Insular Areas and Freely Associated States Energy Developmentby Representative José E. Serrano
Posted on 2014-12-11
SERRANO asked and was given permission to revise and extend his
Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Speaker, I thank our ranking member for the time.
First, let me mention a few of the good things in the Financial Services bill. We were able to substantially increase funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission by $150 million above last year's level.
We were also able to increase funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions fund and to authorize the CDFI's fund bond guarantee program for another year.
We also increased robust funding for the SBA to help our Nation's small businesses, and we added additional dollars to the Consumer Products Safety Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. We removed numerous troubling riders that affected the Affordable Care Act, travel to Cuba, and the ability of the SEC to police our markets.
Unfortunately, several problems remain in the bill. The bill would essentially repeal an important provision of Dodd-Frank to prevent banks from engaging in risky swaps activities backed by their depositors and ultimately by the Federal Government.
The protections of Dodd-Frank were put in place to prevent a return to the risky transactions that led to the 2008 meltdown. We should not backtrack on those important reforms.
I am also very concerned about the cuts made to the IRS which will force the agency to operate at levels below that of sequestration. This would cause a serious strain on the agency.
There are several riders attached to the District of Columbia section of the bill, something that happens every year. Republicans have again limited the District's ability to use their own dollars to provide abortion services. This bill also seeks to stop the District from implementing a recent ballot initiative that legalizes recreational use of marijuana.
Thankfully, on this last provision, Republicans have simply missed the mark. The language of the rider only prevents the District from enacting laws, rules, or regulations regarding marijuana legalization, but it does not prevent already enacted efforts like the recent ballot initiative.
The President recently took executive action to end everyday tragedies that occur when families are separated and people are deported; unfortunately, rather than using this as a chance to finally engage in reform, we are now doing something to the DHS by putting them on a CR.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
Mrs. LOWEY. I yield the gentleman an additional 30 seconds.