It's been quite a busy week in Washington; as usual, Nancy Pelosi continued her efforts to force her agenda through Congress. We were kept busy voting on legislation, conducting hearings on topics including regulating over-the-counter derivatives (watch my opening statement here), compensation in the financial sector, and legislation offering incentives for making improvements to the energy efficiency of homes and businesses. I also had the opportunity to discuss my recent trip to Afghanistan with Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues; if you'd like to learn more about my trip, listen to this interview I did with Chicago Public Radio.
I also want to tell you about two major initiatives I was involved in this week. The first of these is the American Energy Act, an "all of the above" energy proposal, which I am cosponsoring, that will enable the United States to achieve energy independence, lower energy costs for American households, create jobs here at home, and help the environment as well. For me, the most exciting thing about the American Energy Act is its strong support for clean, safe nuclear energy, including a goal of bringing 100 new nuclear reactors online in the next twenty years and support for the Yucca Mountain waste repository.
On Thursday, I also took part in a press conference to announce the Republican plan to reform the financial regulatory system. This plan will get the government out of the business of bailing out financial institutions, stop it from picking winners and losers, and send a clear signal to Wall Street that they're responsible for the consequences of their decisions, not taxpayers. What we proposed yesterday was a commonsense plan and I'm looking forward to working with Democrats and the Administration to reform the regulatory system while remaining true to our principles of no more bailouts, no more picking winners and losers, and returning responsibility for risky decisions to Wall Street. You can watch my statement here or the whole press conference here.
As always, it is an honor to serve you. Please do not hesitate to contact my office in Willowbrook at (630) 655-2052 or in Washington, DC at (202) 225-3515 if I can be of assistance to you.
This Week In Washington:
H Res 454 - Recognizing the 25th anniversary of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: As a co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Missing, Exploited and Runaway Children, I was pleased to see that this resolution passed unanimously.
HR 1886 - The PEACE (Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement) Act of 2009: I voted for a version of this bill that would have made the United States a partner with Pakistan, not its nanny.
HR 2751 - Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save Act: I voted against this so-called "cash for clunkers" legislation, which gives people incentives to buy more fuel-efficient vehicles, because it calls for another $4 billion in spending and does not extend the incentives to used cars. If we want to incentivize new car purchases, we must not exclude previously-owned vehicles that can meet the same fuel-efficiency standards and cost less to consumers.
Next Week in Washington:
On Monday or Tuesday, the House is expected to again consider the bill intended to provide supplemental funds for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, as I said last week, this bill has become laden with billions in non-defense spending, taking money away from our troops.
The House will also begin to consider appropriations bills for the 2011 fiscal year.
Judy in the News:
June 12, 2009
From Staff Reports
Biggert Unveils Financial Reform Proposal
Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL-13), joined by Republican leaders of the House Committee on Financial Services, outlined a series of proposals to overhaul the financial regulatory system.
"These proposals get the government out of the bailout business, prevent it from cherry-picking winners and losers, and send a clear signal to Wall Street that from now on, Wall Street, not taxpayers, will be responsible for risky business," said Biggert, a Ranking Member on the Committee.
"Our proposals put taxpayers first. They point toward smarter, stronger regulators and regulations that promote transparency, accountability, and competition."
Biggert, along with a team of senior Financial Services Committee Republicans, unveiled the proposals at a press conference in the Capitol Thursday afternoon. Biggert's comments focused on consumer protections and anti-fraud enforcement, two long-held priorities that Biggert has championed during her time in Congress.
"I'm especially pleased that our plan empowers consumers and cracks down on fraud; these provisions will help restore integrity and trust in our financial system," said Biggert. "Specifically, our plan streamlines the complaint process for consumers and enhances consumer information. It maximizes restitution for fraud victims, and makes it easier for financial regulators to assist in investigating and prosecuting of violations of financial laws."
"What we are proposing is a commonsense plan and a good first step toward much-needed reform in the financial sector. I look forward to seeing the Administration's and Democrats' proposals as well as receiving their input and that of all stakeholders. I hope that we can work together on these critically important matters while adhering to key principles: no more bailouts, prevent the government from selecting winners and losers, and restore market discipline" said Biggert.
Read the rest of the article here.
Read all of Judy's press releases and statements here.
Article of the Week:
Republicans Urge Bankruptcy to Resolve Failed Firms
June 11, 2009
U.S. House Republicans proposed letting non-bank firms fail in bankruptcy court and stripping the Federal Reserve of supervisory powers as they released a proposal for overhauling financial regulations.
Taxpayers must be shielded against the cost of propping up ailing firms, the lawmakers said today at a Washington news conference. The proposal is styled as an alternative to what the Obama administration is scheduled to announce on June 17.
"Restoring market discipline and getting the government out of the bailout business is critical to helping prevent another crisis," Representative Spencer Bachus of Alabama, the top Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, said in a statement. "Our plan also brings needed reforms to the Federal Reserve to ensure transparency and accountability."