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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  March 17, 2011 2:00am-6:00am EDT

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pools that are now being challenged at the fukushima. we see potential that they are experiencing severe conditions perhaps even a fire that releases radioactive material. the recommendation would be too thin out of those pools into dry casks. the technology is simple. it is not difficult. if there were a challenge to cooling, there would be more time to intervene the second recommendation was dealing with the right ability of protection against the black belts. it is the loss of power. they required that all utilities develop the coping strategy.
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of coping it it before the calvary. we are not sure if that is adequate. there are multiple failures. they may greatly complicate the expectations that they will be successful. a navy engaging this.
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these guidelines are voluntary. they have come up with plans to cope with an accident that are not largely overseen by the nrc. it was there. chrysler wants to know what you recommend. workers are being exposed to
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high levels of radiation. finally, there is the issue of emergency planning sun and the adequacy of whether we plan for evacuations. they could increase. in the u.s., there are only requirements to evacuate within 10 miles. our recommendation would be to reevaluate the current emergency planning. they could interview with the execution of the plans.
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i apologize for being long winded. >> you are so good at this. >> there are many safety margins have been reduced. we have many examples that we think could be immediately it there. >> would you send me the entire list. how many are within 50 miles of the plants? do you know how many? >> i do not. i am shocked that no one seems
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to know this. we ought to have this at the tip of our fingers. i keep coming back to this. and probably boring you. there are certain things we absolutely know now. to nobody predicted a 9.0. it is built to withstand a 7.0. i have two plants on earthquake faults or near them. we have been warned by our state geologists that they are new.
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if the build for nine plan five, we would have not be here. that is the first thing. that's fine? how many of these are there. it seems that these two things you can deal with. >> the jury is dell out.
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there is certainly issues that need to be addressed. there are serious containment of their abilities. they determined the containment failure risk. they were at 40%. there are other plans that have pressure suppression containers that are bent -- built to be weaker. they are an ongoing concern. >> a 40% chance they can tell? >> if it melts through the vessel. >> to ask you to please take
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time. is there anything that he says here? this fire -- is there anything that you do not agree with? >> i would like to address with your concern is. they said it was designed for seven plan five and they got a nine. it is beyond what they thought would happen. i am not telling give this to debate but to reassure you. last friday afternoon in japan when the massive earthquake hit, there were three operating units at that site. there were three march at the site next door. -- three more at the site next door. the plan was to shut down. they lost power. the generators started as designed. it was operating by design to
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safely shut down. >> it was being cooled down? >> the riyadh -- the reactors -- the shutdown process had begun. we still do not fully understand everything that happens. for the seismically qualified, they had a function to it. i am not debating it. i hope they give you some assurance. >> even though you do not know for sure, you are saying it is the tsunami that is the problem and not the earthquake? >> it appears. >> i appreciate that.
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>> here is the thing that concerns me. the california tsunami could come with no warning. i am talking about the fact that we have no plans that are within 50 miles of earthquake faults and could have tsunami action. i want to read you what this man says. i do not know him. he is a california state geologist. mother nature is notorious for not obeying the rules that we make. then he says an earthquake off alaska would give california 6-9 hours lead time to clean the beaches before a tsunami struck. a traveler of california oregon border might give northern california less than half an hour to prepare.
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you are saying things function ed. >> they said even they did not know. i could not comment. >> what about the recommendations? >> i am not sure that it has more are less field then u.s. ones. it is early 70's vintage. they have been operating 40 years or so. i suspect it is fairly stacked. >> i peaky can go back and forth. i find this to be very important. ha ha what is your response?
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>> they did big board it to friends. remember that? and was interesting. they are proud that they are missing it. i wonder what happens then. that is another issue. >> you are saying that that was old technology. >> i simply do not know whether it was true or false? >> i have been trying to follow this the best i can from experts on the radio and tv. it is a great opportunity for me to learn. i thought that one of the reactors was holding the fuel
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rods and that it was exposed. is that what you are talking about? it did have concrete over at? >> they had still pulls of the top floor. covering that is about a 1.5 foot concrete wall with sheet metal. >> and that fell apart. >> there were explosions. there were big holes in the structures. let me continue. these -- is that what is there? >> those are not pressure retaining buildings. it is the water that provides the shielding from what is there. he can go to any site in the country and look over the side
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of a used pool. >> it is totally safe? >> it has a dead again reinforced concrete around it. doesn't have to be cold? >> that is part of the problem. rather than have something else that can go wrong, is that fair? >> that is what we are doing in this country. i didn't mean this to sound cues, but we need to get on with the long-term repository that would help resolve that issue. >> this is the issue of densely packed ones.
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it takes further action to facilitate these polls. the polls are not safe as they are now. they make suggestions about rearranging it in reducing the risk. it is yardy adequately safe. they can accept vulnerabilities. >> i told you i did not have to go. >> i have another 10 minutes. >> do you believe that this is an issue in america? do you think that we could do better than we are doing now? >> i think it is very safe.
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i'm trying to see where we can have this. there is something that we can mitigate total loss. the procedures that we have in place have been implemented. >> tell me if i am wrong. the backup power was so low to the ground that it was swept out by the tsunami. is that what happened? >> yes. there should be ways had to get that out on high ground. >> that is something i should look at. >> there are different practices and our country.
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if they had a flood they were not be affected. but what about some solar panels? >> excuse me? >> what about electricity from solar panels. >> that would be terrific. >> wouldn't it? clean power. >> we reviewed destroying quadrants of the plant in seeing what contingency measures could be put in place to provide back gets. that has led to the staging and many types of portable of equipment on site.
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yet heard about the diesel driven fire pumps. we already have decent driven mobil pumped on every side. it provides another contingency measure. in >> de you agree that we need to review it? >> that is part of the parent -- we are not waiting. >> let me ask one question. are those emergency, seismically qualify? >> it is beyond its. >> i know how big of a problem
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it is find a, minear said seismic activity parent. >> i think we have the gold standard. >> let me give you one cautionary point. >> should only be careful? >> absolutely. they do not know what is going to occur. there are provisions to go beyond. >> that is the point. you do not know. they did not know this could happen. if you say we have a gold
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standard plan, and hearing this radiation travels. >> that is that what they are saying. >> they are being very cautious about what could have been. they have people on the ground. they are being cautious. i will not mistake conservatism now for were these zones are set for the plants. christie agree that 10 miles is a gold standard? -- >> do you agree that a mouse is the gold standard? quite know. i'm confused. if that were decision, there is been no preparation for these people.
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>> i strongly disagree with the fact that 10 miles is the gold standard. they are being super cautious. why would be otherwise? when we build these plants, that theyht to nelknow could be asked to evacuate. the circle of involvement gets larger and larger. people as far away as tokyo, some businesses are leaving tokyo. i hope that is just an abundance of caution. >> that is one thing that we have to fully understand. >> i agree with you. i want to thank both of you. we have differences.
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there is a little bit of an agreement here. this is just the first of what is going to be some oversight in this area. i will be working with you on ensuring that our plants in california and get another look. we have people in the state that are not satisfied. that is not right. they do not feel comfortable with this. but if you have been terrific. you are stressed. you are being called on to speak to various ones. at the end of the day, they will figure this out. i believe that i feel sick for
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the people who are going they are what they are going there in japan. i want to join in sending them all of our heartfelt sympathies for what they are going through. we all want to help on both sides of the aisle. we will do that. this will pass and rebuild. we will have a sense of normalcy. we've learned very clear lessons. one thing i learned is that when you are cautious any pertinent, no one ever gives you credit for it. nothing ever happened. i remember when i was a county supervisor, we found out that there was some earthquake
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problems in our civic center. to be honest, there is a lot of people that did not say anything about it or bring it. it is not going to look good. maybe nothing ever would have happened. the workers came first. appears to be safe. there at one of those movements. in may be easier to say that it can happen here. mother nature is notorious for not obeying rules that we make. we have to be humble. it seems that we have to take
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everything we can to bring it down. i think both of you for your testimony today. we stand adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
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>> coming up, a chinese premier told a news conference in beijing. the house financial services committee looks into the creation of a regulatory agency.
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>> the president of the administration believes that we must look closely at the events in japan. we have to apply whatever lessons that can and will be learned. >> more on capitol hill, testifying on the fiscal year 2012 budget. what it. it is washington your way. >> this week, at china's national people's congress finished the annual session. the chinese premier spoke to reporters in beijing. in this portion, he answers questions about unrest in the middle east, oil prices, and anti-corruption efforts.
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>> mr. prime minister, they had been its printing since the beginning of the year. bay and now observing china. they are creating their own model. >> we have followed closely the
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turbulence in the political said jubilation in some north african countries. at the same time, we take the view that it is not right to draw an analogy between china and the relevant countries.
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>> with over 30 years of reform and opening up, china has achieved rapid developments in the economic and social fields. they have improved. they have been widely recognized. i believe the chinese people have seen that the chinese government is sticking serious steps to address the challenges and problems in china's economic and social development. it is true that they have witnessed major changes. now they have become the second- largest in the world. they are aware that china remains a developing country.
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[speaking chinese]
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>> we have embarked on a path that has this. they are as follows, we will focus on economic construction and vigorously promote economic development. we will continue to put people's
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interest first and strive for a comprehensive and sustainable development. we will continue to promote social fairness and justice and maintain social stability. we will protect the democratic advice of the people, promote their development, and give further play to the initiative and creativity of the people. chinese]
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>> and china is still taking exploratory steps to reform and development. we have never seen our on development as any particular model. we believe that all countries can identify their on development which is suited to their own national conditions. we respect the choices made by people of other countries.
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we take the view that countries can learn from each other in terms of development on the basis of mutual respect. thank you. >> i am with the "wall street journal, well inflation has become a problem in china's society. we have seen that rising commodity and housing prices have exerted a direct impact on the life of ordinary chinese people. how do you evaluate the measures that the central government has adopted to fight inflation? what new measures will the government take to combat it? will they consider letting the r&b appreciate?
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[speaking chinese]
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>> inflation is like a tiger. but set free, it'll be difficult to bring it back into the cage. i believe that the current inflation we are witnessing is a global issue. let's take a look at the environment in this respect. some countries have pursued monetary policy. this has drastic fluctuations.
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we have seen around 2% inflation rate in european countries. in the past few months, the global prices have risen by 15%. the situation in some north african and west asian countries have driven up a global oil prices. that price has hit over $100 per barrel. the important inflation has had a big impact on china. it is a factor that is not easy to control. we have also witnessed structural and operations in china due to rising labor costs
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and rising prices of primary growth. we must pay close attention to the problem and take strong steps to address it. i have often said that inflation affects the immediate interests of the people. that is why the government has given top priority to curbing inflation. [speaking chinese]
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[speaking chinese]
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>> i have explained the measures that we will adopt to control inflation and manage inflation
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expectations and mike government report. i will not repeat the measure here. i want to emphasize. the government has the confidence that it will be able to anchor inflation expectation. indexs consumer price rose by 5.1%. with our efforts, we managed to bring it down to 4.6% in next month. we still face it. i am sure that you are well aware of the carry over on the cpi. in january, it stayed at the same level in february. we have a stronger carry over of that standing at 3.7%.
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the first well continue to have protection to ensure sufficient supplies. we improve the distribution system in particular. we will enhance the weak links in agricultural products. and still maintain a good market. we will manage the expectations. our measures to bring down the rising housing prices are threefold. first, we must mop up access
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liquidity. that is important for controlling the housing prices and the consumer prices. that will help us. did we will make use of fiscal taxation and financial one suit fix demands. the local government must assume there do responsibility for controlling the prices. that includes the governor provinces will take responsibility for the supply of staple foods. the mares will be responsible oversupply of vegetables.
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>> it is driven year. we are here.
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>> you have the interest. at the right to say that we will continue to pursue our reform of
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the chinese exchange rate. we have taken three major steps in pushing forward this reform since 1994. the exchange rate has appreciated by 57.9% against the dollar. our practice has been to fix these chinese yen from the u.s. dollar. we pursue a floating exchange rates on the basis of market supply and demand and with reference to a basket of currencies. we will continue to make it more flexible in line with the changes in market supply and demand. at the same time, the appreciation should be a gradual
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process. we must bear in mind the impact on the chinese businesses. >> i am from cnn. you have served as premier for eight years now. maybe you will step down in the year 2013. what kind of legacy do you wish to leave behind. you have advocated reform. given the kind of challenges that china faces now, what reform deal advocate says that you can better address problems, concerns, and grievances of the chinese people? do you support the idea of
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direct and competitive elections on various levels of government? >> thank you.
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>> i still have a heavy agenda. i think i should continue to do my job diligently on this position as devoted as a soldier. i always had the interest of the country in my mind. i pursued no personal gains. i will do it anxiously.
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there is a history of economic
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restructuring. it should be about this. nothing stays here. it is only with reforms that we can reach your continuous existence and grow.
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tend their remarks . the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. sessions: house resolution 170 provides for a structured rule designed by e rules committee for consideration of
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h.r. 861 and h.r. 839. this rule allows the amendments submitted to the rules committee to be made in order as long as they were not subject to a point of order and were germane to the underlying text of h.r. 861 and h.r. 839. this rule provides for debate and amendment opportunities for members of the minority and the majority to change the legislative text of the underlying bill. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of this rule and the two underlying bills. the first piece of legislation, the neighborhood stabilization program termination act was introduced by my friend from california, gary miller, on march 1, 2011, and went through committee markup in the financial services committee last week on march 9. the second bill, h.r. 839, the
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home affordable mortgage protection -- program termination act was introduced by my dear friend from north carolina, the gentleman, mr. mchenry, on february 28, and marked up last week as well. both of these bills went through regular order which allowed members from both sides of the aisle the opportunity to offer amendments in the financial services committee and in the rules committee yesterday. the chairman of the rules committee, david dreier, has once again provided members of this body a transparent and accountable structure under the rule that we are discussing today. allowing members from both sides of this body to offer amendments and both sides to join in debate of the underlying legislation. mr. speaker, last fall republicans pledged to the american people that we would stop the wasteful spending and put americans back to work.
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these two bills that we are discussing today continue to roll back the abuse of taxpayer funds that diminishment -- funds, the diminishment of jobs, and proper government responsibility without any balance in the housing sector. by the way, mr. speaker, we also said that we would make sure that we we through regular order and would allow membertime to read the bills. that is what republicans bring forth to the floor today as we debate these two important aspes that have gone through regular order through the financial services committee. h.r. 861, the n.s.p. termination act, terminates the neighborhood stability program and recrinds $1 billion --
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recinds $1 billi from the dodd-frank bill from last year. this is three rounds of funding from this program. eligible users for the funds include emergency assistance to state and local governments to acquire, develop, redevelop or demolished foreclosed homes. this doesn't stop or helps people getting through foreclosures. it allows lenders to fix up the houses to sell while returning not one cent of the $7 billion back to the american taxpayer. the n.s.p. has done little to get to the root causes of the foreclores. in fact, the n.s.p. continues to extend and further exacerbate the current housing downturn. this program represents a costly bailout for lenders,
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servicers and real estate speculators who made risky bets on the housing market all at the expense of the american taxpayer and our debt. while putting billions of taayer dollars at risk, we should understand that this is a program -- two programs that must be halted. there should be an appropriate accountability and reporting, and this program lacks both. this is just another two examples as follong up of what we did last week with two other examples of the democrats' solution of throwing money at a problem rather than something that would work and be cost-effective. taxpayers from all over this nation are struggling with their mortgage payments, keeping their jobs and providing for their families. allowing for a stable economy, a future and reining in
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government spending by eliminating wasteful government spending will provide for more transparency and government accountability across economic markets. that is why we are eliminating these two programs today on the floor of the house of representatives. let's be honest about this. republicans are here to try and save jobs that are on the chopping block from what wastul government spending has done for us the last four years of democrat control. today, republicans are on the floor to stop wasteful government spending which says directly to the taxpayers, we don't want 40 cents out of every dollar that we spend to be put on a credit card, a future debt, that our children and our future will be put at risk from by mortgaging our future. republicans are not going to allow that. that is why we are on the floor
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of the house of representatives. that is why we will encourage every member of this body, republican or democrat, to make tough decisions today about not just today but about our future. the second bill under this rule today, h.r. 839, rescrinds the home affordable modification program, known as hamp. this is another unnecessary program that wastes billions of dollars. terminating this program will prevent the use of $29 billion of tarp funds. $29 billion of tarp funds we do not think should be spent. ha was established in february of 2009 with the goal of assisting with loan modification up to four million homeowners. over the life this program only
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521,306 loans have been permanently modified, and the redefault rate for these loans is very high. so what we started with trying to help four million people, thus far we only have 521,000, but itomes at a high cost to the taxpayer. only 840 million of the $29 billion of this earmark has been used. only $840 million of the $29 billion has been spent. we need the money back. we need the money back because this is a case where the program actually made matters worse for many of the homeowners who were seeking to participate, and the government is pushing a program which harms these homeowners. the program creates is perverse incentive for borrowers to deliberately d willfully stop making their mortgage payments
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in the hope that they can get a government loan to reduce their payments. so a program that the gernment actually encourages people to quit making payments, which still adds up, it harms their credit rating and adds a further, what i think is an unfair circumstance, circumstance to where the government is pushing we're here to help you when in fact not knowing the rules of the game and ether a homeowner will even be able to qualify, waiting months to then find out, whoops, sorry, you didn't qualify, now you need to continue to do what you're doing. a false hope, mr. speaker. "the washington times," which is a great newspaper here in washington, published an article on march 1 of this year. on this program that stated that in perhaps hundreds of thousands of cases homeowners are far worse off after hamp than they were before being
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talked into and getting involved with the program. borrowers are typically t told all the potential consequences of falling behind on their mortgages. they're simply told, there's a government plan out there to help you, when in fact they fall behind on their mortgages, services have repeatedly lost documentation and provided false information to home borrowers who were in need of assistance and good discussion with them about how they pay their bills instead of trying to talk them into a government program. in some instances, even pushing individuals into default that could have continued making their payments. in a report from the inspecto general of tarp to secretary of the treasury geithner on march 25, 2010 that is one year ago, he notes that, and i quote,
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several aspects of the hamp design make it particularly vulnerable to redefaults. it is time to pull the plug. that is why republicans are on the floor today to say straight up, we need to look at what is not working, we need to look at the $29 billion that has been spent on this program, and we need to be honest with ourself, as has been noted in newspapers across the country. what the democrats have done, this adminisation, this house has done have been adversaryial to helping peopleho needed assistance. and today we could save the taxpayers $28 billion that has not been spent from this program. continued government intervention and questionable use of taxpayer dollars only prolongs our current economic crisis and ensures that the housing market will simply continue to struggle. the market needs to find its
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own footing free of government intervention and manipulation by this government so that we can get on with a full recovery. the deficit is expected to reach a record under president obama using his numbers, $1,650,000,000 this year while our national debt is well over $14 trillion. mr. speaker, the u.s. and its citizens cannot afford to spend billions of taxpayer dollars that will not be repaid and it ends up in many instances harming the people it was intended to help. job creation is the most effective foreclosure prevention tool. job losses rather than unsustained mortgage terms are now the driving force behind foreclosuresnd mortgage defaults. eliminating these programs will save not only taxpayer dollars but encourage more responsible government spending by the
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federal government. so, mr. speaker, no surprise to you, i encourage a yes vote on the rule and a yes vote on the underlying legislation. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: mr. speaker, here we are again at a time when americans are calling for more jobs to improve the economy and my republican colleagues want to pass legislation that doesn't create a single job and will hurt the middle class further destabilizing our housing markets. this week we take up two more bills to continue to weaken our housing markets and abandon families working hard struggling to stay in their homes showing my friends on the other side of the aisle continue to put partisan politics ahead of creating jobs and growing the econom yesterday in rules committee, when we had several member there is from both sides testifying, the question was asked, are we in a housing crisis? everybody there agreed and i
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think most of my cleels -- colleagues on the other side of the aisle agree, we are in a housing crisis. so the question is what should be the response? this response is what we have. my colleague from dallas said the current program hamp lacks accountability. the answer to that should be to create accountability, we are talking about repeal without replace, ending rather than mending. if there is a housing crisis, and i believe my colleagues agree there is, it call farce public policy response. rather an talk about what we shouldn't do, we should talk about what we should do. we are leaving nothing in the wake if this proposal moves forward. at a time when we begin to show signs of strong, sustained growth, we immediate to do everything we can tput people back to work and create jobs and yet instead here we have legislation after legislation thawill increase burdens on
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already struggling middle class families. rather than improving and building upon or even replacing programs that keep families in their home, the republicans have chosen to eliminate these four programs that keep families in their home with no plan to strengthen the housing market or help the families that would quite literally be left on the street as a result. h.r. 839 will elimite one of the last lifelines available to many homeowners. according to treasury secretary geithner, ending the hamp program would cause a huge amount of damage to a fragile housing market and leave hundreds and hundreds of thousands, if not millions of americans, without the chance to take advantage of a mortgage modification that would allow them to stay in a home they can afford. now, we could go into how we got into this mess in the first place and we all know, mr. speaker, that there's plenty of blame to go around. yes, people who got in over their heads with mortgages they
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couldn't afford deserve some blame. so does the broker that shouldn't have sold them on that mortgage, so does the bank that underwrote that mortgage so does wall street for packaging those mortgages and creating derivative products and so does the government for being asleep at the regulatory switch. there's plenty of blame to go around. when the bankers needed help, they came to the government an the government helped them. when the regulators need help, they came to the government and we passed financial regulato reform last year. the people most affected, the people that literally risk being tossed out on the street he rely on these programs to help them. how in good conscience can this congress even consider bailing out wall street and bankers and not helping mainstream america stay in their homes. yes, there's plenty of blame to go around and many people facing this situation, barely able to make their mortgage, they're not being rewarded for their bad decision. they would rather spend half as much under the house, but what we can do to helphem is the
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least we can do as a country to acknowledge that yes, personal responsibility and blame doesn't just fall on their shoulders. my republic mr. -- republican cheeks will argue this is a failed government program and this program hasn't helped the three million to four million homeowners originally prompted but what they fail to mention is hamp has helped stabilize the housing mket and helped over a million families. it's not three or four million and our side would be open to improving this program, whether it's the accountability, the scale after of the program, whether it's replacing it with another program to help those who are barely able to make their mortgage payment. but this would eliminate the tool that's kept half a million american families in their homes. there's no doubt many on the other side of the aisle are calling this program a waste of taxpayer money. according to the c.b.o., the average cost for to the assist a home one her in shaverp
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$13,000. it's a small price and a sound investment a smaller costhan the $60,000 it's been estimated it costs fannie, freddie and banks to foreclose on a home. $13,000 to keep from having a home foreclosed, allowing the family to live there and go to work, or $60,000 to foreclose on the home and leave the family on the streets. if an individual shows they can't stay current, they are removed from hamp. and those who have had the trial modifications canceled on 5.1% have been foreclosed on, only 14.9% are at all in the foreclosure process. mr. speaker, the hamp program keeps families in their homes. mortgages that have been modified have a sustainability rate of 85%. yes we can do better.
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we would love to bring this program or others to keep three million or four million in their home. but what the bill before us does is repeal one of the only tools we have to help keep american families in their homes. i understand the program hasn't reached the initial projecks that the administration put forward but there's no question, talking to some of the families that this program benefited, that it does work for them. with our help, the treasury can continue to take steps to improve the effectiveness of the program and increase compliance pr banks and borrowers. mr. speaker, h.r. 861 would rightly be titled the illegal trade commercial real estate act. the majority seeks to undermine the efforts of our nation's mayors, city councils and real estate developers to ensure that areas remain safely in control of those who do damage to communities. this is a critical program to help reform our communities. the neighborhood stabilization program, which i remind my colleagues wasest tablied and
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signed into law by president bush, was designed to turn a crisis into an opportunity. in 2008, almost $4 billion was appropriated to help 307 state and local agencies acquire, rehabilitate and sell abandoned and foreclosed properties, exactly hi what is most n needed now not only to revitalize our blighted areas but to help keep the crisis from getting worse. every dime in this program not spent by the suns of the program will already, under statute be returned to treasury. by creating a meck anymore for communities to acquire, rehabilitate and sell back to the prate market abandoned and blighted properties we give local governments a powerful tool for economic grth and fighting crime and keeping our communities safe. in the midst of our ongoing liquidity crisis where many developers are having a tough time finding financing for many of their prime prompts, it's a matter of public safety that we
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continue this vehicle by which blighted properties are returned to being productive economic engines, particularly in our nation's most troubled neighborhoods. i also want to point out the program isn't limited to commercial property. in my district, in adams county colorado, which was devastated by the wave of foreclosures, we used it to revitalize residential neighborhoods. the neighborhood stabilization program allows lowlow call governments to build communities with home reha pill billation, and down payment -- rerehabilitation assistance and down payment assistance. with this help, many have been able to find and keep a home. investment has been magnified by private investment, city investment and county investment. i think most people in the country a greehere is a housing crisis. yes there is plenty of blame to go around. yes we need a public policy response. these programs aren't perfect, we hope to work in a bipartisan
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way with our colleagues across the aisle on improving these programs, coming up with new market oriented programs to help end the crisis in rl estate but the answer is not to simply repeal one of the only instruments that we have to keep families in air home with only the vaguest of assurances that someday, somehow, congress might think of a better plan. i reserve the plans of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: i appreciate the gentleman's comments about us being here on the floor in a bipartisan way with the bill that went tough regular order with an opportunity for y member that would choose, that has any ideas that are germane to the issue and that fall within the rules to be included. you're going to see where there are a bunch of amendments today. mr. speaker, the conversation the gentleman and i were having , it should further extend and that the common sense that is related to why we are on the
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floor today. the discussion about whether we should make it better or simply repeal it. i wld quote from the i.g. of the tarp fund in his report to secretary geithner. i quote. although in the final analysis it is up to the policy makes in the administration a congress to determine whether it's worth spending tens ofillions of taxpayer dollars on a program that is assumed at its outset to fail ultimately for 40% of the participants, several aspects of hamp design make it particularly vulnerable to redefaults. i think the i.g. has said it best when any objective person looked at what the democrat congress passed, they would see that it was -- have to question whether it was worth speing tens of billions of dollars on a program at the outset we
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should have known would fail for 40% of the participants. i think that's good reason to say common sense should say let's stop thelan, not continue it. mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to eld four minutes to the gentlewoman, the chairwoman of the financial services housing committee, the gentlewoman from illinois, mrs. biggert. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for four minutes. mrs. biggert: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i rise in support of house resolution 170, the rule for consideration of h.r. 861. the neighborhood stabilization program n.s.p., termination act and the home afforable act, hamp, termination act. it would rescind n.s.p. and rescind $1 billion that would be sfent to ntinue this troubled program. in total, congress has spent $7 billion for n.s. and instead
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of stabilizing neighborhoods or helping people whose mortgages are under water, the program allows lenders and servicers to offload their bad investments onto taxpayers and delay market recovery. even more disturbing is that critics warn that n.s.p. creates incentives for banks and other lenders to foreclose on troubled borrowers, worsening the crisis and kicking families olt of their homes. this program is not about helping homeowners. they have already lost their house to foreclosure. they are not involved in this. this is for help for lenders and bankers to take the money and build more homes through the counties, through the states, through not for profits, and then to sell these homes and reap the benefits of the money. there is no place in this bill
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that tells where that money goes. it probably is in a slush fund. the g.a.o., the inspector general for h.u.d. and other auditors have noted that the program is plagued with problems including lax reporting requirements and poor accountability. there is little evidence to suggest that the funds spent through n.s.p. are producing cost effective results. finally the program lacks any requirement that remaining funds are returned to taxpayers when a sponsored property is sold. instead the money is treated like a fund, somewhere, never to breturned. the other bill approved by our committee is h.r. 839. this bill would terminate hamp, which has become the poster child for failed foreclosure mitigation programs. according to the c.b.o. this bill would save $1.4 billion over 10 year announced by the obama
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administration in february of twipe, the hamp program to date has spent $840 -- i'll say that depen, $840 million out of $30 billion in tarp funds that were set aside for the program. for this extraordinary investment, the administration predicted up to four million homeowners would receive help. stead, only 580,000 homeowners received mortgage modifications. a failure to meet expecting as is the least of the program's troubles. of those promised help, 740,000 homeowners have had their modifications canceled in many cases, these homeowners were strung along on false hope only to end up in worse financial straits that if they'd never heard of hamp. i would like to share a statement from march 2, subcommittee hearing in which
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kneel barkofsky, the special inspectoreneral for the tarp fund exposed the most hazardous failings of the program. and he said that there have been countless published reports on hamp participants who wound up worse off having engaged in a false attempt. failed trial modifications leave buyers with more principal outstanding on their loan. mr. sessions: i yieldhe gentlelady an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for an additional minute. mrs. biggert: they delite treasury for fill failure to respond to control the program. out of control spending has
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left with us a $14.1 trillion debt that is danieling our recovery and job growth. they say reducing government spending will create a more favorable environment for private sector jobs and that's what americans need a job and paycheck not more failed, perpts in taxpayer funded housing. . i urge my colleagues to support this rule. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back of the the gentleman from texas. roists. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: it's my honor to yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from maryland, ms. edwards. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for two minutes. ms. edwards: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman from colorado. i rise today really troubled because i am opposed to terminating the hamp program and the neighborhood stabilization program,ut i'm troubled because these programs have actual been very troubled. they are not perfect.
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they haven't helped every homeowner we want. but we shouldn't be in a position of just destroying the programs. the neighborhood stabilization program in particular was established to help communities acquire, rehabilitate, and resell abandoned and foreclosed properties as a result of the growing foreclosure crisis. there are so many economists across this country who tell us every single day until we get the housing market straight, we will not get this economy straight. and so i believe in theory in these programs, declining home values in my community have led to lower tax revenues for our local jurisdiction that is are already suffering from the impact of the economic downturn. in state -- the statewid foreclosure crisis has hit particularly hard in my district and the counties i represent in prince george's and montgomery county, maryland. they have the first and third highest foreclosure rates in our state and account for 40% of t foreclosures statewide. through the neighborhood stabilization program,
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montgomery county received $2 million and prince george's county nearly $12 million. this has helped in communities. i would urge the majority to look at the benefit and let's try to fix the programs. at the beginning of this crisis, sure, there were bad loans, there were bad actors all over the place. but we also know that people have lost their jobs and that contributed to foreclosures and these families should not be punished because we can't seem to get it straight. neighborhood stabilization does stabilize communities. it doesn't do any good to have homes that are empty and in decline in neighborhoods that will never bring the market back. and so while i'm concerned about some of the programs and would like to work to try to fix these, it's not like for us to simply throw the mat and to minimize the impact ofelping 521,000 families to stay in their homes. with that i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. -- the gentlelady's time has expired.
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the geleman from colorado reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: at this time i'd like to yield few minutes to the gentleman from cherryville, north carolina, the author of one of the pieces of underlying legislation, h.r. 39, four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for four minutes. mr. mchenry: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. the bill that i am sponsoring is the hamp termination act and a bill that will protect at-risk homeowners across the country from a government program that has proven to be an abysmal failure. theome affordable modification program, or hamp, was originally suosed to help as my as three million or four million struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure by modifying loans to a level that is affordable to borrowers now and sustainable over the long term. that was the intention. however, nearly 800,000 of the 1.4 million homeowners who enrolled, have consequently been -- subsequently been rejected or
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terminated. in his most recent testimony to congress, the special inspector general for rp stated, quote, it's just not working. the home affordable modification program has to date been a failure. end quote. a faile in the words of the independent individual to oversee this program. a failure. now there's no doubt that people of good will created this program. no doubt about that. the intention was to help those that are facing foreclosur that was the intention. unfortunately the decline -- design of this program has led to more people being harmed than actually helped. understand that. we have a government program that harms more people than it was designed to help. because it strings them along
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with a modified, so-called verbally modified change to their payments, and so it drains their savings. and at the endf the day, the majority of people that enroll in this program are kicked out. and they are left not only with their savings depleted, which is bad enough that a government program strings people along for that, but it also ruins their credit rating because this government program only verbally modifies their loan terms. in the end, you have folks that have depleted their savings, ruined their credit, and lost their house. and th is a federal government program paid for by the american people's tax dollars. it is an abject failure and worse than that it's destroying people's lives. i would ask my colleagues to vote for this rule. it allows for a number of amendments, some of which are wise, others i think are very flawed from my colleagues across
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the aisle. but this hamp program, we have to come to a consensus on it. this -- all the folks that oversee this, nonpartisan, bipartisan, have all lookedt this and described it as a failure. so if we can't eliminate this government program, then i ask my colleagues, what government programs can we eliminate? vote for the rule. and please ask my colleagues to vote for the hamp termination act as well. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from michigan, mr. clarke. the speaker pro tempore: t gentleman from michigan is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. clarke: you're right. it's all about debt. debt. our homeowners, they are very
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concerned about debt. it may not be the federal debt that their grandchildren may have to pay decades from now, but it's definitely that mortgage payment that's due next month, that's the debt that our homeowners cannot afford to pay. so here's what i'm asking this congress to do. hold off on cutting back on these foreclosure initiatives before we directly help our homeowners. we can help them in a way that won't cost much more money. as a matteof fact, let's give homeowners something that they typically don't have when they are facing foreclosure, and that's time. time, time to find a home buyer to pay off their mortgage. time to get more income to pay off their bills. and most importantly, the time and the leverage to voluntarily negotiate with a mortgage servicer that typically will keep losing their loan
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modification papers until the homeowner runs out of time. time. i'm asking this congress to first do this. freeze all foreclosures to those homeowners who deserve the help. and who n afford to stay in their homes and maintain their homes. that's the best way to stop our property values from dropping. from providing the revenue that our police officers and firefighters and emergency medical providers definitely need. and finally the best way to help -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. clarke: by providing time to our homeowners. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the geleman from colorado reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: i would like to ask if i could the time remaining on both sides. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas has 7 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman from colorado has 17 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, i'd li to notify my friend, the gentleman from colorado, that i do have additional speakers, but we have an inequality in time
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that's remaining. i don't know if the gentleman would like to run down that time where we have an equal distribution. mr. polis: we do have several speakers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: it's my honor to yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentlewoman from hawaii, ms. hirono. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from hawaii is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. ms. hirono: i thank the gentleman from colorado for the time. i rise in strong opposition to h.r. 861, the neighborhood stabilization program termination act, n.s.p. we keep hearing from the other side about wasteful government spending. nothing represents wasteful governme spending re than the continuing bilons and biions of dollars of taxpayer money that we give to big oil, which is making record profits. this bill continues the republican assault on the middle class and working people. for the sake of our mmunities, we cannot afford to terminate n.s.p. by redeveloping foreclosed and abandoned properties, this program is stablizing neighborhoods
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nationwide. it's not only increases property values but reduces the number of foreclosures. n.s.p. provides a lifeline to struggling families trying to secure affordable housing or simply staying in their homes. like the rest of the country hawaii has a foreclosure crisis we rank 10th in the nation in the rate of foreclosures. the 19.6 million n.s.b. funding is helping our communities in the greatest need thrghout my state. the city and county of honolulu will use these funds to redevelop i he have a can't properties and build two affordable rental housing projects. in hawaii county an affordable rental housing project will be built on vacant property. in the counties of maui and kauai, funds will be used to buy and rehabilitate abandoned other foreclosed homes. they can see this is money that is not represented as wasteful. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired.
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-- the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from texas continues to reserve. mr. sessions: continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado is cognized. mr. pos: thank you. it's my honor to dwreeled 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. andrews. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. andrews: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, sordered. mr. andrews: i thank my friend for yielding. mr. speaker, as we began this week, there were 15 million unemployed americans looking for this congress to work together to try to get something done for entrepreneurs and small businesses to create jobs. what has the congress done? yesterday the majority managed on with the help of a few dozen democrats to keep the government running for the next three weeks but they couldn't agree among them selves as to what to do with the budget. today they are taking up this bill that rather than fixing a flawed program, they rip it up from the roots and throw it out. tomorrow they are going to pull the plug on national public radio.
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now, i would suggest if you are like some of those 15 million americans who are spending the day at the public library in front of, or looking at the want ads in the newspaper, wearing out your shoe leather to figure out where your next job is going to come from, this has not been a great week. 11 weeks the majority's been in control, no jobs bill no jobs plan. no jobs idea, not one word, not one bill, not one minute. the priorities of this majority are wrong. republicans and democrats should come together, work together to create an environment where small businesses and entrepreneurs can create jobs for the american people. 11 weeks, no jobs, no sense of priorities, that's the rord of this majority. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: i was just reminded by the gentleman, mr. mica, the favorite son of florida, who is the chairman of
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our transportation infrastructure committee, that the gentleman, mr. andrews, had referred to, we have done nothing about jobs, but the gentleman, mr. mica, is chairman of the committee reminded me this house passed two weeks ago a transportation bill that had been lagging, waiting since 2009 that will add a substantial number of jobs. and that was a good jobs bill. so i wouldt expect to get credit for anything necessarily on the floor, but at least we need to be honest about this. the republicans did pass a bill that was about adding jobs as opposed to this massiv undertaking we are trying to save jobs that are at risk as a result of the outlandish spending and wasteful government spending here. mr. andrews: will the gentleman yield? mr. sessions: i've got a few minutes and i do appreciate the gentleman. secondly, the gentleman said, why are republicans now trying to get rid of this? why di we do something to fix
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the program? i would remind the american people that this is a report that went to the secretary of the treary over a year ago. and i would ask the question, why did the democrats, why did this administration continue a failed program? why did they continue it? that's because they were happy with it. . so they have a failure rate and thousands more harmed. that's why reblicans support it. this is a great bill, we're going to ask every single person to vote for this opportunity. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: i yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from new jersey. mr. andrews: i agree with my friend from texas that investing in transportation crting jobs and i would ask the gentleman if he would
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support the build america bill that offsets the deficit by cutting job outsources and creates more construction jobs. would he agree to put that on the floor? mr. sessions: when it's onhe floor, i'll consider it. mr. andrews: we'll give the gentleman a chance next week. mr. polis: i yield myself 30 seconds to respond. the one bill the gentleman from texas has pointed to as a jobs ill is one bill that contains many, many earmarks from previous sessions, also continues funning for the bridge to nowhere in alaska. if this is the best jobs bill the republicans can bring forward, the american people deserve better. i yield to the gtlelady from alabama, ms. wolf. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. sewell: the stabilization
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program has helped families and communities in alabama's seventh con fwregsal district greatly. the nation is recovering from one of the worst recessions in our lifetime. in my district, the problems began long before the rest of the cupry experienced. the foe closures devastated homeowners, they have a debilitating effect on the neighborhoods, leading to blight derekay and reduced property values. the n.f.c. program provides states and hard-hit cities with program funding to help them recover from the effects of foreclosure, abandoned properties and declining property values. the city of birmingham, jefferson county in the state of alabama has received funding from this program. in my district, it's revitalized 250 -- 259 homes, relocated 69 families and saved
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at least nine distressed neighborhoods. in speaking recently with the mayor of the city of birmgham, mayor bell, about the effectiveness of the program, he informed me the program has benefited greatly distressed neighborhoods in birmingham. i have also heard from families whose neighborhoods have been improved because of the funding. my colleagues across the aisle want to terminate n.s.p. but i respectfully disagree. there is still much work to be done for our families and communities. without a doubt, we must reduce our national budget and congress must work together to make the tough cuts. however, such cuts cannot be made on the backs of our communities, families and seniors. i respectfully ask to terminate -- i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. mr. sessions: we continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: i'd like to yield the gentleman from ohio, mr.
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kucinich, one and a half minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one and a half minutes. . kucinich: mr. speaker, and my friends on both sides of the aisle, we coulvery easily come up with money to save this program if we put a wind fall profits tax on the oil companies. i'm here today to point out the critical importance of the neighborhood stabilization program and urge my fellow members to vote against canceling it. over the past decade, the people of my state in ohio have weathered a storm of foe clore -- foreclosures. while some neighborhoods have been hollowed out by the effects of the storm, the neighborhood stabilization funds made communities safer. those communits face the constant risk of crime and vandals taking advantage of empty structuring and neighborhood stabilization have been used to demolish abandoned
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homes to protect existing home values. but the neighborhood stabilization program does not just finance demolition. in one county alone it funded the creation of 237 units of affordable rental housing and neighborhood green space improvements. it's been useto leverage nonfederal fun to -- money to fund the land bank that buys abandoned land and puts the land bacin the hands of the public to renew and revitalize community. anyone who has spent time in blighted communities knows they cry out for sloughs like the land bank. when the n.s.p. wasirst proposed i held hearings a i convinced them of the wisdom of the wisdom of using u.s. postal records on abandoned houses and they developed a need-based formally. mr. sessions: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: it's my honor to yield one minute to the distinguished gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: we are facing a c.r. of $61 billion in cuts causing the loss of 800,000 jobs. what is more precious to america han the opportunity to own a home? the neighborhood stabilization program has gone into areas and recaptured neighborhoods, giving them a boost of energy that they needed. there is always the opportunity to for reform, mr. speaker. but i would simply raise the question, let's mend it, don't end it. let'sot leave cities abandoned with broken down, shackled homes. that would in fact create more blight, more gang opportunities, more dangerous conditions and yes, hamp needs reform. but what does it mean to eliminate a program? of course the hamp has a grandfather provision but all america wants is to get the programs to work.
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neighborhood stabilization works. hamp can work. now you're letting banks off the hook so that every day a homeowner calls and can hear the sound foreclosed. at least the intervention allowed those hardworking americans to keep their home and to providfor their family and keep jobs. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: we continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: it's my honor to yield one and a half minutes to the gentleman from rhode island, mr. cicilline. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one and a half minutes. mr. cicilline: i rise in strong on opposition to end the neighborhood stabilization program. it's time to seriously question the republican leadership's dedication to job creation. after 11 weeks in congress, they offer nod jobs plan no jobs bill. what's worse, but their own ex-pet witnesses' testimony, the n.s.p. supports 93,000 jobs natially.
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in light of this estimate, i submit an amendment to the n.s.p. termination act that would require the congressional budget office to study and report to the congress the impact of this legislation on job creation or job loss. however, my friends on the other side of the aisle prevented consideration of my amendment on the floor of the house. last week, the republicans waged an attack on american home oners by voting to eliminate foreclosure mitigation programs that help under water homeowners refinance mortgages. as well as assist temporarily unemployed americans to remain current on their mortgage. all of this in the midst of one of the worst housing crises in the history of america. now the republicans are putting our most vulnerable communities at greater risk, terminating the neighborhood stabilization program will daniel our neighborhoods, devastate home values and will slow our economic recovery. now is the time to prott our most vulnerable neighborhoods. families who are struggling and now is the time to invest in the future of our communities
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and help restore the american dream of homeowner -- home ownership and recognize that stabilization of the housing market is key to our economic recovery. i urge us to vote against this bill. i've seen the program work well and it's making a difference. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: my friends and colleagues are talking about no jobs bill, nothing about jobs, but at least there's a purist on the floor and that is, there was one democrat in the house voted against the republican jobs bill, transportation bl, mr. polis. i would think that he would have great standing on saying we've never had a bill that added jobs. but everybody else i'd have to question that because they voted for the bill because in fact it's a good jobs bill. i reserve think him. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: i yield myself such time as i may consume. with regard to the jobs bill, i acknowledge that was the bill
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that my colleague from texas cited as the one jobs bill the republicans have brought before us and this was a bill that had dozens and dozens of earmarks which is why i'm standing with president obama opposing that bill, including an indefensible earmark which we proposed an amendment on the floor which was voted down to eliminate funding for what i thought there was broad consensus we should eliminate funding for a $300 million bridge in alaska, a $70 million bridge to an island with 50 people. this is an example of pork barrel politics at their worst. i'm beginning to think if the republicans do come up with a jobs bill, we immediate to ask them what price jobs? is it so filled with republican porwe have to either take it or leave it? i'll be the first to amendment we can improve hamp and the neighborhood stabilization program. i would say we should be doing
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exactly -- exactly that my colleague from michigan, mr. clark, had excellent ideas of improving it. i'm a co-sponsor of a bill to provide for capital gains tax exemption for banks to shore up their balance sheets why not look at allowing investment properties with the same deductibilities as primary residences. i'm sure members on both sides of the aisle could discuss and agree on these ideas. but the answer isn't to repeal one of the only tool we was and to replace it with silence. it's my honor to yield one and a half minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr. ryan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one and a half minutes. mr. ryan: i thank the gentleman. i want to use an example here from a district in northeast ohio, old industrial district, we've had chronic foreclosures for 30 years. the census just came out, the city of youngstown went from 180,000 people down to about 65,000 people.
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the tax base has been eroded. and in the last few years, youngstown has been cited as one of the top 10 best cities to start a business by entrepreneur -- by "entrepreneur" magazine, "site selection" magazine said it's one of the top 10 cities to start or grow a business. in part the renaissance of youngstown is because of federal investments like this that help us downsize and shrink our community. i find it ironic that our friends trying to redice golvet spending, we're trying to get rid of dilapidated housing where it increases crime, prostitution, drug use. this all puts more pressure o the safety services within the town like youngstown. so this bill to repeal this money is actually going to cost cities and rural areas more
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money because y're not allowing us to reinvest into these places, downsize them, shrink them, make them more manageable and ov time reduce the tax burden on theocal taxpayer. these are critical investments that are needed in the united states of america, this billion-dollar -- this billion dollars of should have been $5 billion, not just $1 billion. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, if it worked that way, we'd be for it. i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman resees. the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: it's my honor to yield -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. ryan: i invite the gentleman from youngstown, ohio, and he can see it himself. mr. polis: i yield one and a half minutes to the gentleman from colorado, mr. perlmutter. the speaker pro tempore: the gtleman is recognized for one and a half minutes. mr. perlmutter: i thank my friend from colorado.
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i'd invite my friend from texas to come to aura, colorado, where we've, with the neighborod stabilization program, had tremendous successes. this country was on its back financially two years ago. two and a half years ago. we're just now getting back on our feet. my friends from the republican side of the aisle want to pull the rug out from under us. you've got to get strong before you do away with programs. let's talk about aurora, colorado. got $4.7 million to buy homes that were vacant because of foreclosures which were causing blight and lots of property devaluation. went in, fixed the homes, sold them to good families. the neighborhood starts growing again. aurora has taken that $4.7 million and turned it into $7.8 million by the sales of these properties. so the neighborhoods get strengthened, families are helped, we stop this cycle of foreclosure and tough
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neighborhoods. my friends on the republican side of the aisle are bling all sorts of things for the debt that have nothing to do with it and they're taking away things that are really helping middle america. i urge mem to -- them to rethink this bill and i ask my friend from colorado, i know he's seen these same things, the benefits of these programs. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempe: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: i assure the gentleman aisle be in aurora, colorado, i'll be pleased to be there this year and probably next year also. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. . mr. polis: i'm the last speaker for my side, i would like to inquire if any additional speakers have shown up for your side. mr. sessions: i appreciate asking. i am through with all my remarks. i would encourage the gentleman to close. i appreciate the collegiality of the gentleman.
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mr. polis:00 i -- mr. polis: i yield myself the remader of the time. i want to share a few stories from constituents in my district that the hamp program has helped. i'm not alone in doing that. last year i had a local artist who ran her own small business, contact my office asking for help with her mortgage. her income has declined significantly and unexpectedly due to the tough economy. she tried to find a second job. it wn'tnough. with the help of the hamp loan modification she's still in her home. we also helped the truck driver who had become ill and needed dialysis. although he still receives social security, he couldn't afford his mortgage paents without his old salary. he had nowhere else to turn, with a hamp modification he was able to lower his interest rates by 2% and convert his loan from adjustable rate to 30-year fixed. mr. speaker, the stories don't end there. hamp has proven at it can save families on the brink of foreclosure and keep them there for the long haul. it's not the ideal program. it hasn't reached the three
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million families. you ask any of those 50,000 families that hamp has helped keep in their home and they will agree this program works for them. mr. speaker, we should be would he fuss kg on --ocusing on jobs. last year i'm glad to say our economy added over 150,000 private sector jobs. we have been passing legislation that threatens to reverse the progress that has been made by creating additional uncertainty within the real estate sector an leaving more families at risk of losing their homes. republicans promised to promote job creation and economic growth with their new majority instead of delivering on this promise, they have already used their majority to raise taxes on middle class americans, to attack the middle class, and promote their own social agea. this is not the change that the american people asked for. it is time to get our fiscal house in order. i'd like to make it clear this is not the way to solve our budget problems. repealing a program that helps keep middle class families in their home. mr. speaker, the best way to get our deficit under control is through creating jobs. not through cutting the safety
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net of hardworking mernts and preventing our cities and counties from revitalizing their blighted neighborhoods. most distressing, however, is that through these bills the promise of job creation is broken yet again. i ask my colleagues to join me and vote no on this rule and the underlying legislion. so we can keep our promise to help all of our communities rebuild and succeed and work in a bipartisan fashion to get the very best ideas on the table. about what our proper public policy response should be with regard to the housing crisis and the jobs crisis that this nation faces. i ask for a no vote on the rule and underlying bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado yields back. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. sessions: i want to thank the gentleman from colorado for not only engaging in a spirited debate here on the floor, but also for his collegiality in that endeavor. mr. speaker, this nation is being overrun by two -- still by two high taxation, borrow, and
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spending. just last month we hit a record deficit $223 billion in one month. that is simply unacceptable. with the debt looming at over $14 trillion and unemployment hovering still around%, americans want solutions not handouts. and that is why we are here on the floor today to protect the taxpayer and the integrity, i think, of the government rather than creating more problems, at least trying to alleviate some of those and give the taxpayer back some money. the american people asked congress to rein in spending and for efficiency and that's what republicans are here to do today. we did this in open process where every member of this body had a chance through regular order to prepare themself and to come to the floor today. since republicans have gained the majority in january, we have cut $1.2 trillion worth of spending. first of all by repealing obamacare, secondly cutting $61
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billion in h.r. 1, $8 billion last week in additional uncessary government housing programs. another $30 billion with this rule today. we are getting our job done. by getting control of government spending, eliminating wasteful government handouts, the private sector can again gain confidence in our economy and the direction of the future of tis country to begin investing in jobs and our economic future. after all, we finally decided last year that what we would do is extend tax cuts which will help save jobs and grow our economy. i applaud my colleagues for introducing the bills we are discussing here tay. in just a few minutes you'll see the chairman of the financial services committee or his designee lead that discussion through lots of amendments, lots of ideas by members. want to thank the young chairman of the rules committee, the gentleman from california, david dreier, for providing us such a great open and transparent process. i encourage a yes vote on the
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rule and perhaps more importantly on the resolutionhe
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gentle lady from new york. i will scoot out very quickly, but i will be back. >> but not before i thank you for calling this hearing and for your friendship and your leadership on so many important issues, including this one. thank you and welcome to elizabeth warren who has been at the forefront of the effort to create a consumer bureau for years. thank you for your service and for your commitment. to all american families. you have been a true champion for the american consumer and for -- i am getting reports from all sections, from all stakeholders in our financial community that you have reached out to them and you have been fair and balanced in your approach. history has long shown us that our country is at its most secure and its most prosperous when the middle class is
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economically vibrant and growing. the recent history has also shown as that the reverse is true. although it is hardo come by an exact figure, in 2008, the worst year of the great recession, household wealth in america fell by more than $11 trillion. let me repeat that stunning figure -- $11 trillion. and the middle class, by any and reasonable measure, has borne the unt of the -- by any reasonable measure, has borne the brunt of the economic collapse. they have lost their jobs, their homes, the chance to go to college, and their hopes of a better and brighter future. that hard inescapable fact was one of the most compelling reasons for the enactment of the bill and the creation of the consumer protection bureau. we take steps forward to create
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a level playing field for the american consumer and the middle class. for far too long in our financial system, regulatory concerns about consumer protection came in at a distant second or a third or was not considered at all. but now, for the first time, anyone who opens a checking account or savings account, anyone who takes out a student loan or mortgage, anyone who open a credit card or takes out pay-day loan, it will have someone on their side to be fair and balanced and to protect them. for the first time, consumer protection authorities will be housed in one place with an independent appointed director, an independent budget, and an autonomous rule-making authority. for the first time, a truly independent authority will be able to write new rules for non-
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banks, financial firms, including paid estate lenders, debt collectors, mortgage brokers, -- including pay-day lenders, debt collectors, mortgage brokers, and other lenders. this kind of evenhandedness and common-sense oversight of our financial system with strong consumer protections will insure the safety and soundness of the system as a whole and is clearly in the best interest of the american consumer and the driving force of the american economy. elizabeth warren has been at the helm since september, 2010. i will be -- i am interested to hear how the process is going and what the initial parties will be once the authority is
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officially transferred in july. thank you. >> welcome, a professor warned. i would just like to make a couple oobservations. a number of people in the regulatory community and a number of economists have raised concerns about some of the unintended consequences of the titles in dog frank -- in dodd frank that was not really thought through. title 10 seems to be particularly problematic and i will explain some of the concerns. beginning july 21, the federal reserve has to transfer to the bureau what ever funds the bureau's director has requested,
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despite the fact that neither the fed nor congress will have any say io the bureau's budget. that is unique. that is one concern that has been raised. as a byproduct of that, it really raises two problems. first, this agency will be able to act outside of the normal appropriations process in the way that dog frank said it appeared that means it will not be held accountable for the -- in the way dodd frank set it up. that means it will not be held accountable in our regulatory structure. we tried this model with the gse's and it did not work. former heads have said that that competing regulatory structure will fail vs hud and contribute
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to the failure of fannie and freddie. instead of abolishing the model, we have replicated that regulatory model throughout the financial system. that gives cause for all of us to ponder whether this was done correctly. the final concern i have is the assault on -- i think we should all be able to agree that one uniform standard is much simpler, much more efftive. we already have 97% of the lawsuits in the world today, encouraging more litigation and more uncertainty in this. i just think dodd frank takes a major step back. banks' subsidiaries will now have to comply it with laws
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instead of one national uniform interpretation here. i think -- it will do little to protect consumers are make our capital markets more competitive i hope this committee will take the next necessary steps to correct these failures. we now go to mr. scott of georgia for his comments. >> thank you very much. i appreciate that. welcome, ms. warren. i think that you have a delicate balance. on the one hand, if you have to make sure that the consumers have the proper information to educate them aboutome of the practices in our financial services industry, but you also have the requirement to make sure that what you do will not
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thwart access to capital. for ouronsumers, for the banking community, and for small businesses. well at the same time, give the confidence to day that you will also protect the american consumer. protect access to capital. i would also like for you to address what impact my good friend on the other side of the aisle representative -- on the other side of the aisle has a bill. that bill basically 62 defunct -- seeks to defunct and keep you in treasury. i would like to address what this means to you. how will this make your duties better or make your duties worse?
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finally, i would like for you to address concerns of the banking industry. the banking industry is scared to death of this. th feethis is a threat. the banking industry is the hearts of our economic stem. it comes to the money -- pumps the money throughout our system. it might be good for you to address that. to ease some of the concerns within the banking committee that you are not the threats or the evil empire that some of them might think. this is a very timely hearing. you do have a delicate balance. i hope that you will address some of these concerns. and that we all will be this hearing far more weiser and more confidence than europe -- in your ability and the operations of this new bureau.
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it is not a threat, but a much needed solution and approach and a very trying economic times. i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you. director warren, you are probably directing the most powerful agency that has ever been cated in washington. it is not a commission, it is one single person. it will regulat all providers of credit, savings, pavement and e consumer products and
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services. covered persons is to find that any person who engages in offering more providing a financial product or service. the definition of financial service, you will define what that is. it is not defined in the statute. also, you will have the ability to identify any financial products or services that is deemed unfair, deceptive, or abusive. there is no legal definition of abusive. you'll have the right to make that determination.
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as $500ave as much million from the federal reserve available and you can seek appropriations of $200 million more. that compares to the cftc, which has 169. the sec has $900 million. i will start by saying that no one questions your commitment to consumer protection. i want to acknowledge that. as you'll make the decision to when consumers are protected and when they are not and what products will be offered and which products won't. you'll have quite a budget. you've not been nominated by the president. i did not know when that will happen. or whether he will be nominated.
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we asked secretary geige and september and he said that nomination will be made soon six months later. i think you would like denomination to be made. no one is getting confirmed by the senate. yet, you have a lot of discretion and a lot of power. i see very little accountability. we have to almost rely on just a good-fth reliance on your abilities and integrity and judgment. that is quite a burden for you and quite a burden for us. i think it adds to a great deal of uncertainty. i look forward to hearing your testimony. i will tell you that since last july, but we passed dodd-frank, i have advocated for a
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commission all along. i believe that having a board is a much better approach. i think it is asking one person to do toouch. thank you. >> two, mr. chairman. -- thank you, mr. chairman. >> when cfp was debated, we were concerned that your agency would have a lot of power with very little congressional oversight. we wereoncerned that severe economic consequences would arise from the separation of consumer protection and safety and soundness duties. while that question was before us in theory, it is now in front of this in a very real way in the form of a recently released mortgage servicers settlement term sheet. our economy is still very
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fragile and the recovery in the housing market will play a big part in getting our nation back on its feet. a number of the provisions of the term sheet could cause a crippling slowdown in that recovery. i looked forward to speaking with you abouthis d i appreciate you holding this hearing, chairman. >> thank you. i would like to recnize mr. pierce from mexico. >> your new agency is going to wield a lot of power. the basic problem is that we are spending $3.50 trillion a year and our revenues are $2.20 trlion a year. our economy is frozen in place, the recovery is stalled out by regulations which are causing uncertainty. the health care regulation is causing people to lay off employs to get below caps. it is freezing the medical
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creation of jobs in the field. we city regulators freezing loans. banks have the money to lend and they are afraid to lend it. i would be interested to hear what you are doing to unfreeze the market to create certainty. with that -- without that, our economy is doomed to fail if we continue on the path that we are on. i look forward to talking with you. >> welcome, ms. warren. the borough would be a self regulated governed by one individual and funded outside the congressional appropriations process. the zero promises rules to -- this bureau promises to regulate
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all products available. all financial firms wil be suect to its regulatory authority in some way. all this power is given with little no mechanism for overseeing. as a former bank regulator, i am concerned that this -- in a time and we are seeing the signs of recovery, blasting our lenders need now is for an intrusive one size fits all government regulatory agency submitting more regulation to them. i yield back. >> thank you, madam chairman. i think all of us on the panel are concerned about consumer protection. we cannot letheoretical consumer protection be the vehicle for categically eliminating consumer choices or
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for prohibiting new customized for sophisticated financial products. doing so would not protect consumers or jobs. the question comes down to who makes the best decisions about financial products? at both the state and federal levels, we already have countless relevant law, regulation and regulators. do we really need to superimpose another multi-billion dollar bureaucracy on top of the pre- existing legal infrastructure? if so, shouldn't new bureaucracy at least be accountable to the american people? shouldn't congress give the new bureaucracy more guidance than relying on an abstract concept?
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ensure that this bureaucracy never jeopardize his bank safety and the name of consumer protection? i hope that we will reflect on whether any theoretical bureaucratic benefits justify the risk that this new bureaucracy poses to consume, toobs, and tour economic growth. thank you. >> i would like to recognize mr. canseco from texas. >> thank you for being here today. the consumer financial protection euro seems like a good idea. an agency is mission is to protect the consumer. unfortunately, like so much else within the dodd-frank, the unintended consequences continue to come to light. it tur out that consumer protection really means consumer strictions.
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having the federal government restrict the choices available to consumers in the name of protection since a terrible precedent. professor moranas -- if there is no greater advocate for families that a husband and wife sitting down at a table planning at the family's finances without government interference or oversight. there is no room for a third seat at that table. one occupied by a faceless bureaucrats who does not even know their names, much less what is in their best interest rate american families deserve the dignity of being able to make the financial decisions by themselves. decisions about credit cards and mortgagebelong to the family at the family table, not a washington bureaucracy. i look forward to your comments.
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>> thank you. that concludes our opening statements. i welcome the professor back. i ok forward to hearing her testimony. thank you. >> thank you. thank you for inviting me to testify. this is the first oversight hearing for the new consumer agency and i welcome it. i hope you will permit me to begin with a personal note. i did not come to washington because i yearned to be a government official. i came to washington because congress passed a year. i first job started 2.5 years ago when i was appointed to the congressional oversight panel, where i served as chair. at the oversight panel, which worked to reduce -- produce reports for you about tarp every single month.
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during that time, i came to capitol hill on many occasns to testify about our oversight and to answer yr questions. you schools meet early on the importance of oversight and i believe in it. since taking the job of putting together the new bureau, i have had more than 60 one-on-one conversations with members of congress. i have saw your good council on many issues. for today's hearing, i have prepared a 34 pages of details and testimony to document our startup efforts. the testimony describes our vision for the new consumer euro and the progress we have made so far. i hope it is helpful in guiding your oversight efforts. the consumer out -- is straight forward. make risks clear so that consumers can compare one product to two or three other fine print is great for those
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who want to hide something. but not good for families who want to know what they're getting into. mortgages, credit cards, checking accounts, america's families have a right to see the deals right up front. there is another issue that i know many of you e concerned about. i would likto address head-on. the department of justice has been coordinating with federal agencies and 50 state attorneys general to review and address these decisions. last month, this country's chief banking regulator came to congress and said ese deficiencies have resulted in a violation in state and local foreclosure laws. they have damaged mortgage markets and the u.s. economy. as you kw, this new consumer
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agency is still getting started and. we will not be a party to any formal settlement with mortgage servicers. however, later this year, the bureau will receivehe authority to set standards for the mortgage servicing industry. for this reason, secretary geithner arent,he justice department, and other agencies have requested the consumer agency provide. we have provided our comments and let me tell you why. it is very -- if there had been a p on the beat with the authory to hold mortgage servicers accountable, a half- dozen years ago, if there had been a consumer agency in place, the problems in mortgage servicing what had been exposed early and fixedhile they were still small. long before they became a national scandal.
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the mortgage servicing problem illustrates the importance of fair, consistent enforcement. we need a cop on the beat that american families can count on. it is critical that we get this right. a real cop on the beat. right now, our government is trying to hold down a settlement to end the scandal. this is a law enforcement matter. it includes a bipartisan roster of law enforcement officials at several agencies, at the department of justice, and 50 state attorneys general. while live would be inappropriate for me or for anyone else in government to disclose the substance of the discussions regarding an ongoing enforcement matter, i do want to say that i am glad that the consumer agency has been able to provide assistance in this important matter. i think congress for creating
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this agency to help provide a voice for american families. that is why we are here and that is what we are doing. thank you. >> thank you, professor warren. i will stop the questioning. we will go through the various members. in reading your statement am looking at the goals for the euro -- bureau, you have mentioned repeatedly going backs of weedingut and regulatory reform witthe existg regulations. can you give me a brief update on where you are with that particular issue? >> i really am glad that you k this question.
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it permits us to talk about not just our overall -- we have reached out to community banks, credit unions, financial industry, people across the spectrum to try to learn from them. where the regulations are most problematic and we have settled on our firstriority for this agency. to take two forms, one is called -- these are forms -- you may remember the last time he bought a home. somewhere in the stack of documents that you dealt with, these are two forms that committee bankers tell me have roughly about and 80%verlap in
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terms of the content. they are written differently. they have different pieces to them. as a rest, they are expensive to fill out. they have regulatory compliance costs. there are real regulatory consequences if they did something wrong. in several meetings, i of that committee bankers come to me and show me these forms. show me what it ilike and how much time they have to spend. what we have proposed to do at the consumer agency, to bring those two forms together. you would think that would not be a hard thing to do. because financial regulation has been scattered among several different agencies, at this
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particular one has been held by two different agencies and there has been negotiations for more than in years to try to merge those two forms into one. now they're both coming to the new consumer bureau.. we are now able to work with the community banks and credit unions. we are going to put those together. what we are looking for it is a one-page mortgage shopping sheet that is easier, shorter. lower regulatory costs, higher value to the consumer. we regard that as the sweet spot in this agency. >> i am interested in your response. you mentioned more than a few times community banks and credit ions operate in creating this agency, those entities were led to believe that they would be exempted from the purview. in your comments, it nullifies
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that impression. you are going to import ideas. i applaud that effort. having bought homes before, it is very confusing. we all know that. you are backing up what might committed to a banker -- what might community bankers said. he is already had to hire one person in a community bank to meet these challenges this is a question that goes to the heart of the overreached or exempting the is community banks that do not have the $10 billion level. they are a part of this. in terms of the service issue, we addressed that a lot and our opening statements.
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the real question is, this agency does not go into effect until july. are you really a cop on the beat? kenya perform as a cop on the beat when you have not had your training yet -- can you perform as a cop on the beach when you have not had your training yet? >> thank you. i would like to ask unanimous consent to place a new record an article that was in the wall street journal yesterday. >> without objection. >> thank you so much. the dodd-frank has a slew of checks and balances. it is accountable to the
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american people and congress. could you identify some of those and go through some of those checks and balances? >> thank you. i want to start by making a point about accountability. i came here oginally because congress passed me to be part of the effort to oversee tarp. i hope that every time i talk about accountability, we are also talking about the accountability of financial institutions. that the will be someone, a cop on the beat to make sure that they follow the law. in terms of accountability, let me remind everyone the structure of this new agency. it is the only agency in all of govement was rules can be
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overruled, obliterated, negated, by other agencies. the structure of dodd-frank is to make this the one agency or other agencies can come in and say, we do not like that rule. we're not going to prevent that rule. that is not true for any other agency. the second thing is to focus on banking regulators. in case of banking regulators, the throughout america's history, it has been the case that banking regulators are funded outside the political process. they have always had independent funding. the consumer agency, the one voice for american families, should have that same
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independence. the reasons for making banking regulators independent is very obvious. given the way it that the process works. i will say in terms of the unlike any of the other banking regulators, the consumer banking regulator will not be able to set its own budget. its budget is capped by statute. if the consumer agency thinks that it does not have enough money to putnough cops on the order to supervise the lending industry, the agency has to come back to congress and ask congress for more money. that means that in this respect, the consumer agency is not the
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strongest agency in government. it is the most constrained and the most accountable agency in government. i should also note that in the overall structure of dodfrank, there are about 18 federal statutes that have bits and pieces and chunks of consumer financial protection. currently, those 18 statutes are scattered amo sen different feral agencies. seven different agencies about responsibility for enforcement in different bits and pieces. most critically, for no agency is a first importance. what dodd-frank provided was to
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say, we're going to take existing block and we will gather it up and instead of having the conflicts, the inability to be ablto negotiate and get a simple form, we will sweep of that inefficiency out. will concentrate on exactly one agency that will be accountable on consumer issues. there are many more pieces. i apologize long. i think the issue of important. i wanted to hit the highlights. thank you. >> i would like to recognize the chairman of the full committee, mr. bachus, for questioning. >> thank you. professor warren, you have participated in the foreclosure settlement discussions with the banks. you have the knowledge that
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earlier. >> congressman, let me put this clearly. we have been asked for advice by the department of justice, by the secretary of the treasury,nd by other federal agencies. when asked for advice, we have given our advice. >> you do that as the -- advice from the consumer and financial protection board, where they consulting you in that role? what role were they asking when you say we were asked for advice? >> right now, we are part of treasury. we are just a division. >> the cfpb. when you say we are -- >> the standing up of the consumer agency. >> so you were asked, in your role as the --
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>> as part of treasury. the first request was specifically from secretary geithner. >> he ask you for advice on what to do it? -- he asked for advice on what to do? >> he asked for advice about the ongoing problem we have with the mortgage servicers do have violated both state and federal law. >> these are criminal enforcement procedures? >> it is my understanding that what the department of justice is dealing with -- i do not know whether they are criminal proceedings involved. >> have you sat down and tald with the justice department about these enforcement actions? >> the justice department asked for our advice. >> our being the cfpb?
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>> a section of treasury. >> a section of treasury. do you envision yourself as the acting director of this agency? >> no. there is no acting director. >> so you envision yourself as just the political adviser to the president? i have two jobs. i have a job as an assistant to the president, and then the job that is the 14th an hour a day job, and that is the special adviser -- special assistant to the secretary of the treasury for the purpose of starting the consumer financial protection program. >> have you discussed with secretary geithner or with the president and nomination -- who should be nominated to head this agency? >> in the course of my work in trying to get this agency going, i have had many conversations with secretary,
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with the white hse, and with others about the qualities of what might be needed -- the qualities of the person who would run his agency. >> have they told you when they may make a nomination? have you urged them to make the nomination? >> i have tried to make it clear that it is important that we have an nomination. >> and that it began almost immediately? >> i would not want to describe any coersation in detail, but i am aware of the need for urgency. >> have they given you any indication -- what if they made a recess appointment and that appointment was you? would you except that?
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would you say i would rather not have a recess appointment, knowing the ball back from that? -- blowback from that? >> congressman, there is a process in place. i have tried to contribute what i can. i understand that there will be nomination soon. that is all i know. >> the setting mortgage servicing standard. you had engaged and given input and advice into does. is that correct? >> when we were asked by the secretary, by e department of justice and others, we have given advice. >> thank you very much. >> we go now to mr. gutierrez of illinois. >> thank you so much for coming before the committee this morning. i wish you godspeed in your endeavor.
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i find it interesting we're worried about how is this is going to become a permanent nomination to head the agency and what is going on within the service there's any different departments. fightk we're going to that is a theme that will be carried out most of the morning and continued at -- we're going to find out that is a theme that will be rried out most of the morning and continued the next couple of years. i am really concerned about consumers and not the financial institutions because i have a funny feeling that if we carded everyone sitting behind you, banks and investment bankers and pay lenders. i do notnow how many family budget makers are very well represented out there. i am not too worried.
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as a member of congress, i can assure everybody that those from financial institutions are ready, willing, and able, and always have been. they have sometimes had an overwhelming voice here. i woullike to ask you, when we did dodd/frank, and i want to make this clear, are you able to supervise car dealerships? >> no, we are not. we will not be able to do that. >> and that is expressly prohibited in dodd/frank? >> yes. >> i just wanted to make clear that for those of us here while we create your agency, the financial institutions, including the car dealers, got their take. they got to be taken out. as i sit around my family table, i assure you that they were here. the banks were here.
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goldman sachs was here. the car dealers were here. the pay lenders were here. they were all here. let me tell you, they were extremely too successful. let us not be too sympathetic about the port corporations. -- poor corporations. i am more concerned about the people at the dining room table. it seems incredible to me. before i bought my house, the greatest financial investment i had to make was buying a car. i think that for a large portion of the american public, it will be the one instance -- for all of us, unless there's something different about you all, it is a scary proposition, buying that car. it is rife with lots of danger, especially financial exposure
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if not done correctly. i am sorry that i am not too worrd about them being here. we created the consumer financial protection agency last year to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices. also, to create transparency and fairness for consumer financial products and services. some people would argue that we already have federal agencies that serve as regulating bodies. can you describe how it ishat the conser protection bureau is different from regulators like the federal reserve and the office of the comptroller of currency? >> yes. i think the big difference is about what people want to do. the fed is a traffic agency -- terrific agency. it does a lot of things. but the people who go to the fed go to the fed because they want to do monetary policy. that is how they are evaluated by congress.
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it was chairman frank, two years ago, who made the point that in 20 years of reports from the fed, the question of consumer protection never came up. what this is really about is saying that those powers that had been with the fed will now move to a new consumer agency. there will be someone who will act as a cop on the beat, who will be out there to look at how mortgage servicers, to pick an example out of the headlines, are executing on their obligations, whether or not they are following the law. someone there to wch. and someone to make sure and be able to say to the american people, no matter how big you are, you have to follow the rules. the laws are the laws.
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the office of the comptroller of the currency has done a lot of different kind of work, but principally they are on the work of prudential regulations. they have watched out for how they can protect the financial institutions. the difficulty has been that inattention to consumer issues, to consumer products like the kinds of mortgages that make it into the system over the last 10 years, turned out not only to be ruinous for american families, it was also ruinous for american banks. again, the idea that congress had was to say, let us take this functions and move them to the new consumer financial protection bureau, where we have a cop on the beat who make sure there is someone who is going to enforce the law. if we had had this agency six
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years ago, eight years ago, we would t be in the mess we are today. >> if i could interject here, it is also government intervention. perhaps if we had restructured this agency, but if we also did not have the temerity to lieve that congress should go in and muffle the market and get down payments down to zero, if we had not had the temerity to pass the gse act and allow government sponsored -- a government sponsored enterprise to go in the business of arbitrating and over leveraging it 100 to 1. there are a number of factors, and some of it is because of congressional interventionn the market and because congress tied the hands of the
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regulators. i'm talking about the safety and soundness regulators. i witnessed all of that. i think that there is an additional conderation here. part of that is the idea that washington can better understand what the consumer demands are then the consumer. i will give you one example. it was overdraft protection. the presumption here is amerans do not want overdraft protection. they do not want to pay for that. they will all have to opt in for that. what did we find? we found they all opted in. overwhelmingly. yes, people wanted that. the presumption here was that that was a waste of time. i just think the idea that
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government will dictate the market on a willing buyer and seller -- it is a consideration, as is the consideration of the fact that your agency is going to be able to act outside of the normal preparations process. that is unique. that is new. the idea that it will not be held accountable for the actions it takes in terms of the budget. my main concern is an additional one. this i have shared with you. it comes from putting safety and soundness protection behind consumer protection in the regulatory structure. we tried that with the gses. everyone has a right to own a home. and congress interprets that right to meet it if you do not have any down payment, he should have a right to own a home, why are the down payments
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not zero? why not mandate with a goal through hud that this has to happen? we do that, and we said at a bifurcated regulation where hud is drivinghe gulf, and on the other side you have the prudential regulated that was supposed to be regulating for safety and soundness. guess what. they could not step in and leverage the portfolios because the first consideration was not safety and soundness. we set this up so the first consideration was not saty and soundness. having gone through this, this is my issue. we have tried bifurcated regulation. we have had the regulators, current and past, who had this particular responsibility, both dallas this helped create the
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collapse of the housing market. -- both tell us this helped create the collapse of the housing market. had we had a single rulator, it would have been better. all of us have heard this debate. i just wanted your take on that. >> thank you, congressman, i think this is a really important issue. the point about safety and soundness also goes to the point about dictating products. i want to be really clear about the vision of this agency. what we are about is making a price clear to consumers, making risks clear to consumers, making itself families have a chance to compare two or three credit cards. the figure at two things. can i afford this thing, and have i gotten the one that is best? i think congress was very cautious on your point when it set up the new consumer agency.
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>> i'm going to interrupt you. i had an amendment that would make safety and soundness the first priority. it would have the credentials regulators sign off on that. the majority opposed that a minute. we were not that cautious. thmmm -- amendment was not accepted. >> you do remember the way it was set up, the other banking regulators, the safety and soundness banking regulators could overrule -- >> they had a very high threshold, as opposed to -- i have given you the example of what really happened. it could happen again. it is likely to. i think this is why the consumer agency was set up so that its rules of whatever promulgates, can be overruled by a combination of safety and soundness regulators, something that exists nowhere in government.
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i should say because i think this is important. for families to ow the price, for families to know the risk -- >> we have no disagreement on that. >> i appreciate that. i know we have had good conversations on that. >> we are going to go to mr. watt of rth carolina. >> thank you mr. chairman. i yield 30 seconds to the ranking member to clarify what is going on. >> i think we should all ntinue to clarify that the cfpb, any action can be overruled by the financial stability oversight committee. safety and soundness is their top priority. any action that the cfpb rights into their statute can be overruled by the financial stability oversight committee. i wanted to clarify that. i yield back.
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>> very high threshold. two-thirds vote. i just want to continue. >> i am happy to the gentleman. >> point of order. as one of the junior members on this, i am concerned about the allocation of time. he just made a five minute injection. >> good point. >> i think he identified himself for that five minute injection. he never yielded himself time. i assume that -- >> i ask for unanimous consent that the gentleman may have additional seconds. >> we are going to go to mr. watt. go aad with your question. >> that does not compensate me for the time that was lost. 30 seconds does not compensate me. >> take your time. >> i appreciate that.
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let me welcome ms. warren here. thank you for being here. i want to start by, and i'm getting a copy of this speh that you delivered to the financial services roundtable. i'm going to put it in the record. i was there. i thought it was one of the most thoughtful speeches i ever heard given to a group that came into the room with an adversarial nature. they walked out of the room feeling a lot more confident that ne of the horror stories or horror possibilities that had been postulated and tossed around rhetorically in the
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political context were about to happen as a result of the ssage of dodd/frank and standing up of the consumer protection bureau. i want to compliment you. i came the that very night and complimenting you on the speech and asked you to send a aye -- i came to you that very night and complemented you on the speech and asked you to send me and a number of the financial service people in my congressional district a copy. when they have raised concerns, many othe same rhetorical concerns were raised. i want to compliment you again on your presentation, the 30 pages that you have give us that outlined how this agency is being stood up. i want to recommend to my colleagues, particularly in light of the debate that we had
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yesterday and the day before about how the consumer financial protection bureau has no oversight, i want to particularly recommended them pages 18, 19, and 20 of miss warren's testimony. these outlined, in detail, the amount of oversight that this agency h been given that far exceeds any oversight than any other financial regulator has, including the point that the ranking member just made that any rule that this agency promulgates can, first of all, be reversed by this oversight board, and then second of all,
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if we are not happy with them, we can reverse them ourselves as we can do with any other financial services or any other regulation that is promulgated by a federal government agency. with that, my time is waning. i do not know how much time i have. >> you have more time. >> i do want to ask unanimous consent to put into the record the speech that was delivered to the financial services roundtable leadership dinner by elizabeth warren on wednesday, september 29, 2010. even with her personal note to me saying, with thanks from miss warren. >> without objection, it is included, including the personal note. >> i want to commend that to my
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colleagues. if that does not send them at ease -- i am probably undermining your credibility with the consumer groups out there, but i am speculating that at the end of this stand- up, it may be the financial services industry that is the biggest advocate for ms. warren to be the head of the consumer financial protection bureau because of her approh to these vertough issues. streamlining regulation, getting down to simple forms -- the kinds of things that both sides of this committee have advocated and have been the imary focus of advocacy of my republican colleagues on this committee. this is not an ogre, a stand-up
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person, nor is it an ogre consumer financial protection bureau. this is an important ingredient for consumers in this country. i gret i did not have a chance to ask you any questions. i am just advocating for you. >> we go now to mr. mchenry for his questions. >> thank you, mrs. warren, for being here. i understand your political point -- >> would the gentleman yield for just a second? >> and -- >> just so i can be clear that this is in the record. did i get unanimous consent? >> you got unanimous consent. >> ok. i am sorry. i ask for unanimous consent for the gentleman to have 30 additional seconds. >> you are a political appointee in the white house, and you are a political appointee in treasury. i want to go through a scenario with you, just to get context for folks on your position. walk with me here.
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this is more of a mind exercise. i want your judgment on the merits of this. it is shortly after the enron scandal. let us rewind. the justice department has a special task force to go after ken lay and enron. would, in your opinion, it be inappropriate for the white house assistant to the president to call up the attorney general and get advice on how to deal with the enron matter? >> congressmen, as best i remember following the enron scandal, the justice department asked for advice from a numbe of specialists. >> did they ask karl rove? >> -- outside of government. i am not sure.
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i do know they called my teaching institution. >> that is different. we're talking about a political appointee in the white house. i'm trying to see if you understand why the position you are currently in is controversial. do you have an understanding that you are in a unique position, the fact y are a political appointee, you have not been confirmed by the senate to have this institution that you are directing, you have no statutory authority to engage in these matters that you are engaging in do you understand why this is controversial? it is similar to karl rove having a similar position in the white house. if he injected himself on settlement matters like this, there would be a hew and cry. do you understand that this is a bit controversial for folks?
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>> congressman -- >> yes would be a good answer. >> i work for the secretary of the treasury. in my work for the secretary of the treasury, i have begun to lp put this new consumer agency together. we have tried to build already a lot of expertise on a lot of different issues, on credit cards, on mortgages, and on credit reporting. when the secretary of the treasury came to me and said, we would like your advice, i was glad -- >> don't you answer directly to the president as well? >> when the president asks for my advice -- >> yes or no. do you answer directly to the president? >> i answer when the president asks for my advice. >> ok. it is in your title. i am trying to make sure you have an understanding of the magnitude of the challenge faced oyour unique position.
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under what statutory authority are you acting? >> i am an employee of the treasury of the united states. >> sounds eminently reasonable. i want to get into the settlement question. media reports are saying that there is a $20 billion settlement. it is my understanding that if the u.s. government reaches monetary settlements with banks, the funds would go to the u.s. treasury. that is how -- a very standard process over the course of our nation's history. it would not be legally permissible for the hud or cfpb or any other regulator to resolve these matters by having fun is directed to any other place then back to the taxpayers. to allocate some funds, which you need to come back to congress for authorization to spend? -- would you need to come bac to congress for authorization to spend them?
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>> congressman, we are not involved, we are not negotiating with anyone at the consumer agency. this is a law enforcement matter. it is headed by the department of justice and their financial fraud enforcement task force. >> you are not engaged in these discussions? >> negotiating -- reclaiming my time. are you engaged in these discussions? >> negotiations with private parties arentirely directed by the department of justice, by the state attorneys general, by other federal agencies. >> so you are not engaged in these discussions? we do not negotiate with private parties. we have been asked for advice, and wherever we can be helpful, we are proud to be helpful. >> thank you. mr. hinojosa, five minutes? >> thank you, madam chairman. profesr elizabeth warren,
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thank you for your valuable advice to the u.s. treasury and to our president. i have had lots of meetings with representatives of financial services. i want to say that texas this is the overt act fees. banks also are concerned they might this another key source of revenue.
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having seen how consumers are struggling with t increase in the cost of groceries, gasoline, many having lost their jobs and homes, i cannot help but want to troot for your work and say that consumers need protection. they do not have the lobbyists and we have been congress working to protect the representatives of all the financial-services. tell us what we can do in congress to ensure that this law is implemented and that it will help our consumers get jobs and hopefully put our country back
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into what we experienced during the 1990's. >> thank you. that is a heartfelt question. i wrestle with the issues you describe everyday. america's families have been on the r opes for a long time. many families have turned to debt only to find what they thought would be temporary was far more dangerous and costly than they had anticipated. this agency is here for american families. it is also here for americ's banks. i met with community bankers in san antonio, texas when holly petraeus and i went down to the
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air force base. we listen to their concerns. it really has become clear tt what we can do as a consumer agency to cut regulatory burdens is to make risks and prices clear. it will be good for credit unions. it'll be good for the financial institutions. they are willing to put up a pradesh pretending it is at one
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price. these competitors take families away from the founder banking systems. they need a stronger economy. that is what we are here to do. >> thank you for that response. i heard my friend talked about all we have in the bill. it seems like they are the voice for medium-sized and large banks. explain to me why they are so concerned? >> many thought the business
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models are a way the round -- the world is. we need to figure out how to turn the revenues. king it impossible to compare one project with others. some of them are very concerned. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you. i appreciate the opportunity. we appreciate your time coming
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here. i want to explore that a little bit and find that your views on these organizations and with a bit and ether you believe they should fit. i have a background in real estate and developing. the first time i ever vested was a two-family on 17th street in michigan which is a very rough neighborhood. the famies that living there and the families that looking at trying to make an opportunity for themselves really were not going to be able to fit into those conventional boxe we were talking about big and medium-sized banks.
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many have been able to service people. whether it is people holding land contracts, i know many people who been involved in real estate. they hold millions of dollars of personal funds and land contracts. you hit on a phrase just in this last answer of serving americans families. there are a number people wanting to do that. they are afraid of some of the directions that this appears to be going. they not -- they may not be able to function. what are some of your views that are less than conventional. whether they may be disabled are
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may be low and moderate income, there is a marketplace that needs to be served. >> thank you. this is a very important and thoughtful question. the first we thought was for $23,000. we were not conventional buyers. i understand the importance of being able to serve american families across a wide variety of circumstances. i think it has been one of the important things that community banks and credit unions and also non-bank lenders when they come to visit have talked about with me, how it is that they build a business model around adjusting to the different needs of different customers that they
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acknowledge. they acknowlge the importance of relationships banking. they know how to customize projects. i think the best way i can say this is that we are working with those to serve families. we are committed that prices should always be clear. they should never be a family ready to take down a mortgage. there should never be a family consering taking out a mortgage that does that get what the basic risk is. there is never be the case that a family get information in a way that they cannot make some straightforward comparison of one market to two were three other. that is the direction we have been driving it since the first day i have been there.
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we have tried to d it at the end of the agency and to the entire attitude. old simile, that is what you want to be able to predict ultimately, that is what you want to be able to do -- old simile, that is what you want to be able to do. it serves the american people. that is our job. i appreciate that. if anybody has refinanced their home are few have been buying it, there is plenty of paperwork that you are assigning. i am concerned about the redundancy and whether some of these things are necessary.
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how will this work for the lenders. how will this work for the brok. but colet and implement here. they have about 1 million in land contracts. he says he will not be able to function. i like to hear how that would be taking care of. >> >> i want to commend you for your work to do it in plain english.
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ieard from consumers that they are very frustrated because it is unreadable. i've also heard from community banks. it is easy to forget that most people were trying to make it. they are trying to do right by people. they felt like they had to simply regurgitate the language of the wretched state -- a regulation or statute. they felt that was the safest thing. it is a service to consumers and to those who are trying to make an honest living. i do remember with respect to the first proposa that financial institutions offer a
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plain vanilla project. that dropped quickly. they offered an amendment that they can not require any financial institution to offer any project. when there were complaints that the sovereignty may be threatened by consumer protection, it cannot be required to do something that would be impossible for them. they have to do things that they will to stay in business. >> that is correct. the argument about consumer choice reminds me about the argument a century ago. it would depend upon the right. it turned out consumers and not want to buy beef.
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they wanted the assurance that there were buying pure beef. if they wanted. they could buy it here and let it rot. they did that give you the right to buy spoiled be. i have yet to talk to anyone who actually chose some of the products offered in the last decade. i cannot think of any size. as some of the can identify someone that qualify for a prime loan that wanted a key 28 with a monthly payment of 30% or 50%. i asked if he could identify someone that shows that knowingly. i mentioned over jobs. i want that.
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i do not want the pranks to be able to process overdrafts not the order in which they come in. or that the atm machine ptomaine that funds available to you know people that wanted that? i do not. i made that offer on the house floor. if anyonenows someone who really wanted those products, let me talk to them. let me understand how they would have chosen it.
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one of the criticisms is that it does not say what the banks supposedly did. usually when there is an enforcement option, but that they cannot do it into a settlement. it is bad for us. did you know that they ask that there be some detail. >> i have no knowledge. that is what i understand. >> thank you.
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>> thank you. good morning. i think all of us here want to steer clear prices in regard to lending. i want to make sure borrowers know the rest -- the risk of the loan they are taking. there are other issues flaring up. i do not want to beat a dead horse. i want to go back over what your role is here. ther are two jobs contemplated. one is that there will be a director. the president will nominate someone. the senate will come from.
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it is perfectly clear that some went best to get this agency up and running. but that is why i am asking the question. it walks like a duck and >> like a duck, it is a doubt. -- and quacks like a duck, it is a duck. he might say that you work for the treasury sectary, but anyone who looks at what is happening agrees as though you are behaving as though you are the acting secretary. we want to see confirmation from the senate. this agency provides a voice for the american people. i look at this. we are the voice of the american people. when we do not have any
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oversight, i see that as incredibly problematic. that's all right. thank you. it is between the time the president signed this bill into law and the time the agency received the authority under the statute. this is hiring in signing contracts. it is you. it is the secretary are there. they ask me to come in and spend my time doing this. it has been a 14 hour a day job. >> i agree. i know exaly what you are
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talking about. had he been confirmed? >> i am acting on the secretary of treasury. let's let me move on. it appears that you are not the acting director. they all have five member board. they are consolidating this. the primary right -- be there. the primary right -- be there.


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