tv Treasury Secretary Testifies on State of International Finance System CSPAN July 28, 2017 8:28am-10:08am EDT
>> at a house hearing, treasury secretary steve mnuchin presented a report on the state of the international finance system and answered questions about a range of fiscal issues including the federal debt, tax reform and banking regulations. congressman jeb hensarling chairs the financial services committee. this is three hours. [inaudible conversations] >> committee will come to order. without objection, the chair is
authorized to declare a recess of the committee at any time, and members will have five legislative days within which to submit extraneous materials to the chair for inclusion in the record. the hearing is for the purpose of receiving the secretary of treasury's annual report on the state of the international finance system. but before proceeding to that report, i will give you a report on the hollingsworth family of indiana. i would like to share with you some very good news, that joseph albert hollingsworth iv arrived this morning at 1:38 a.m. weighing in at 7 pounds, 15 ounces. mother and baby are doing well. husband and father is a total wreck, but congratulations to our colleague, trey hollingsworth. [applause]
we will give him an excused absence from this morning's hearing. the chair now recognizes himself for three minutes for an opening statement. again, this morning the committee welcomes treasury secretary steven mnuchin for his testimony on the state of the international financial system. as we all know, it is a system that rests heavily upon our u.s. financial system, and that system clearly needs improvement. fortunately, president trump has outlined a bold, forward-looking plan to tackle the serious problems facing hard working american families who have seen their paychecks stagnate, their savings shrink and their dreams diminish over the last decade. the fact is this economy isn't close to reaching its potential. nearly eight years after the last recession ended, americans remain stuck in the slowest recovery in generations. our economy grew a measly 1.6%
last year when our historic norm is twice that. over 300,000 manufacturing jobs have disappeared during the last eight years. clearly, eight years of obamanomics has taken a toll. one place it has taken a toll is the competitiveness of our capital markets. we simply cannot afford to lose our status as global leader for capital markets. yet the united states has dropped to 17th in a recent world ranking of economic freedom, a historic low for our nation. ..
>> the playing field for american companies to prosper and as a result. our our economy will grow healthier. for these reasons the core principles for regulating the financial system is vitally important to us all. as the report notes for too long we have not empowered americans to make independent financial decisions and informed choices in the marketplace. save for retirement or build individual wealth. we've not enable american companies to be competitive with foreign firms and domestic foreign markets, i could not agree more. mr. secretary, as you know, your first report issued last month closely mirrors the key foundational principles and policies contained within the has act. for making the cfb accountable
and making regulations for our community banks and credit unions. your recommendations will clearly help craft a more sensible less burdensome regulatory system. please know that the actions that you and the administration are taking to ensure the competitiveness of the u.s. financial sim system are one that i welcome and thank you for being here and look forward to being with you. i now yield four minutes to the ranking member for an opening statement. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, and welcome, secretary mnuchin. mr. mnuchin as secretary of the treasury you have a wide range of responsibilities that are of great porps to our economy and the well-being of the american people. these range from safeguarding our financial system to advancing u.s. values nationally. one bureau within the treasury responsible for safeguarding
our financial system is the financial crimes enforcement network, which, as you know, collects, analyzes and dissemnates financial intelligence in addition to the foreign bank and account reports and other reports. they have numerous arrangements from foreign intelligence units making the bureau well-positioned to identify and law enforcement in curtailing illicit activities. it's critical for the public to learn to which the extent president trump, his immediate family and his associates colluded with russia to influence the outcome of last year's elections. serious questions have been raised about their suspicious financial arrangements and involvement with russian government officials, oligarchs
and leaders. as the jurisdiction over the committee and we, too, have our own share of questions. fortunately, you as secretary of the treasury, with the overagent in aing president trump's financial endanglements with russia. however, even to you have indicated i think on more than one occasion that you do take requests from members of congress seriously, you did not respond to a may 23rd letter from me and my democratic colleagues requesting copies of all pertinent financial records related to president trump's financial transactions with and business ties to russia, as well as those of his family members and associates. now, i understand your staff finally did call yesterday afternoon while we were preparing for this hearing, but i'm looking forward to hearing
directly from you about this matter today. there are other areas where i have serious concerns, indeed, in june the treasury released a report with recommendations that largely mirrored chairman's wrong choice act. you recommended gutting the consumer financial protection bureau and rolling back important dodd-frank reforms, including rules in place to ensure the stability of our financial system, like stress tests and living wheels. these recommendations are deeply harmful and short sighted given the progress we've made since the financial crisis. i also remain concerned about the practices that took place at one west under your leadership. even though one west foreclosed over 36,000 families in california and that, it has been the subject of numerous investigations, this president
has selected number one one west officials, including you, to fill government posts, for example, a former one west executive has been nominated by trump to lead the comptroller of the currency which regulates the largest banks. committee democrats are very concerned about the potential for conflicts of interest with regard to a recent department of justice settlement with one west and any pending investigations into one west wrongdoing that occurred during your tenure. so i look forward to hearing from you and what you have to share with us today and i yield back the balance of my time. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from kentucky. >> secretary mnuchin, welcome to your first hearing on the state of the house financial
system. which has jurisdiction over international financial institutions and sanctions and monetary policy, i think you're off to a great start. two days ago, this committee unanimously passed a bill, to reduce the ida level, and i thank your staff for having worked with us effectively on this legislation. we are looking forward to the positive impact that you can have at the financial stability oversight council. i would urge you as the lead member to assess the extent to which unconventional monetary policy and the balance sheet continue to distort economic decisions and con strain american house olds and businesses from enjoying a recovery. as dallas fed capital recently
wrote, there is a cost to excessive accommodation, returning to savers, and monetary accommodation is not costless. the greatest threats are terrorism around the world. and counter act extremism and north korea and iran. i want to talk about your report for regulatory relief for community institutions. according to these that you propose, firms could land up to $2 trillion into the real economy which would create opportunities for americans in all walks of life. again, thank you, and i look forward to your testimony and i yield back. >> the chair now recognizes the
gentle lady from wisconsin, from the policy and trade commission for one minute. >> thank you very much. i know i would feel a lot better, mr. secretary, if you supported a consumer financial protection bureau especially given your reputation as a foreclosure king. many' disappointed that you and the trump administration, under dodd-frank, treasury just fined the agency for a teal it about with russia while secretary of state tillerson was the ceo. and that section 1502, conflict mineral provisions are working just fine. i'm hoping that you'll support 1502. i'm a nice, sweet person, i hope to get to know you, but trust me, i'm going to fight you to the end to keep that in place. i look forward to your testimony.
>> the gentle lady yields back. today, we will welcome the testimony of the honorable steven mnuchin, since this is a new administration and the first time that we've had a cabinet level official testify before our committee, i thought it would be prudent to review the committee and house rules on decorum. members are required under the rules of the house to observe the principles of decorum of courtesy and debate set forth in rule 17 related provisions in jefferson's manual speaking and acting respectfully and refraining from the use of words and unparliamentary language. impugning motives, charging falsehood or implying a lack of intelligence. i would add over the last two years, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have expanded upon these principles on the record to say that no
administration witness should be quote, unquote, badgered. no administration witness should be subject to, quote, i got you politics. the ranking members and other democrats say no administration witness should be talked to badly. no administration witness should be interrupted. every administration witness should be, quote, treated fairly. every administration witness has, quote, right to be able to respond and finally, my democratic colleagues opined that every administration witness should be treated with quote, acceptable standards of dignity, propriety, courtesy and decorum. so, steven turner mnuchin for-- >> parliamentary inquiry. >> state your inquiry. >> first, i would like to know if this witness will be sworn in. >> it is not our custom to swear in administration witnesses and we did not do so with the obama administration. it is not the chair's intent.
>> well, mr. chairman, since you took our time to talk about how we should conduct ourselves today, i'd like to remind you and your colleagues how you treated mr. cordray and i never heard you take time out to talk about how members should conduct themselves. so, while we have not done some things in the past and you're doing it now, i'd like to make sure i understand that you do not wish to swear in this witness. >> i believe in my tenure we have sworn in exactly one witness and we've never required obama administration officials to be sworn in. it is not my intention to swear in this witness. it is simply my intent to profit from the minority's advice and council on decorum. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> today we welcome again the testimony of the honorable steven mnuchin.
again, this is the first time that he has appeared before our committee. steven turner mnuchin was sworn in as the 77th secretary of treasury on february 13th, 2017. secretary mnuchin was born and raised in new york city and holds a bachelor's degree from yale university. secretary has several decades of both retail and investment banking experience which he brings to the office in which he now holds. without objection, the witness's written statement will be made part of the record. secretary mnuchin, welcome for your first appearance before our committee and you're now recognized for five minutes to give an oral presentation of your testimony. >> thank you very much. chairman hensarling, ranking member waters and members of the committee, i am pleased to be here today and i look forward to discussing the important issues to the american people. i would like to begin by addressing treasury's national
advisory committee report. treasury uses its leadership role in international financial institutions to help ensure that they are carrying out their core mandates effectively and efficiently. as the federal government is streamlining, treasury is focused on keeping the international financial institutions as cost effective as possible. we have pressed the imf to increase its focus on the need to address global economic imbalances. this will help to improve prospects for u.s. jobs and exports while holding the imf administrative budget largely flat in real terms. in addition, u.s. supported reforms to how the multi-lateral development banks employ their balance sheets have made it possible for us to substantially increase the assistance they can provide to the poorest country while
reducing u.s. bugetary contributions. where it makes sense we will preserve these investments and remain a top donor and shareholder, while also balancing priorities across other parts of the government. in doing so, we will continue to promote access to economic opportunities to eliminate poverty and to build shared prosperity. when the world is prosperous and stable, america reaps the benefits. i would like to now highlight our domestic reform agenda. let me begin by congratulating the committee on its passage of the choice act. the administration supported house passage of that legislation and we will work with congress to reform the financial regulatory system. years have passed since the financial crisis and this has given us time to see what has worked and what has not. the administration is committed
to robust financial system with the free flow of credit that fuels the engine of american growth. this means allowing community financial institutions to lend and small businesses access to borrowing. it means giving americans the opportunity to make independent financial decisions, such as buying a home and saving for retirement. this also means preventing taxpayer bailouts. in february, the president issued an executive order that directed the department of treasury to report on whether financial regulations were in line with important core financial principles. in june, treasury released the first in a series of reports in response to this executive order. our first report dealt with banks and credit unions. the treasury report provides a road map to better align the financial system to serve consumers and businesses and to
drive economic growth. while the report focused on heavily on regulatory actions that can be taken by the executive branch it also included a number of legislative recommendations to more appropriately align the laws governing depository institutions with the president's core financial principles. one of these is properly tailoring capital requirements for small, mid-size and regional banks that pose little or no risk to the financial system. it included that is the endorsement of a regulatory off ramp for highly capitalized institutions. another recommendation is structural reform to provide a mechanism to identify a single lead regulator to ensure that there is not unneeded regulatory overlap for duplicated efforts. a third is a legislative remedy to the overly complex volcker
rules. the fourth is statutory changes to make the consumer protection bureau more accountable. working together we can implement benefit for the community banks and mid sized institutions. housing finance reform is also a priority of the treasury and the administration. the current system in which gse's remain in perpetual federal housing finance agency conservatorship is not sustainable and leaves taxpayers at risk. our housing finance policies should be clear and should be designed to provide financing for home owners and owners of multi-family units. additionally, such policies should increase private sector participation and protect taxpayers. the other critical component is comprehensive tax reform. we have gone too long without addressing our tax system. our business rate is one of the highest and most complicated in
the world. it makes our businesses less competitive and we are commit today changing that. lowering the rate and bringing back trillions of dollars that are sitting overseas will allow business to invest in this country, spurring economic growth. another important component of strong and robust international financial system is stopping bad actors and those who finance them. i would like to acknowledge this committee's effort to combat terrorism and illicit finance with the creation of its newest subcommittee. as our enemies change, so, too, must our weapons that combat them. stopping the flow of funds is one more tool in our arsenal to disrupt our capabilities. our office of terrorism and office of financial intelligence is working with the committees and looking forward to working with the chairman and pearl mudder on these issues.
i look forward to working with you, thank you. >> yielding five minutes for questions. mr. secretary, you're probably familiar with the federal reserve report of 2016 dealing with the voelker real. and you may know that the director of the imf's monetary and capital markets department provided another critique of the volcker rule saying it can impact theability of institutions to supply credit. we have a recent study conducted by the bank of england, saying in their stress simulation, material increase in spreads and the corporate bond market, and in the extreme, corporate bond market dislocation can threaten the ability of financial markets. so, particularly, as head of
this, what are your ideas on the voelker rule. >> and i see you have the debt clock up there today and hopefully i will get out of here before it gets to 20 trillion dollars. in any event, as relates to the voelker rule, this is something that i share your concerns. i think the biggest problem with the voelker rule is its complexity and regulatory overlap. and even if it is our intent not to have propriety trading within banks, we need to make sure that banks understand how the regulation works. recently i was at a g20 meeting where we had some economists that came and talked to us and they said that every trading desk needs a psychiatrist and a
lawyer to determine how to apply the voelker rule. in any event, as my role of chair of fsoc, this is one of the issues many' working on. i'm please today report that we've already done preliminary work on it. the regulators also share these concerns, and we have it on our agenda tomorrow for the meeting and will be addressing how we can deal with the regulatory overlap, also, mr. chairman, as you do know, in our report on the executive order to the president we've also made certain suggestions for legislative changes to that. thank you. >> mr. secretary, particularly those on this side of the aisle, we very much deplore what is happening to our community banks and credit unions. i know there are some on the other side of the aisle who have opined that there's no regulatory problem there. in your report and frankly, in
your testimony today, you mentioned the term tailoring. can you expound upon your views and what are you considering that one can-- that you can do in the administration to better tailor rules to our community banks and credit unions? >> mr. chairman, thank you for that question and let me first say, we are very focused in making sure that community and regional banks can properly grow. our financial system here, the top eight banks account for approximately 50% of the assets in the american financial markets and that's quite problematic. what we want to do is make sure that there is robust lending, particularly in community banks. i've met with many, many people. these are not republicans or democrats, these are hard working business people, particularly in agricultural communities, particularly in small manufacturing
communities, that constantly complain that the community banks are not able to lend because they are overburdened by regulatory issues. and i firmly believe that community banks know how to make loans. let me just say, they should be properly regulated, whether they're regulated by the state or the federal government. i do believe in proper regulation, but overly burdensome regulations so that community banks cannot strive, is not something that is good for any of us or the american economy so we are very focused on raising the regulatory burden and we look forward to working with this committee on it. >> speaking of the regulatory burden on, perhaps on our regional banks. the treasury report recommended rising the threshold for am indication of enhanced prudential standards to a bank holding company, raising from the current 50 billion threshold to an unspecified amount.
it appears that changes can be accomplished without legislation, so what do you believe the threshold should be increased to and do we have your commitment that you will implement these changes administratively? >> sure, mr. chairman, let me first say it's my understanding there had been bipartisan discussions on raising this limit in the previous administration. so, i would hope that those conversations continue and that this is something that we could accomplish quickly. i think that it should be raised substantially. at least to 250 or 300 billion and i would go further, saying that simple, uncomplex banks, the regulators should be able to exempt above that and again, that doesn't mean that those banks shouldn't be regulated. those banks will be regulated. they will be regulated by the
primary regulator and they will be regulated properly. >> my time is expired and i yield five minutes to the ranking member. >> thank you. secretary mnuchin, i want to make sure we're operating here with the same understanding. even though you are not sworn in, do you realize you're under oath? >> i do, thank you. >> thank you very much. are you familiar with the 20-- may 23rd letter i sent to you along with several of my democratic colleagues on this committee? >> yes, i am. >> do you understand that this committee not only has jurisdiction, but a responsibility to oversee the activities of the financial crimes enforcement network? >> yes. >> given that the treasury maintains these types of records and given your department's statements that the agency takes responsiveness to congressional requests very seriously, and is committed to providing useful and
appropriate responses to requests from congressional members, is there some reason why i did not get a response to the letter that i sent may 23rd? >> so, ranking member waters, first of all, let me thank you for your service to california, being a resident of california, i appreciate everything that you-- >> thank you very much, i don't want to take my time-- >> i also appreciate the opportunity to meet with you. >> reclaiming my time. >> several times when we were doing our-- >> reclaiming my time. >> the time belongs to the gentle lady from california. >> let me just say to you, thank you for your compliment about how great i am, but i don't want to waste my time on mement i want to know about the may 23rd letter. you know about it. why did you not respond to me and my colleagues. >> i was going to answer that. >> just please go straight to the answer. >> mr. chairman, i thought when
you read the rules you acknowledged that i shouldn't be interrupted and that i would have-- >> reclaiming my time. what he failed to tell you was when you're on my time, i can reclaim it. he left that out so i'm reclaiming my time. please, will you respond to the question of why i did not get a response, me and my colleagues, to the may 23rd letter. >> well, i was going to tell you my response. >> just tell me. >> okay: so, first of all, let me just say that department of treasury has cooperated extensively with the senate intel committee with the house intel committee. >> reclaiming my time, reclaiming my time. reclaiming my time. reclaiming my time. >> as a matter of fact. >> mr. secretary, the time belongs to the gentle lady from california. >> perhaps, mr. chairman, i don't understand the rules, because i thought i was allowed to answer questions. >> me claiming my time. would you please explain the
rules and do not take that away from my time. >> we will give the gentle lady adequate time. so what i read, mr. secretary, were statements of the ranking member and democratic colleagues on how administration witnesses should be treated not necessarily the way they will be treated. so, the time belongs to the gentle lady from california, but i assure you, majority members will allow you to answer the request he when it's our time. >> what i was saying we have provided substantial information, we believe there's significant overlap and as a matter of fact, i would say that we spoke to your chief oversight counsel yesterday and we are responsive and trying to coordinate with you the response and we suggested you get the information through the other committees, but i would like to emphasize we believe we've been very responsive and will continue to do so. >> reclaiming my time. you left a message yesterday and someone on staff.
>> we didn't leave a message. >> reclaiming my time. reclaiming my time. reclaiming my time. you did not respond you left a message. let us keep going. if a bank identifies suspicious activities regarding to potential money laundering by the trump administration involving russian persons, would such a bank have a legal obligation to report it to-- >> can you repeat your question, please? >> if a bank identifies suspicious activity related to potential money laundering or violations by the trump organization involving russian persons would such a bank have an obligation to report that to-- >> if a u.s. bank had any suspicious activity they would-- >> if they receive reports of suspicious activity involving potential money laundering or sanctions involving president
trump, his immediate family and associates, would fen sen immediately share with the justice department, exposure counselor other law enforcement officials or would you generally wait until you received a request from law enforcement for this information. >> let me just comment, i can't comment on any specific actions because they're confidential because they would respond to any issues involving the trump's no different than they would respond to anybody else. >> host: so the question is, whether or not-- whether or not you would-- fensen would share with the justice department social counsel mueller or officials or again would you generally wait until you received a request from law enforcement for this type of information. >> again, i would assure you they would respond to those
situations no different from anybody else and they have cooperated extensivelily with, as i've said before, the three other committees. >> if it was widely reported in the press that a close advisor of the president was being investigated for money laundering, using anonymous shell companies and bank accounts located in cypress would your department proactively seek rell vent information from foreign intelligent units where such activity reportedly took place or would you wait for specific law enforcement came in. >> again i'm not going to comment on hypothetical situations. they would handle these no different than any other situation. >> host: mr. chairman, i respectfully request pursuant our regulation five more minutes. the gentle woman is granted five more minutes.
>> i'm not asking for specificity, but handle generally the questions. let me continue, have any treasury department employees expressed concerns to you or are you aware of concern among treasury staff about the relationship between president trump and russia? >> no, nobody's expressed those concerns to me. >> given you were finance chair of the trump campaign which is accused of soliciting inlegal, inkind contributions from a foreign country have you reduced yourself from am i work related to russia or foreign countries. i'm not aware of those accusations that the campaign has taken those contributions nor have i recused myself from anything as i believe i have no conflicts. >> in a recent review, president trump made it clear that he considered any investigation by robert mueller
and into the president's personal finances a red line that shouldn't be crossed. secretary mnuchin, have you had any conversations with the president or any official at the white house in which it was directly stated or implied that supporting any investigation into trump's finances would in some way be crossing a line? >> i'm sorry, can you repeat the last part. i heard the first part. just the last part of it. >> in a recent review president trump made it clear that he considered any investigation by robert mueller into the president's financial finances a red line that shouldn't be crossed. secretary mnuchin, have you had any conversations with the president or any official at the white house in which it was directly stated or implied that supporting any investigation into trump's finances would be in some way crossing a line. >> no, i've had no conversations along those
lines. quite the contrary. >> as secretary of the treasury, you chair committee on foreign investment. >> yes, i do. >> which evaluates the sale of u.s. businesses to foreign entities to determine whether such sales undermine our national security. given the significant pressure president trump has exerted over government officials with key oversight responsibilities from sally yates to james comey to robert mueller to jeff sessions, how can we be sure that you, in your own oversight role, will appropriately review the sale of assets or property to foreign entities by top administration officials? this includes for example, reviews involving the sale of assets by the white house communications director, anthony scaramucci, and the president's son-in-law and advisor, jared kushner. can you assure that you would
recommend blocking such a sale in the event it indicates the foreign entity may seek to unduly influence policy even if doing so may jeopardize your position as secretary. >> let me assure i take my position at sifius seriously. i have not had anybody try to influence me in my position influence me nor would i let them and i would use my judgment as i have to take the seriousness of the sifius responsibility. >> and as i understand it, you have such a matter under consideration relative to mr. scaramucci and the sale of a huge property to a chinese interest. is that correct? >> ranking member waters, i think as you're aware, all actions at sifius are highly confidential and it would be inappropriate to comment one way or another on any potential transaction and even
acknowledge whether any transaction is being reviewed in this public format. >> is it true that mr. scare-- scaramucci was considered for a position in the administration, but because of this questionable sale he could not go forward for fear of not being confirmed, but yet, he's now in the administration and does this in any way influence your decision that you have to make about that sale? >> again, i want to acknowledge that i am not making any comment about any potential decision that i may make about a confidential item, but i will say i have not been aware of that he was ever considered for a position that required confirmation within the administration. >> thank you, very much. and i yield back the balance of my time. >> i'll recognize the gentleman from kentucky mr. barr, chairman of the monetary policy and trade subcommittee for five minutes.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. again, secretary mnuchin, welcome to our committee. over 20 of my colleagues and i sent you a letter last week prior to the-- and with the ongoing comprehensive economic dialog with china to ask you to address market access issues for u.s. financial firms particularly lifting the equity caps currently in place. as you know, u.s. banks and insurance companies face significant barriers and restrictions in china while chinese banks and insurance companies have little if any barriers in the united states. i want to thank you for your response, continue to press for these and other restrictions that unfairly disadvantage american firms. what are the next steps that you plan to take to help lift these foreign equity caps that harm american companies uprighting in china. >> no, let me just comment that i've had the opportunity to meet with president trump and
president xi, two times, once in mar-a-lago, the other in hamburg. i also had the opportunity, we just finished our comprehensive economic dialog. first, as i think you're aware, president trump is very focused on having a more balanced economic relationship with china and has made it very clear that the current trade balance is unacceptable. and i think you may have seen in our press release from the comprehensive economic dialog last week that china acknowledged that it's a shared goal to fix the trade deficit. i think, as you know, the united states has a significant competitive advantage in financial services. services in general. it's one of the areas where we actually have a trade surplus with china and i assure you, i think it's extremely unfair that chinese companies subject to security reviews can buy 100% of any company in the
united states. like as you said, our companies in china are limited to minority partners. we've seen most recently apple has been forced to share their i-cloud business, one of the key parts of their business, with a chinese joint venture partner. that's not fair. it doesn't make sense and this administration is fully commit today making sure that americans companies and american workers are on a level playing field. >> thank you, mr. secretary and for the second time i'll move onto my second question. i appreciate your commitment and administration's commit to working with congress to address that inequity in our relation was china. with respect to iran air and the efforts the treasury is engaged in in the implementation of the jcpoa, as you know, the obama treasury department allowed u.s. banks to lend to iran in order to finance aircraft sales despite
the fact that the associated services in the aircraft session of the jcpoa only spell out warranty, maintenance and repair services and safety related inspections. so, the treasury department, as we understand it currently authorizes u.s. banks to finance the sale of aircraft to iran air: well, in a committee hearing in april, we learned that airline, iran air flew 114 flights from iran to syria during the jcpoa, likely as an airlift in support of the syrian regime's atrocities. mr. secretary, can you certify to us today that iran air has ceased all sanctionable activities and if not, will the department redesignate this airline an action that treasury admitted is allowed under the jcpoa? >> so, thank you very much for your question on that. first, let me say specifically on iran air in this public
format i don't want to comment on them specifically. we do have intelligence information that i would be prepared to share with you in a private setting. but what i would say is that responsible for granting licenses for aircraft as you've mentioned, both the boeing sale, as well as the airbus sales will require additional ofac licenses and that's an issue under review and part of the national security review of the jcpoa. >> finally, mr. second, i asked your predecessor, whether voelker, and layers-- could actually undermine our financial system and he always denied that he said it's a market structure issue. do you agree or disagree with your predecessor. >> nothing against my predecessor who i have a lot of respect for, as you know, i do
have firsthand experience in trading and investment markets and i absolutely agree with you that the voelker rule in particular has eliminated liquidity, that the in the times of crisis we need market makers to provide liquidity, not proprietary trading, but liquidity for market making and that's something we're very focused on system. >> time for the gentleman has expired. accord to go the earlier memorandum of understanding, the chair will recognize two republicans in a row. the gentleman from new mexico, mr. pierce, chairman from terrorism and illicit finance subcommittee. >> thank you, mr. chairman and mr. secretary, thank you for being here today. before getting into my observations from you, i would point out that my friend from california, and i do consider her to be a friend, she-- her questions were edging towards things that would be a violation of the bsa.
fensen works for national security and anything for the national agency and to release that publicly not only reveals the process, which is extraordinary sensitive, again, it looks to be very close to a violation of the actual law itself. so appreciate your willingness to hold a position there because it's a very delicate balance. now, we all know that the aml and cft those are real threats to the nation. mr. secretary, what i really appreciate about your report is that you don't-- even with these major threats coming into the nation, you don't lose sight of the mission on page two you talk about the financial system free flow of credit that fuels the businesses, small businesses getting access to credit.
at the end of the day that's what you're here for and what we're here for. and i appreciate the threat and that you're not losing sight of what makes this country work. so thank you for that attention to detail as you approach your job. now, ofac, they work with congress, the president, they work with the military to just see that the world's bad actors don't operate their major activity is shutting off funds to them and we can see in the estimates of north korea and iran, that we've raised significantly and affected that. but also the financial activities task force, they have evaluated that as soon as you find a way to stop one action, then another action steps up. my question is, how do we modernize, how do we update our
amlcft standards. myself, i see technology on a sta stant-- constant movement. tell me your aspect how we keep moving ahead of the threat. >> so, first of all i do acknowledge your concerns in this area. my number one focus is on economic growth and we're very focused on tax reform as part of that, but my number two focus probably spending 50% of my time on sanctions related in terrorist financing related issues and you mentioned, using technology to stay ahead of these things is very important. we will continue to use all the tools in the toolbox and new tools. that's why we want to set up a terrorist financing unit with saudi arabia in the gulf where we have people there firsthand working with them and working with our arab partners. i firmly believe that cutting off the money works. it worked with i ran.
it brought them to the table. it works in terrorist activities. i work with secretary tillerman, pompeo, general mcmaster on an unfied approach to stopping terrorism. >> what can we do more in this committee and mission that contemplates that. tell me what we need resources in a specific area, please share that. >> we do need more money for activities in saudi arabia, we'll talk about that later. >> you had wanted to make responses to earlier questions and i'll yield my time for the answers where you could go into depth where you weren't allowed to before. >> i was really just going to thank the ranking member for her activity in support of regional banking in california.
and that i had the opportunity to meet with her many times and appreciated her work in california. that's really the extent of what i was saying in my opening remar remarks. >> well, again, i think from my perspective, if you can get the tax reform that you've mentioned, if you can keep the focus on the small businesses, they're the engine of the economy of the u.s., getting access to credit, those are the major things and then we fight the aml, fight financing terrorism, i think we've got a big job and i believe you're up to it. thank you for being here today. >> thank you, i appreciate that. thank you very much. >> the time of the gentleman expired. the chair recognizes the gentle lady of new york, ranking member of our financial subcommittee. >> thank you, mr. chairman and mr. secretary, i am deeply
concerned about terrorism financing and during your confirmation hearing you stated and i quote, i agree that law enforcement, anti-money laundering efforts face serious challenges if they're unable to determine the beneficial ownership of the various companies and entities that utilize the u.s. financial system, it can be a real vulnerability that various bad actors, including terrorists and criminals can exploit, end quote. and then you later stated that if confirmed you would, and i quote, be willing to work with congress and the various equities impacted by beneficial ownership due diligence requirements to address this challenge. we have on this committee introduced a bipartisan bill called the corporate transparency act that would require companies to disclose their true beneficial owners at the time the company is formed and this information would only
be available to law enforcement and financial institutions that are required to know their customers with those customers' consent. our bill says that states can collect this information, but if they do not, then it would be treasury's responsibility to collect it as a backup. so, my question is, do you support requiring companies to disclose their true beneficial owners at the time the company is formed and treasury's role in our suggested legislation? >> let me just first say, thank you very much for that, and i now understand this issue much better than i did, and when i've-- my initial confirmation, and i spent a lot of time looking at this internally. it's also a concern at the g7, i can tell you this is not only just a u.s. issue, but our european partners are concerned that they make progress in this area and we don't.
let me first say i'm very much looking forward to working with you and the committee on a solution to this. i hopefully think this can be a bipartisan solution. it's a complicated issue. we need not only the information when companies are set up, but we need to figure out a way of how that's maintained overall. obviously, if we just capture the information on day one, and it's literally the ownership is moved one hour later, then it's not very effective. and i'm somewhat concerned about treasury perhaps being the ultimate depository, because i think the states aren't going to want this responsibility, but we look forward to working with you on a solution. >> well, i think it's critical. we have numerous llc's that no one knows who owns them. this issue came to us from law enforcement saying they keep hitting a wall in trying to know and we certainly, if we know who owns things in our
country, it's a tremendous step towards combatting terrorism financing, which is a huge concern to the city new york and our entire country. i'd also like to ask about the debt ceiling which will need to be raised soon and i hope it can be done without the usual political drama, but the markets seem to be worried that the ceiling might not be raised in time, and it has already substantially raised the cost of short-term borrowing in treasury. and treasury is also expected to have to reduce its issuance of short-term treasuries this fall in order to stay below the debt limit and at a time when the supply of short-term treasuries are already low because of the shift towards government money market funds. so, my question is. do you agree that the uncertainty over when and whether the debt limit will be raised is causing disportions in the markets and is impacting treasury's ability to borrow at the lowest possible rate?
>> well, let me say that i assure you, i am very focused on the debt limit, as he have' said before, i urged congress to work on this before anybody leaves. i said yesterday in my testimony and i will be alerting congress, that my previous letter on special powers will be extended through september. >> mr. secretary, my time is almost up and i want to know, if treasury were to breach the debt limit and start prioritizing limits on the debt on obligations like social security, do you think that the markets would view this as a default. >> i have no intent on prioritizing. i don't think that makes sense. the government should honor all obligations and the debt limit should be raised. >> my name-- time to the gentle lady has expired. the chair recognizes the chairman from missouri, from
the financial institutions subcommittee. >> thank you, mr. secretary, thank you for being here and appreciate your comments to date here. i also thank you for the treasury report that you've done. i know it's a tremendous effort and i think it yields great results. and i want to go to what the barm discussed with you with regards to both banks and nonbanks that are systematically important financial institutions. your report discusses a problem with the arbitrary nature of the process. i'm perplexed to somebody who deals with banks and nonbanks how with uncan indicate an insurance company's systematically important, but for now my discussion is on the bank holding company side. i wish to introduce hr 3122 my systemic risk designation improvement act and the bill removes $50 billion threshold which the chairman discussed with you a moment ago, and goes to a well established set standards that more accurately
reflect systemic importance and goes basically to the fed systemic risk indicator score, which the fed already does the analysis of this, so that we can save time, money and effort on everybody's part and use that systemic score, so i guess my initial question is, you made the comment a minute ago that you want to focus on community and regional banks. some of these regional banks are nothing but big community banks, just big and you better know this than anybody. so, again, does it make sense to put an arbitrary figure there or do you think we need to go to more risk-based analysis? >> my own preference would be to have the higher of both. so that we have a floor where we know it's not subjective, and then above that, as you've mentioned, the fed would have the ability, based upon, as you've suggested the risk an analys analysis. >> okay. there's a-- we're going to put a chart up here in a minute with regards to cyber security.
and-- >> i love this chart. i saw it ahead of time. [laughter] >> well, i'm glad you could see it because it reminds me of an old spirograph toy i had a long, long time ago when i was a kid and gives you a headache to look at. mr. secretary, you addressed this also in your treasury report and there's a word discussed when discussing this with the different agencies and different banks when they talk about this, it's harmonization. we need to harmonize, stop the duplicity and overlap with everything they're having to work with here. so i would just like to ask you to comment as whether chair as fsoc, a great position in which to bring the agencies together to stop some of this overlap and duplicity going on and take some of the regulatory nonsense and provide relief for a lot of banks. would you like to comment on it? >> yes, well, thank you.
it looked like modern art if i hadn't seen it in more detail and i share your concerns in both my role of chair of fsoc and fibc. cyber security is a major concern of mine and we're working with regulators how to consolidate resources. i'm all for the different regulators making sure but cyber security is one of our biggest, biggest risks and we should make sure they consolidate the resources, but do it in a way that they don't have to do it four or five times independently with banks. >> i think some sort of standardization of guidelines and principles, i think, is a good place to start so when the regulators come in they're not having one group say this, another group say that, so that the banks get a mixed message and they have to comply with different sets of rules and regulations so i think your position as fsoc chair is key to harmonization. >> i can assure you, we're already working on it. >> thank you very much.
one last question before my time runs out. operation choke point. this is something we're dealing with a long, long time. i'm sure you're familiar with between the doj and fdic. they tried to drive legally operating businesses out of the financial system because for political or own set of values that they believed didn't match up with their own. i'm quite concerned and quite frankly, i'll be honest with you, the fdic has sort of backed off on this problem for a while, but continued with the llc. i'd like your commitment in continuing to work on something with us. now i realize you're probably going to do your best to try to stop the nonsense, that's great, but i am concerned that should you leave and another new administration down the road, four years, eight years, ten years, whatever it is, that we have a set of guidelines in place to prohibit this activity from ever being able to be done again. would you help us along those lines, sir? >> absolutely, look forward to working with you. thank you. >> i yield back the balance of
my time. >> time from the gentleman expired. the chair recognizes the gentle lady from new york. >> thank you, former secretary l lou-- lew, for port rico come hence civil restructure the debt. he was important to continue monitoring the situation to ensure puerto rico's successful recovery, that the law was critical to providing the breathing room necessary for the local government a missing piece of the equation where policies initiatives that will jump start the economy. in fact, in late may of this year, senator grassley restated that, and i quote, extending
bankruptcy authority alone could not fix the problem. however, since the trump administration has taken command there has been little to no conversation stemming from the treasury department on puerto rico. what policy tools if you start considering to assist puerto rico? >> so, thank you for the question and i share your concern on the financial situation in puerto rico. i can assure you, i personally spent a lot of time on it. secretary lew did give me his concerns on it before he left. we support the legislation. >> i know. >> and i can assure you i have a team that's working on it actively. it's a very complicated issue. i wish there was a simple solution. >> i know, 400,000 puerto ricans have left the island in the last ten years. we have three doctors leaving the island every day and so, i'm happy in the sense that
they're coming to florida and ohio, believe me, politically speaking, it's going to be good for democrats, but i want to give the option to the people of puerto rico for them to stay in puerto rico, if they choose to. so, puerto rico is under the territory, it means it's a colony, we, the united states congress have a responsibility, so i want for you to commit yourself that you will guide your staff to look at the viable options, including the use of exchange of the funds to help reach puerto rico's immediate needs. >> i'm not going to commit to the exchange fund. ... past past
source of credit and financial services in low income urban and rural communities. how do you reconcile the finding of your report and the shortsighted decision of funding for the program. >> thank you for asking. i had the opportunity to talk to the senate yesterday about the same issue. first let me say, i do support the program, i think it has been effective. having said that, we had to make difficult decisions in the context of the president's budget, the overall agenda was to get to a balanced budget and to fund military expansion which was much needed and this was a decision we made within the department. i would also comment, as part of our financial report, we specifically recommended a review of the community reinvestment act and make sure
that we meet with consumer advocates, community members to make sure that money is being used properly a especially -- [inaudible] >> they now recognize the german from michigan, chairman of capital market subcommittee. >> really appreciate you coming here and being in front of this committee, and as tempting as it is as you see others on the other side of the aisle want to talk about anything other than economy and our international standings. were the clinton's use of e-mail or director call me releasing documents are you craning meddling in our election. i think it's a waste of time in this committee. i'd like to move on to a
couple other issues and try to divide that time equally. we just celebrated the seventh anniversary of dodd frank, and we have seen this be a continual will stumbling block to our recovery that we've been trying to get going in the united states, and i'm wondering, what you view is the most urgent priorities needed to address and restore confidence and create opportunities in our economy with her capital market system. i'm very interested in that and the effect of dodd frank. >> i would just say, as part of dodd frank, our focus is community and regional banks. i think another big focus is housing and housing reform and qualified mortgage in making sure the banks that make good mortgages and want to keep them on their balance sheet
they can, and i think as you mentioned the big concern is what it does to liquidity. we can have proper monitoring of eliminating proprietary training. >> i know in your report you laid out. items. i was curious, is anything specifically and dodd frank you think we need to address. >> the long list is outlined, but if i keep minimum number one thing it's probably to raise the limit. >> that is helpful. as has been expressed by a few others, i believe it's partially to blame for diminished liquidity in our market. this is something that 932 pages with just under 300,000
words. this is not an easily digestible rule. it's five separate federal agencies and on your report 32 and 133, it's playing out a number of things, 19 different things that can be used for improving and as you had acknowledged earlier, choice act, we actually repeal that and it's certainly my preference. you do layout eight suggestions but there are 11 regulatory suggestions for providing immediate relief. the alphabet soup of all these regulators. how quickly can we see relief coming without legislation backing up from the regulators
themselves. >> we don't object to that if that's what congress can do. we are very focused and their active discussions. >> we would like to work with you on that. legislative fixes are challenging we have the immediate ability to flip a switch. i guess in the last few moments here i want to talk about the iranian situation in the former chair of that committee.
i'm curious, have there been any other u.s. are one institutions. >> i can assure you we are on top of this. >> the time has expired. they recognize the gentleman from california, mr. sherman. >> you begin by holding and saying we should be nice to witnesses. no comment about being nice to either democratic or witnesses ever came for me. >> i want to go through a number of things to respond to
for the record. we talk about small banks and credit unions being able to make business loans, that's not a reason to take the giant banks off the hook. they are near collapse. when they have a prime plus four or prime loan it's a little shaky. you could do more than any of us to get small business loans made by local banks. the debt clock has been behind you, we've commented on that.
i would hope any tax return that came out of your department would not increase that that. they are the umpire here as far as what increases and decreases deficit. the debt limit is just over the horizon and i hope you would use your voice to remind us it's not enough to deal with the debt limit and overtime. the harm is to our economy now because have to invest in the risk. you probably didn't think you'd be dealing with the media today. we needed tax treaty. your department to allocate one tax lawyer for a few
weeks. in making the decision is whether to allocate them to the project, you'll be told we should make it based on the size of the transactions. i hope you would drag your department to add two more criteria. the first is whether they're willing to use the u.s. model treaty. if they're willing to sign on our bottom line, you don't have to commit much of the way of resources to negotiate the treaty, and you build momentum internationally for other countries, and second i hope you listen to the state department when they testify on foreign affairs that it is important that we have this treaty. i will get you the letter from the government of our meeting saying they will pay much decide the bottom line that the united states has
presented. >> we are happy to follow up on your offers. i do stand top of a lot of issues but i admit that is not one i am on top of. >> i look forward to working with you. >> i think as you saw on her most recent currency report, we did not label china a currency manipulator at this time however there has been a currency manipulator in the past. are you in for other actions to recruit for america but jobs they lost when they were currency manipulator or is it that as long as what they did in the past, when i can respond. >> i can assure you that president trump is very focused on the economic trade with china and nothing in the
past as in the past. >> one more question. your area find exxon mobil. are you confident they made the right decision? the corporation, individual people undermined our sanctions. >> let me first, but obviously i'm highly aware of the situation and the decision, it is under litigation so be inappropriate for me to make comments and thank you for being nice on me since i'm a california resident. >> the time has expired. we recognize the gentleman from wisconsin. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
thank you for being here. i would just like to know that is not rex tillerson who set the reset button. that was actually hillary clinton. was romney that cut russia was the greatest threat] obama --dash. >> mr. chairman. >> and it was bill clinton. >> the gentleman will suspend. for what purpose. >> i'm reminding my good friend, he was not here when you recited the rules. >> does a gentle lady having query. >> yes or. your inquiry. >> my inquiry is whether or not this particular discourse violates the rules that you articulated earlier. >> the gentleman's questioning is violating no rule. the time belongs to him.
he may proceed. >> thank you. i would also note it wasn't money at received a half a million dollars. speech to an investment company that is tied to the kremlin. as you noted, we have a lot of folks who are part of the impeached trump movement. they were trying to impeach trump before he was even sworn into office. so this is a little off-topic, but as my friends are talking about russia across the aisle, do you have any idea what's being talked about in wisconsin today. >> 13000 new jobs and attend billion-dollar investment to build the most advanced manufacturing plant in the united states, and for the first time, and i can't even remember how long, to build tv screens and other videos. it's just extraordinary. i was pleased to be at the white house yesterday for that announcement and congratulations wisconsin.
i know it's a very competitive state. >> were talking about jobs. were talking about economic growth. return about industries to my friends across the aisle may result. these jobs will never come back. they are gone forever. my governor, to your point, attend billion-dollar investmen investment. that's what people care about. >> that doesn't include the construction jobs, i might add in the creation of what you're calling wisconsin valley. >> that's right. october talking about. maybe that's why my friends across the aisle to understand that people care about jobs
and a strong military. at the heart of all that is our financial service sector which is what we will talk about today. i may go off topic again and ask about our tax code. we are going to need to revamp of our tax code. some have said the top right might be going down a might be going up. you want to give a simplification on where they should go to make america competitive again. >> we been working very closely with the leadership of the house and the senate. our objectives are very simple. we want cut down the number of brackets, we want to simplify taxes. 95% of americans will be able to do their taxes on a giant postcard. that will make my job of overseeing the irs much simpler. on the business side, as you pointed out we want to transition to a worldwide
system are we allow companies to defer will bring back billions of dollars in capital this country. >> i don't think this is a partisan issue. these are american issues and making us competitive again and i hope both sides come together and work on tax reform so we don't have the builder has to get through budget reconciliation. i do have concerns about this agreement for the president who i have been supportive of talked a lot about bad deals being negotiated by the prior administration.
this deal was announced the week before president trump was sworn into office. i know we talked about this and appreciate your conversation. we think the letter and point out seven things we have concerns about. i know you are going to send a letter of your understanding inequity renegotiated. i do have a concern that we don't have exchange of letters and everyone is agreeing to clarify our understanding of what this agreement means. my time has expired, but i will make sure we get this negotiation to make sure the deal works for american insurers as opposed to an international system. >> the time has expired. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. >> thank you. >> mr. secretary. let me ask first, when you became the secretary of the treasury, you had to take an
oath of office, correct. >> that is correct. >> just so i'm clear, that both of office was to the united states of america and our constitution or to the president of the united states. >> it was to uphold the constitution. >> and you're aware because i know when we talk about current events recently, i wanted to make sure that you're able to do your job. for example the president of the united states is telling the attorney general that he should be protecting the president as opposed to the constitution. most folks, democrat and republican believe maybe the attorney general did the right thing by recusing himself from any investigation that dealt with russia. my question to you, given the president is saying he wants loyalty and protection because he said people in his administration is not protecting him, that it
matters that are serious to the department of treasury, are you going to protect the president of the united states or are you going to uphold the constitution of the united states. >> i think in many cases in my job it's one in the same. >> no. you think it's the same. >> i said in many cases. >> that gives me serious concern. >> i said, in many cases, i will uphold the constitution. >> that gives me serious concerns because there are many allocations by the president of the united states and there is an ongoing investigation against the president of the united states about his involvement in russia, and if there is someone that's telling me you believe you are obligated, even --dash your old for
office says no one is above the law. it was to the constitution of the united states of america, not to donald trump, the president of the united states. >> let me just be clear. my obligation is to uphold the law. we've cooperated with all investigations. >> the united states congress has a huge responsibilities also. now i am concerned, the united states congress, what they've done, bipartisan, about to implement the sanctions built against russia, and if that sanction bill, there is some authority that they have to inform certain protections. let me ask you this question first. you believe, mr. secretary, that there corruption in washington. yes or no? >> yes, i am sure there is corruption in russia. >> if you believe there's
corruption in russia, have you read or understand the sanctions bill that we are doing on a bipartisan way in the united states congress, both the house in the senate, have you familiarize yourself with the billable. >> of course i have. >> so you know what your responsibility is our. >> of course i do. >> have you also made some plans on how you will get the sanctions bill, how the treasury will utilize that bill. >> we've looked at it. >> have you thought about how you can do the planning to go against the corruption that's taking place in russia, how the treasury department protects the people of the united states, constitution, not the president. have you thought about how you would implement that or can you do that on your own or must you go back and get some clearance from someone else. >> i don't need to get clearance from anybody else.
i assure you we will work with congress. i do have certain concerns that we may have -- >> let me reclaim my time. only have 45 seconds left. i see people trying to do their job and then the president tweet something that brings about inconsistency. for example, the debt ceiling. some say should be able to include increases or changes. what is your position now? should there be a clean debt ceiling or should there be other things added to it. >> the president has been very clear that i am responsible for the debt ceiling and my position has been i believe there should be a clean debt ceiling. >> so others in the department have talked about, in regards that there should be additions to the debt ceiling. >> director mulvaney and i are on the same page that i am record presenting the administration on the.
>> the time has expired. to recognize the gentle lady from missouri, ms. wagner, chairman of oversight and investigations subcommittee. >> thank you, welcome. thank you for appearing before this committee. i dearly and sorely want to get back to the purpose of this hearing today which is to talk about treasury and the state of the international financial system. i want to commend you regarding the treasury report you recently released on regulatory burden for financial institutions, and i was honored to be present in the oval office with the president of the united states on february 3 when he signed the executive order directing you to conduct that report. many of the proposals will go a long way toward alleviating regulatory overburden,
especially for community financial institutions so that lending and economic growth can continue. another thing i'm particularly concerned about with my role on the capital markets subcommittee is that we now have about half as many public companies in the united states as we did 20 years ago. additionally, there has been a decline in ipos or initial public offerings during the same time without a decline in the number of business startups. i understand treasury is expecting to issue a capital markets report later this year. will that report focus on the issue of the declining number of public companies in ipos? >> that will be one of the issues we will consider.
>> why should we care about this trend. >> i think as you said, we care about creation of businesses. we want to make sure there's not too much consolidation in certain industries, that there is proper competition and that there is job creation. >> what are some of the regulatory and other impediments that are chilling the ipo market or negatively affecting company decisions to access capital in the public market? >> i think as you know there are a lot of issues and we will address those in the report and look forward to working with yo you. >> why is reversing this trend important for both the broader economy and for individual investors. >> i'm more focused on broadening the economy and
individual investors, but it is important for individual investors for the retirement to be able to invest in things. outside all gets back to jobs. we are very focused on how we get to 3% gdp which we think is critical. the difference between two and 3% is trillions of dollars. >> and we haven't been there for a long time. >> we haven't, but we have over a long period of time. >> how did that healthy public market impact small company growth, and what impact does it have on job creation? >> limiting capital to industries limits job creation and investment. >> thank you. i yield the remainder of my time to the chairman, if he so chooses. >> i think the gentle lady for yielding.
another question mr. secretary, in the treasury report, it proposes a regulatory offramp much like the offramp that we have in the choice at. i think you're familiar that a banking organization that maintains a simple leverage ratio of 10% essentially has a dodd frank offramp. can you talk to us how this regulatory burden, capital trade-off could help spur economic growth? >> mr. chairman, we do share your view that the offramp is one of multiple solutions. it's not the only solution, but again, going back to what we said earlier, our number one objective is to make sure the top eight banks don't go from 50 - 70% market share or
one 100% market share in that we have a robust banking system with community and regional banks that can grow the economy. >> time of the gentle lady has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia. >> thank you mr. chairman. >> i'm over here. >> i want to ask you two points, two questions. let me get the first one on the way. we've had discussion about the debt limit, and, i just want to remind you that your predecessors, jack lewis especially would send us estimates and would say and give us a running account of when that possible time will come, but your responses to that has been, you said
congress should act and then you said you keep providing us with the nebulous deadline of sometime after september. you and i both know that the markets worst enemy is uncertainty, not to mention uncertainty around the debt limit which also plays a role in what the fed does, and keeping that credit rating triple a all around the world is what sustains us. it is the backbone of what keeps our country the number one financial system. so, let me just ask you, can you commit to this committee today that within a week you could follow the example of your predecessor and send it to us your best estimate as to
when we will reach the debt limit. >> first of all, thank you for that question. i am very familiar with financial markets which i've been involved in for the last 35 years. i do understand the issue very well. i've been very clear on it publicly. i can tell you today, the answer is that uncomfortable we can fund the government to the end of september. based on my information, at this time, which is subject to change, but my best judgment right now is through the end of september. i've said that publicly. this is not the first time. >> thank you. i have your answer. i only have a few minutes. i have to get to this other question. i want you to know that this effort and concern on this committee with president trump and the russian connection, there was a movie called the
french connection also, but i want you to know what ms. waters bill and her efforts in this is not a democratic alone position. i work with both democrats and republicans. i have friends on both sides of the aisle, and it is a growing consensus among republican members of congress that we owe it to the american people to come clean on this. president trump is not bigger than america. this is an about him. it's about the american people. i love this country. i was born in the middle of a
tobacco field in inner south carolina, but i made it all the way up to the warden school of finance, and not only that, to serve on the executive board of directors of the best school of business and finance at the university of pennsylvania in the world, and i did it with just helping hands because i come from a poor family. i want you to know, and i want this nation to know, that we deserve to know what it is that president trump is hiding , that he is willing to turn the federal government, the justice department upside down and inside out. it ain't about him no more.
it's about coming to a sense of confidence and truths that we can restore the respect, the power and authority of our nation. first to the american people. >> we are going to leave this recorded program pretty quick reminder you can see this at cspan.org. just type in minutia and in the search box. right now to capitol hill were democrats in the house are reacting to the vote in the senate. >> the senators who courageousl courageously, senator mcgaffigan, senator mccain, thank you for hearing the voices of the families. to the families and all the outside groups who weighed in in our offices and town halls and on the phone, from the mall, outside the capital, thank you for making your voices heard in such an important way.