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Public Statements

Directing Committees to Review Regulations from Federal Agencies: House of Representatives

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. Speaker, I came in in the middle of this debate, and I have been trying to figure out if the American people who may be watching this, and even my colleagues here on the floor, may even understand what this debate is about.

The original resolution talks about inventorying and looking at and evaluating regulations. I think that's a substitute for trying to figure out how to cut back on various agencies and their authority and what they are doing, and we don't want to lose sight of that. I think that is an honorable objective.

The problem is that this debate has wandered off into a discussion about whether the SEC effectively did what it was supposed to do with respect to Bernie Madoff. And when I hear my colleague, Mr. Miller, say, well, this is about holding the SEC accountable for what they did not do, I don't know how you hold the SEC accountable for what they did not do by decreasing their ability to regulate an industry and by decreasing their budget. Those two things don't compute with me. I just am having a big problem internalizing this.

You have an agency here that has a $1 billion annual budget. It has responsibility for policing and monitoring all of the things that Mr. Green talked about in his debate. But on a gross level, 8.5 billion shares of stock are transferred every day, so $1 billion a year. We are supposed to monitor and control 8.5 billion shares a day transferred and transacted, and here we are talking about, well, let's take authority from the SEC and let's take money away from the SEC to do what it's supposed to do.

Friends, that does not compute, and the American people know that it does not compute.

Now, the underlying resolution says that you are supposed to find ways to identify how these regulations impact and limit access to credit and capital. Well, imagine what is going to happen with investors in this country if the SEC isn't available to regulate the transactions, 8.5 billion transactions a day. And you are going to say, Okay, we want your capital, but we are not going to do anything to protect you as an investor. We are going to let Bernie Madoff do whatever he wants to do, because we are getting ready to limit the number of regulations the SEC can impose on Bernie Madoff, and we are getting ready to limit their budget to enforce the regulations that they have.

Friends, that does not compute. It does not compute with Members of this House, and, I will tell you, it will not compute with the American public.

This is a simple debate: Do you allow the private sector to do whatever they want to whenever they want to in whatever circumstances they want to so that we can be back in another economic chaos like we had for the last 2 or 3 years, or do we have some reasonable regulations and reasonably fund the ability of the regulators to enforce those regulations? That's what this debate is about.

I don't know what Mr. Miller was talking about. I don't know how this relates to Fannie and Freddie. It doesn't. Everything in our committee seems to relate to Fannie and Freddie. But this is about how we are going to regulate these stock transactions. And if you reduce their budget and reduce their ability to regulate, I guarantee you, we will be out of control. It does not compute.

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