Congressman Jeb Hensarling

Representing the 5th District of Texas

Hensarling on President Obama’s Last State of the Union

Jan 12, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON—U.S. Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, release the following statement in response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address.

“Given that President Obama used tonight’s State of the Union to take a rhetorical victory lap, the speech should have lasted about two minutes rather than over an hour. The American people feel no victory in their household finances or the security of our homeland, and the president clearly isn’t convincing them otherwise.

“While President Obama touted his success in the war on terror and the actions he has taken to secure our homeland, one recent poll showed Americans fear a terror attack on the homeland more than at any point since 9/11 and another poll showed that 74% of Americans are not satisfied with the president’s progress in the war on terror. The president also touted our standing and strength in the world, even as Iran is testing ballistic missiles, North Korea has resumed testing of their nuclear arsenal, and ISIS continues to carry out attacks across the globe.

“The president also focused on what he sees as increased economic opportunity for the American people thanks to his policies. In reality, American incomes have dropped and the poverty rate has increased during his tenure—meaning American families are working harder and harder but still can’t seem to get ahead. Furthermore, most Americans seriously doubt they will leave their children and grandchildren a better country than they inherited—which is the very antithesis of the American dream. Some of the biggest drags on the economy are also some of the president’s biggest legislative accomplishments: Obamacare and Dodd-Frank. More than half of Americans disapprove of Obamacare, which is no surprise considering the cost of healthcare has grown at nearly double the rate of wages and – despite the president’s promises – many Americans have lost the ability to keep the doctors and health plans they had before the law was passed. Since Dodd-Frank became law, we’re losing an average of one community financial institution per day under the sheer weight, volume, and complexity of Dodd-Frank’s 400 regulations—making it harder and harder for Americans to buy a house or get a loan to start a small business.

“Tonight, we heard President Obama express a lot of optimism. Sitting in the chamber, I too felt optimistic—knowing that this was his last State of the Union Address and that his presidency is coming to an end. The American people are ready for a change. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House in my capacity as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee to lay out bold ideas and common-sense proposals that will promote more opportunities for low- and moderate-income Americans and empower them to achieve financial independence.”