WASHINGTON – Assuring the fight over financial reform will continue into the next Congress, House Republicans this week named Jeb Hensarling, the five-term House member and leading opponent of the Dodd-Frank Act, as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee when the 113th Congress convenes in January.
The conservative Hensarling, a former staffer for Texas Sen. Phil Gramm, has led the numerous efforts by House Republicans to trim back or repeal the Dodd-Frank bill, the Democrat-written measure aimed at curbing the financial abuses that caused the financial crisis and creating a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Hensarling told attendees to NAFCU’s annual Congressional Caucus in September the reform bill has severely damaged financial institutions. He also blasted the newly created consumer agency. "I do believe that, regrettably, you have been victimized by a legislative drive-by shooting known as Dodd-Frank," Hensarling told the credit union executives.
"How you can take away the fundamental economic liberties of Americans and give unfettered subjective powers to one unelected, unaccountable bureaucrat to fundamentally decide what credit cards go in our wallets, what mortgages you can have is positively Orwellian," he said. "Unless we reform this institution, consumer credit will be effectively trashed. The cost of it will go up, and there will be less of it."
Hensarling, who was reelected to a sixth term earlier this month, will succeed Alabama Republican Spencer Bachus, a strong credit union supporter. Bachus was chairman the last two years and before that was the committee’s ranking Republican for four years, but is barred from serving as the top Republican on the committee past a sixth year by party rules.