CONGRESSMAN JIM HIMES

Representing the 4th District of Connecticut

Financial Services

As a member of the Financial Services Committee that has jurisdiction over all issues pertaining to the banking system, housing, insurance, and securities and exchanges, my responsibility is to work to improve the regulatory apparatus, provide strong consumer protections, and increase access to capital for businesses to support a thriving economy.  In addition, I have been appointed to serve on the Subcommittee for Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises and the Subcommittee for Monetary Policy and Trade.

During my first term in Congress, I was proud to help write the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank), which creates robust consumer protections and helps ensure taxpayers are never again on the hook to bail out large financial institutions.  Dodd-Frank gives federal regulators the authority to take preemptive corrective action to assess risk exposure and curb financial activity that jeopardizes the stability of the economy.  Furthermore, it allows consumers to participate in the financial markets on a fair and transparent playing field.

Housing Reform: A Better Deal for Middle Class Homeowners

At the epicenter of the financial crisis was the startling decline in the housing market.  As the housing market recovers, one of the my top priorities is to reform the government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) so that they both continue to assist middle class families achieve the dream of home ownership and ensure that the American taxpayer is never again exposed to risky behavior in the housing market.  The federal government must maintain a limited role to provide oversight, protect taxpayers against losses, and ensure continued access to safe and affordable mortgage products, like traditional 30-year fixed mortgages.

To that end, I recently announced a new housing finance reform proposal along with Reps. Delaney and Carney that will use private sector market forces to appropriately price risk while putting the scale and security of a government guarantee behind the program. This plan will create a housing finance system that is fair for borrowers, lenders, and taxpayers. Specifically, our legislation will:

  • allow the government to expand the capacity of housing finance while allowing the private sector to price all of the risk;
  • Create incentives for private capital’s market share in housing to grow over time;
  • Create a path for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to be sold as independent companies without any government support or monopoly status; and
  • Create additional funds for low income housing.

I’m excited to join this effort to merge the efficiency of markets with the scale of government to create a safer, more liquid housing market that will help make housing more affordable while reining in the risk to our economy.

Click here to learn more about the Delaney-Carney-Himes housing finance proposal.

Helping American Families and Businesses

America’s small businesses are a powerful driving force in our economy, and Congress must do everything it can to establish a favorable business climate so that entrepreneurs can raise capital, hire more workers, and help grow the economy.

Last Congress, President Obama signed into law the bipartisan Jumpstart Our Business Start-ups Act (JOBS Act), a bill I helped write and that the President suggested as part of his effort to promote entrepreneurship. The JOBS Act will make it easier for growing businesses to raise capital, both publicly and privately, which will help them expand and create jobs. The new law puts more decisions in the hands of business owners so they can continue to grow while easing into the responsibilities associated with increasing the number of people who have invested in the company.

Among the bill’s provisions is one I authored that will help community banks provide resources to local businesses so they can grow their companies and create jobs. The legislation increases the number of shareholders permitted to invest in a community bank before it must register with the SEC, which will make it easier for community banks to raise capital to lend to businesses.

As we seek creative solutions to our nation’s jobs crisis, we should look to changes like these that improve the business climate without harming our environment, eliminating health protections, or reducing our ability to invest in the education and infrastructure we know are critical to long-term prosperity. As a Member on the Financial Services Committee, it is my job to find those improvements, and I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make America an even better place to do business.

 

More on Financial Services

November 5, 2015 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—On October 5, the Supreme Court declined to hear United States v. Newman, a decision by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals that left the door open for insider trading on Wall Street. Since then, numerous stories have been written about the detrimental effect the decision is having on the government’s ability to enforce the law. However, there has not been as much written on how to fix the problem.

October 29, 2015 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4), released the following statement on the bipartisan budget deal reached yesterday and his views on Congress’s priorities going forward:

“Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that will set spending levels for more than a year, ensure America can meet its financial obligations until 2017, and prevent catastrophic increases in Medicare premiums. I voted for the bill, which passed the House with a majority of Republicans and every Democrat supporting it.

October 29, 2015 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—Today, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari in the case of United States v. Newman . The Court’s decision not to hear the case leaves intact the previous ruling by the Second Circuit Court of appeals. As the law stands, federal regulators and law enforcement attempting to stop insider trading face an overly burdensome standard of proof.

July 23, 2015 Press Release

Washington, DC: Today, Congressman Jim Himes, member of the Financial Services Committee and Vice Chair of the New Democrat Coalition, hosted a special order on the floor of the House of Representatives discussing the fifth anniversary of Dodd-Frank. He highlighted the strong achievements of Dodd-Frank in helping the country rebound from the financial crisis that began in 2008 and the continued work that has to be done to make the bill effective in response to changing economic conditions in coming years. 

April 3, 2015 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement on today’s decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s to not reconsider the December ruling in United States v. Newman.

March 25, 2015 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced bipartisan legislation today to establish an explicit statutory ban on insider trading. The Insider Trading Prohibition Act makes it a federal crime to trade a security based on material, nonpublic information that was wrongfully obtained, ending decades of ambiguity for a crime that has never been clearly defined by law. Reps. Steve Womack (R-AR), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) are the lead cosponsors of the legislation.

March 19, 2015 Press Release

WASHINGTON – Representatives Jim Himes (CT-4), John K. Delaney (MD-6) and John Carney (DE-At Large) have introduced legislation designed to protect the fixed-rate 30-year mortgage – a key instrument to ensure home affordability for the middle class – and shield American taxpayers from future bailouts by reforming the housing finance system. The Partnership to Strengthen Homeownership Act combines the private sector’s superior ability to price risk with the federal government’s unique ability to provide capacity.

July 10, 2014 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Representatives Jim Himes (CT-4), John K. Delaney (MD-6) and John Carney (DE – at large) today introduced innovative housing finance reform legislation, the Partnership to Strengthen Homeownership Act (H.R. 5055). This legislation preserves the 30-year fixed rate mortgage and protects American taxpayers by using private sector pricing to reduce the risk of future bailouts. It shifts the housing finance market away from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and keeps home ownership attainable for working families by strengthening affordable housing programs.

June 18, 2014 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, today praised Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray for the CFPB’s success in recouping almost $4 billion for more than 12.5 million wronged consumers since the bureau’s creation. Click here to watch Himes’ full remarks.

June 11, 2014 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) today fought a House Republican effort to undermine the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) ability to rein in the dangerous behavior in the derivatives markets that helped fuel the 2008 financial crisis.