|1:42 PM EDT||
Pete Sessions, R-TX 32nd
Mr. SESSIONS. I thank the gentleman from Colorado, my friend, for yielding me time, and I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Madam Speaker, I rise in opposition to this closed rule and the underlying bill.
Today, we are considering a 2,300-page Federal takeover of the financial services industry. This happened in health care. It's now happening in financial services. The bill before us today is just one more piece of the Democrat majority's agenda to Federalize more of the private sector of this country. I hear that as I travel in my district. Madam Speaker, while it's important to provide consumer safety and security in the marketplace and to minimize the chance of another financial crisis, I
oppose this bill.
I oppose this bill, and the underlying legislation holds many far-reaching consequences for the American economy and prohibits the ability of business, small and large, to create jobs and spur economic growth. Obviously, this bill, because it's done by the Democrat majority, will be 2,300 pages; obviously, because this bill is done by the Democrat majority, it will involve new Big Government plans, programs; and, obviously, because it's the Democrat majority, it will involve more taxes, fees,
and in fact it's $18 billion worth of new spending through these fees and taxes. In addition to making bailouts permanent, which this bill does do, failing to address the root cause of the crisis and rewarding failed regulators, this Democratic solution makes it even more difficult for consumers to access credit and for businesses to comply with overburdensome regulations.
Just a few minutes ago, we heard the story about how Republicans want to do nothing. Republicans would do nothing because they're opposed to rules and regulations in the marketplace. That's not true. We already have enough rules and regulations in the marketplace. And I do agree there's some things in here which do add to the safety and soundness features. But in the overall total, it's a bad deal. It's a bad deal for consumers, it's a bad deal for this country, and it's certainly a bad deal
for anyone that wants to turn the corner on growing jobs in America.
In a letter from the Independent Bankers Association of Texas, my home State, while referencing the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created in the bill, it states, ``this agency will have broad powers to write rules on all bank products and services, which we believe will stifle innovation and entrepreneurship on longstanding products that have been responsibly offered by community financial institutions. This will result in more cost and confusion to bank customers and stifle lending
and funding in community banks.''
Community banks represent the lifeblood of Texas. I know this because I know a number of the banks and the people not only who lend with them but the people who rely on them day by day. I'm one of those persons. They're worried about what is happening here in Washington. Once again, they were given a reason to have fear of what has happened over the weekend in this bill becoming even closer to law.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of Financial Research, two brand new Federal agencies created in this bill--once again, two brand new Federal agencies created in this bill--will give unelected bureaucrats unprecedented power to track financial activities without citizens' approval. And these are not the only new regulatory components of the bill. This legislation allows for 355 new rulemakings, 47 studies, and 74 reports, and potentially dozens more as implementation
begins. But what should we expect from this Democratic Congress?
The goal of regulatory reform should be to help, not hinder. It should be there to help our economy to sustain and gain back economic growth. And, of course, gain back private-sector job creation--not government jobs. This legislation, of course, does the opposite. It takes a one-size-fits-all approach to governing, undermining U.S. economic competitiveness and private-sector growth. This Democrat solution will only increase government intervention in the financial markets. It will ration credit.
It will limit consumer choice. And, perhaps worst of all, it will continue to kill jobs. I'm sorry; private-sector jobs. I need to get that right. We're all for government jobs when it's a Democratic bill, but when it comes to free-enterprise system jobs, we want to kill those things. This is the hallmark of the Democratic Party, whose party--and I know this, this
is just part of it--but the three largest political items of the Democrat majority, Speaker Nancy Pelosi: To net lose 10 million American jobs through cap-and-trade, through card check, and through health care. Once again, we should have included that in that list--jobs that are killed in the free enterprise system by this Democrat majority.
Madam Speaker, the motives are clear. My Democrat colleagues are using policy and regulation to force a further government takeover of the free enterprise system while paving the road to diminish the private sector. This is their way of making sure that they use a crisis or a perception of a crisis to get what they want. I get it, and so do people back home. Madam Speaker, the Republican Party and my colleagues in the Republican Party are opposed to this bill. I encourage my colleagues to vote
against this rule and the underlying legislation.
I reserve the balance of my time.