Congressman Spencer Bachus speaks at hearing with Fed Chairman B - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Congressman Spencer Bachus speaks at hearing with Fed Chairman Bernanke

Posted: Updated:
Spencer Bachus Spencer Bachus

Congressman Spencer Bachus (AL-6), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, delivered the opening statement at today's committee hearing with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on the state of the U.S. economy.
 
Congressman Bachus' written remarks follow.

"We're honored to have Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke before us today.  Thank you, Chairman Bernanke, for appearing before our Committee once again and for your dedicated service to our country.

"As we meet this morning, we continue to find our nation on a path that is fiscally and economically unsustainable.  And some in the Senate, Chairman Bernanke, apparently believe only you can do something about it.  Since the economy is bad and unemployment is high, one of those senators pointedly told you yesterday that you've got 'to get to work.'

"That leads to an important question:  'Who is ultimately responsible for the state of our economy?'  We once had a president who memorably had a sign on his desk in the Oval Office that said 'the buck stops here.'  I'd amend that and say the buck stops with the president of the United States and Congress, who are the elected leaders of this country.  The president and Congress are the ones who have created America's spending-driven debt crisis by hitting the gas when what was needed was someone stomping on the brakes.  Some in the Senate may want to duck responsibility, but the truth is the Federal Reserve cannot rescue Americans from the consequences of failed economic and regulatory policies passed by Congress and signed by the president.  The chairman of the Fed cannot save the economy when those elected leaders decide they are prepared to send our country over a 'fiscal cliff,' as one of those elected leaders in the Senate declared earlier this week.

"Chairman Bernanke has warned Congress and the Administration time and time again that without action, growing deficits and debt will erode our prosperity and leave the next generation of Americans with less opportunity.  To avoid this fate, we must start taking action now to tame Washington's appetite for spending and, as Chairman Bernanke has said, tackle the difficult, but necessary, long-term restructuring of entitlements.

"The House, to its credit, has had the courage in this hyper-partisan attack atmosphere to begin this long-term process.  The Senate has not.  So I'd like to take this opportunity to tell the Senate that it's time for them to get to work.

"Our economy is hobbled not only by our deficits and debt but also by the cumulative weight of Washington over-regulation.  This committee hears constantly from private sector witnesses who tell us the regulatory burdens being placed on them are – as one small town bank witness said – 'slowly but surely strangling' their ability to do business.

"This is not to argue we don't need regulations.  Reasonable regulations provide clear rules of the road for businesses so they have some certainty and know what to expect.  Unfortunately, job creators will tell you that reasonable and clear rules aren't what they're getting from Washington right now.  Instead, they tell us regulators do not coordinate their actions and the result is businesses are subjected to confusing and, often, conflicting rules.  

"While many in Washington attack Wall Street and big corporations when they call for more regulations, the reality is the burden of federal red tape falls disproportionately on small businesses and the small community-based financial institutions that lend to them.  As the Small Business Administration reports, it costs small businesses 36 percent more per employee to comply with federal rules than it does large companies.  And because small businesses are the engine of job growth in our economy, we can hardly blame the Fed when policies passed by Congress and signed by the president result in regulatory overkill that makes it harder for small business to thrive and hire.

"Instead of more and more regulations, Congress and the president need to do more to eliminate the government roadblocks that stand in the way of small business success.  The president recently said that entrepreneurs and small businesses aren't successful on their own.  They can succeed only with the help of government.  That is akin to saying that Apple Computer is a success because of the person who built Steve Jobs's garage.  Small businesses succeed in this country in spite of the government, not because of it."

  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • State lawmaker watching judge's domestic abuse case.

    State lawmaker watching judge's domestic abuse case.

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:31 PM EDT2014-09-17 01:31:11 GMT
    An Alabama congresswoman is speaking out about domestic abuse and says she's closely monitoring a case involving a federal judge from Montgomery.Republican U.S. Rep. Martha Roby issued a statement Tuesday saying the disciplinary process for U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller is ongoing and Congress has the power to impeach members of the judicial branch for misconduct.The 55-year-old judge was arrested Aug. 10 after a fight with his wife at an Atlanta hotel. Fuller was put into a pre-trial diver...More >>
    An Alabama congresswoman is speaking out about domestic abuse and says she's closely monitoring a case involving a federal judge from Montgomery.Republican U.S. Rep. Martha Roby issued a statement Tuesday saying the disciplinary process for U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller is ongoing and Congress has the power to impeach members of the judicial branch for misconduct.The 55-year-old judge was arrested Aug. 10 after a fight with his wife at an Atlanta hotel. Fuller was put into a pre-trial diver...More >>
  • Small Treasurers coming to Birmingham Museum of Art

    Small Treasurers coming to Birmingham Museum of Art

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:29 PM EDT2014-09-17 01:29:42 GMT
    Small Treasures: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Their Contemporaries is coming to the Birmingham Museum of Art early next year. The exhibition, from January 31, 2015 through April 26, 2015, features small 17th-century paintings from the Dutch and Flemish Golden Age. During the period, artists demonstrated precise detail by painting on a small scale. At the time, their technical skills were highly revered, and these paintings had an impact on the work of many artists.The exhibition brings toget...More >>
    Small Treasures: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Their Contemporaries is coming to the Birmingham Museum of Art early next year. The exhibition, from January 31, 2015 through April 26, 2015, features small 17th-century paintings from the Dutch and Flemish Golden Age. During the period, artists demonstrated precise detail by painting on a small scale. At the time, their technical skills were highly revered, and these paintings had an impact on the work of many artists.The exhibition brings toget...More >>
  • Gadsden police officers receive Life Saver Award

    Gadsden police officers receive Life Saver Award

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 8:09 PM EDT2014-09-17 00:09:23 GMT
    After 35 years on the job, August 25 could have been a Gadsden man's last shift for AT&T if it weren't for some Gadsden police officers. Danny Day collapsed while retrieving cable. His hard hat came off as he fell to the ground, and Day hit his head and began to bleed profusely. Two police officers, Josh Russell and Jason Coffman, were on patrol on Forrest Avenue. They drove past Day at the right time. "It happened so quickly, as we were approaching, I just saw a hard hat fall."More >>
    After 35 years on the job, August 25 could have been a Gadsden man's last shift for AT&T if it weren't for some Gadsden police officers. Danny Day collapsed while retrieving cable. His hard hat came off as he fell to the ground, and Day hit his head and began to bleed profusely. Two police officers, Josh Russell and Jason Coffman, were on patrol on Forrest Avenue. They drove past Day at the right time. "It happened so quickly, as we were approaching, I just saw a hard hat fall."More >>
  • Birmingham City School leaders respond to allegations of unqualified administrators

    Birmingham City School leaders respond to allegations of unqualified administrators

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 8:03 PM EDT2014-09-17 00:03:34 GMT
    Birmingham City School leaders are responding to concerns Tuesday involving allegations that two administrators did not hold proper certification for the jobs.More >>
    Birmingham City School leaders are responding to concerns Tuesday involving allegations that two administrators did not hold proper certification for the jobs.More >>
  • Small aircraft makes emergency landing at Chilton County airport

    Small aircraft makes emergency landing at Chilton County airport

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 8:02 PM EDT2014-09-17 00:02:36 GMT
    The pilot of a small aircraft en route to Atlanta on Tuesday was forced to make an emergency landing at the Chilton County airport after the plane lost all power to its engine.More >>
    The pilot of a small aircraft en route to Atlanta on Tuesday was forced to make an emergency landing at the Chilton County airport after the plane lost all power to its engine.More >>
  • Criticism mounting for Vikings, Adrian Peterson

    Criticism mounting for Vikings, Adrian Peterson

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 7:46 PM EDT2014-09-16 23:46:05 GMT
    Adrian Peterson was back at Minnesota Vikings headquarters on Monday, and the first thing fullback Jerome Felton did when he saw his star running back was give him a high-five.More >>
    For as long as he has been in the NFL, Adrian Peterson has been one of the most popular and marketable stars in the league, an approachable superstar with the kind of inspirational comeback story that made him an...More >>
  • Clay leaders propose major budget cuts

    Clay leaders propose major budget cuts

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 7:16 PM EDT2014-09-16 23:16:48 GMT
    One of Jefferson County's youngest cities, Clay, is going through a rough financial patch. Clay incorporated 14 years ago. It had a balanced budget for the first eight years.
    More >>
    One of Jefferson County's youngest cities, Clay, is going through a rough financial patch. Clay incorporated 14 years ago. It had a balanced budget for the first eight years.
    More >>
  • Concerns raised over qualifications of Birmingham City Schools Employees

    Concerns raised over qualifications of Birmingham City Schools Employees

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:49 PM EDT2014-09-16 22:49:04 GMT
    Some community and educational leaders are raising concerns Tuesday regarding the qualifications of administrators in the Birmingham City Schools System.More >>
    Some community and educational leaders are raising concerns Tuesday regarding the qualifications of administrators in the Birmingham City Schools System.More >>