Oct. 31, 2017
Hensarling’s Slavish Wall Street Agenda Also Must Go
Statement of Bartlett Naylor, Financial Policy Advocate, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division
Since becoming chair of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) has promoted a libertarian fantasy where consumer protection isn’t part of his vocabulary. He has raced the wrong way down Wall Street, advocating for politically impossible legislation that would roll back necessary reforms following the 2008 Wall Street crash.
In the face of extensive Wall Street fraud, abuses and misconduct, Hensarling has conducted almost no investigative hearings. His sole hearing with failed Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf only presaged a wasteful probe of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency that brought the case against the bank for fake accounts. While his own party platform calls for the restoration of the Glass-Steagall separation of lending and speculation, Hensarling has defended the vision of his mentor, former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas), who authored the repeal of this law.
With Hensarling’s departure from Congress, lawmakers should reject Wall Street’s agenda in favor of one that puts Main Street first. Polls show that clear majorities, including Independents and Republicans, want tough financial rules that hold Wall Street accountable for its crimes and abuses.
Public Citizen’s message to Hensarling: Don’t let the revolving door hit you on the way out.