Mr. Chairman, thank you for convening the Committee this morning to hear a second day of important testimony on this legislation. Last week's hearing which focused on two provisions in the Shelby-Mack regulatory relief bill, namely (1) the repeal of a prohibition on the payment of interest on business checking and (2) the authorization of the payment of interest on reserves held by the Federal Reserve Banks, was both interesting and informative. I should note that, with few exceptions, those two provisions have received overwhelming support. Because of this broad support, I hope Congress will do the right thing and repeal these needless restriction, thus allowing businesses large and small to benefit from the fruits of their labor.
I am pleased that today's hearing will allow the Committee to expand its look at this legislation and receive testimony on the entire bill. As an original cosponsor of this legislation, I am optimistic that this reasoned approach to removing some of the many layers of needless regulatory burden is achievable. Although there will be nay-sayers, that can be expected with any progress. However, the bipartisan cosponsorship of this legislation is a testament to the work of Senator Shelby and Senator Mack in taking into account the views of all interested parties.
I would like to remind everyone that the layers of wasteful burden which currently prevent our nations financial sector from operating to its maximum capacity were not added all at once, and it should not be expected that they will be removed all at once. Rather, this legislation is another in an ongoing effort to appropriately streamline our nation's banking laws to empower banks, large and small.
If the Chair would indulge, I would like to take just a moment to note another action this Committee can and should take to empower our nations smaller, community banks. That is to enact the Federal Home Loan Bank legislation which has been introduced by Senator Hagel. I am an original co-sponsor because this legislation provides much needed tools for smaller banks in the form of expanded collateral, easier eligibility requirements, and a more equitable stock purchase requirement for banks under $500 million in assets while also providing added tools for small business, rural development, and low-income community development.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I look forward to working with you and
my colleagues on the Committee to enact both the Shelby-Mack regulatory
relief bill and Senator Hagel's Federal Home Loan Bank bill.
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