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Republican Leaders Urge Committee Democrats to Focus on COVID-19 Relief, Not Partisan Policies


Republican Leaders Urge Committee Democrats to Focus on COVID-19 Relief, Not Partisan Policies




Washington,
April 6, 2020 
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Today, Republican leaders of the House Financial Services Committee, led by Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (NC-10), sent a letter to Chairwoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) urging her to abandon partisan policies and make coronavirus (COVID-19) response and recovery efforts the main priority for the Committee.

In recent weeks, Chair Waters has requested federal financial regulators “be prohibited from adopting rules not directly related to responding to the coronavirus for the length of the crisis.”Despite this blanket order to regulators, House Financial Services Committee Democrats have taken a very different approach, pushing partisan policies unrelated to COVID-19 response.

These partisan proposals include:

  • H.R. 6379, Speaker Pelosi’s “Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act,” which included several provisions unrelated to the ongoing COVID-19 response, such as requiring mandatory disclosures for political spending, ESG, and board diversity for recipients of funds.
  • Chair Waters’ recent letter to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Small Business Administrator Carranza, which proposed far-reaching policies such as a $15/hour minimum wage, minimum of two weeks of paid leave, and a mandatory corporate governance structure that would forever alter the fundamental strength of our nation’s economy.

Republican leaders called for the Committee to follow Speaker Pelosi’s lead “regarding a more tailored approach to any subsequent coronavirus-related legislation,” and “to operate with a singular focus on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Read the Republican leaders’ letter to Chair Waters here or below.

Dear Chairwoman Waters:

We have taken note of your multiple requests to federal financial regulators that, in light of the national emergency caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), they should “be prohibited from adopting rules not directly related to responding to the coronavirus for the length of the crisis.”  

Yet, contrary to these requests, Financial Services Committee Democrats have taken a different approach. For example, Financial Services Committee Democrats pushed for inclusion of several far-reaching policies in the Speaker’s bill, H.R. 6379, that were on your agenda well before COVID-19. Policies such as requiring mandatory disclosures for political spending, ESG, and board diversity for recipients of funds; providing $300 million for the Office of Fair Housing for partisan stakeholders to pursue more litigation; and requiring Treasury and GAO to collect data on the diversity of aid provided to recipients are not COVID-19 related but serve a purely partisan agenda.

Even your recent letter to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and Small Business Administrator Carranza took the opportunity to highlight longstanding Democrat policies such as a $15/hour minimum wage, minimum of two weeks of paid leave, and a mandatory corporate governance structure. These policies, if enacted, would forever alter the fundamental strengths of our nation’s economy.

Given the Committee’s relatively few resources as compared to our federal financial regulators, any call to limit the focus of federal entities exclusively to the COVID-19 response should include our Committee before we consider applying that standard to our regulators. 

We appreciate the Speaker’s comments over the weekend regarding a more tailored approach to any subsequent coronavirus-related legislation. We trust the Committee will follow her lead. Americans expect their elected representatives to operate with a singular focus on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.  Republicans stand ready to work in a bipartisan way to ensure relief programs are implemented promptly and in a manner that supports the people and businesses who need help.    

Sincerely,


Patrick McHenry

Ranking Member


Ann Wanger

Vice Ranking Member


Bill Huizenga

Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets


French Hill

Ranking Member

Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy


Blaine Luetkemeyer

Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions


Andy Barr

Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations


Steve Stivers

Ranking Member

Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance


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