentality in practice.
“We know that Democrats’ tendency is to overregulate when they feel like they need to do something. We saw this in 2009 and 2010 with Dodd-Frank and we know the negative impact it had on our financial institutions.
“We’re already seeing Democrats’ treat the COVID pandemic just like the financial crisis, but the two are not comparable and our economy is in a much different place now.
“What my Democrat colleagues should take away from the pandemic is the important role financial technology plays in our day-to-day lives.
“Together these rules helped bring more Americans under the banking umbrella. We should build on these gains rather than trying to relitigate 2009.
“I look forward to hearing from each of you on how we can accomplish that.
“I yield back.”
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