McHenry: We Should Focus on Financial Stability and the Important Work of Regulators, Not Politics
November 12, 2020 -
Today, the House Financial Services Committee is holding a hearing with prudential regulators, including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FRB). Republican Committee Members will discuss the ongoing work by the regulators to ensure financial stability in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to provide regulatory clarity to spur economic recovery.
Watch Ranking Member Patrick McHenry’s (NC-10) opening remarks here.
Read Ranking Member McHenry’s opening remarks as delivered:
“Well, thanks so much, and I want to thank the regulators for being here.
“I would also note for the Chair that I don’t see the election outcome as this vote for the ‘woke’ left policy agenda of House progressives. Anything but that. We have more Republicans in the next Congress in the House of Representatives because, quite frankly, the far left went so far.
“So, while you may have had some successes in the election, I don’t think it’s a wide endorsement of a far-left policy agenda that the Chair noted. In fact, what I would note is that in the middle of this pandemic, instead of taking political pot-shots, we should have a serious concerted effort to have a serious conversation in this Committee, like we have not had in the midst of this pandemic.
“And I think that’s a very, very sad thing that we have not been more focused on financial stability and the important work that these regulators, that are before us today, have been about this year.
“With that, I’d like to thank our witnesses for being here and commend them for the work they’ve put in to address the effects of the pandemic on our financial system. They’ve done a fantastic job—a wonderful, fantastic job.
“And they should be commended for the work that they have put in to act decisively at the start of the crisis to provide necessary certainty and clarity for our financial system. Your quick implementation of provisions in the CARES Act, from March forward, provided financial institutions and consumers appropriate flexibility to accommodate the daily challenges they have faced in the midst of this pandemic.
“I would encourage you to continue examining the regulations in your purview to ensure stability in the banking system.
“As I have said previously and will repeat again today, our focus must be on the following: increased testing, opening schools safely, and getting people back to work.
“Last week, unemployment dropped to just under 7 percent, a rapid turnaround from the April high of 14.7 percent. This is a good start. Our economy is rebounding. But more can be done. I believe pro-growth regulations and policies are the key to sustained success.
“We know that modernizing and rightsizing regulations will unleash the economy and allow consumers and small businesses to flourish. And that’s what you’re doing, and I appreciate that work that you are about.
“A big part of that is regulatory clarity. I want to thank Acting Comptroller Brooks and Chair McWilliams for their work to help bring certainty to the legal status of loans made through banking partnerships.
“Much of the innovation in financial services right now is happening within the context of partnerships between banks and fintech firms. Your efforts have helped bring greater definition to the regulatory and supervisory models for those partnerships.
“We should also continue to examine the importance of de novo charters and rural banking. Serving ‘banking deserts’ is a necessary aspect of supporting our main street and rural small businesses. I commend my colleague from Kentucky, Congressman Barr, for his work on this important issue.
“Now, more than ever, technology is going to play an essential role in our financial future. Innovation is important for our success.
“As new policies are considered, we should ensure that government is not standing in the way of private sector creativity and helping our people.
“I’ll end where I started. The tone of this hearing does not bode well for the next Congress.
“We have the ability to find good, bipartisan solutions that help promote a successful financial system that is inclusive and addresses the needs of the American people. Yet, my colleagues continue to choose divisiveness over bipartisanship and that is disappointing.
“I would like to thank all of our witnesses for being here today and their solid, good work in the midst of this pandemic.
“I yield back.”
- Mr. Brian Brooks, Acting Comptroller of the Currency, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
- The Honorable Rodney Hood, Chairman, National Credit Union Administration
- The Honorable Jelena McWilliams, Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
- The Honorable Randal Quarles, Vice Chairman of Supervision, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Watch the virtual hearing here.
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