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Consumer Financial Protection Safety and Soundness Improvement Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HENSARLING. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding. I thank her for her leadership on this issue.

Mr. Chairman, already we know that in America we are looking at 9.2 percent unemployment. Since the President told us if we would pass his stimulus plan, $1 trillion, unemployment would never go beyond 8 percent, and now he is presiding over the longest period of high unemployment since the Great Depression. We just got the statistics since they've been keeping them. It now takes almost 10 full months for somebody unemployed to find a job. One in seven are on food stamps. The fewest new business starts in 17 years.

This economy is not suffering so much from a lack of capital; it is a lack of confidence, and a lack of confidence primarily in the policies of our President and the previous Congress. Part of that lack of confidence is attributable to Dodd-Frank and this CFPB which, yes, does have some wonderful consumer protection powers but also has historic draconian powers to ration and ban consumer credit for families and small businesses.

Yet here it is, as the gentlelady from West Virginia, the subcommittee chairman, pointed out, almost a year later that only now has the President seen fit to appoint some type of Director.

The lack of confidence in these policies is what is keeping jobs and capital on the sideline. It is incumbent upon us to return that confidence.

So, yes, to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, this is, yet again, another jobs bill. We need to say, You know what, small businesses in America? There is not going to be one czar who controls consumer credit. We're at least going to have a panel representing both primary parties in the United States.

And, by the way, at least now somebody will have to consider safety and soundness in what this bureau does. I mean, the people who are telling us don't worry about it are the very same people who told us don't worry about safety and soundness when it comes to Fannie and Freddie. Come on. It's all about consumers. It's all about homeownership. Let's roll the dice. Don't worry about safety and soundness.

Well, Mr. Chairman, we have to worry about safety and soundness. American small businesses are worried about safety and soundness. It is time to bring some confidence. It is time to bring some certainty so that we can get our friends, our neighbors and our constituents back to work, because they don't want welfare checks; they want paychecks. And this is one small step we can take today to provide that certainty.


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