Capito and Wagner Talk about Work on Financial Services Committee and Other Key Issues in Appearance Before The Ripon Society


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two members of the House Financial Services Committee appeared before a breakfast meeting of The Ripon Society yesterday morning to discuss the panel’s agenda and some of the other key issues facing Congress and Republicans this year. 

The members included Representatives Shelley Moore Capito (WV-2) and Ann Wagner (MO-2), who, in her opening remarks, not only praised Capito’s bipartisan leadership as Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, but said how much the West Virginia lawmaker will be missed on the Committee should she win election to the Senate in 2014. 

“The work that Shelley has done for years and years in terms of regulatory relief and the unwinding of Dodd-Frank is amazing,” Wagner stated. “An interesting and unknown fact is that there is so much gridlock and talk about partisanship, but there are 14 bills that we have marked out of the Financial Services Committee, and 12 of them have had very strong bipartisan support. It’s a testament to Shelley and her leadership and how our team is really, in many ways, I think working together. She’s led the way on numerous hearings in this regard. She’s going to leave a great void, but also a great legacy on Financial Services.” 

Wagner is in her first term as a member of the Financial Services Committee, having won election to the House last year. A former Ambassador to Luxembourg who previously served as Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee, Wagner also discussed why she believes it is important to elect more Republican women to the House of Representatives next year. 

“We have 33 Republicans on Financial Services,” she said. “Sadly, there are only three women. With Shelley going on to the Senate and Mrs. Bachmann going on to retire, you’re looking at the last ‘skirt’ on our side of the aisle. We need to get Nan Hayworth back and some others back and strengthen those numbers. Because a lot of this has to do with messaging, and I think that women message so very well. We have to take these issues – derivatives and swaps, and covered bonds, and Fannie and Freddie and GSE reform — all these things. We are always the party that goes to the floor or at the hearing with pie charts and graphs instead of the names and faces of real people…and merchants on the street that this over-regulation is such a burden for, and how it’s really impacting their life.” 


“I’m tired of women being looked at as a coalition. Women aren’t a coalition – we are a majority. We are 54% of the electorate, and to have just three of us on Financial Services and only 19 in our Republican conference out of 234 is a failure. I want to be a part of the solution. So we are working very hard on attracting women to our party. And I say to my colleagues over and over again that we have to look at people when we are delivering our message and say we are speaking to a 37-year old single mother of two who is trying to make it to the 15th and the 30th of the month. We have policies, we have vision to give her hope and make her life a little bit easier, and that is the party I think we need to be.” 

In her remarks, Capito talked about one of the more contentious pieces of legislation passed by the Financial Services Committee this year and some of the critical legislative challenges that remain. 

“We did pass The PATH Act,” she stated, “which is the winding down of Fannie and Freddie. As Jeb Hensarling said, we have made nobody happy [with this legislation]. It’s a taxpayers and a homeowner’s bill. It showed a great contrast in our philosophies, really, in terms of what the proper role of government is. It also did have a lot of regulatory relief in there, it had FHA reform, and other things. It’s an extremely important issue, but it affects such a huge part of our economy, especially in these tenuous times when we are trying to speed up out of the recession without a lot of stops and starts…so you’ll see that bill, hopefully moved to the floor — it will probably change quite a bit before it finally gets to the floor — but we are going to keep working on it.” 

“We are also going to keep working to provide regulatory relief. Our community banks, regional banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions are really feeling the weight of Dodd-Frank. And we’re only halfway there. When you ask them who they’re hiring and what kind of expansion plans they have for their business, they are all hiring compliance officers. Or their executives are spending time meeting the compliance challenges, which takes them away from their core business functions of small business lending and community relations and all that. And that can’t help in terms of growing the economy and making sure that we get people back to work … It’s important that we realize how important these institutions really are, particularly in rural America. Where I’m from, community banks are absolutely essential.”


In addition to her work on the Financial Services Committee, Capito also talked about her efforts as a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and what the work of the panel means for her state. 

“It’s a really important committee for the state of West Virginia,” the lawmaker said. “I know you think all roads are paved, and they’re all named Bob Bird. That’s almost true – but not quite. As in every state, we have an aging infrastructure, we’ve got a lot of hills and valleys and a lot of bridges and dams. The infrastructure is aging. Transportation is big. We’re going to do WRDA [the Water Resources Development Act]. I think Bill Shuster is doing a great job as chair of the committee. He’s been going around the country, looking at different kinds of infrastructure and he is pulling everybody in.” 

“This is also where we do regulations on water, which is important for our state. The Clean Water Act obviously has a great impact on the coal fields of West Virginia. This is where we try to push back against the over-regulatory environment at the EPA. This is a huge topic in West Virginia that they are going to be hearing a lot about over the next year and a half. We’re losing jobs. I feel like the President is picking winners and losers. Every time he talks about climate change, he is really disenfranchising my part of the country and really the heartland of the country — not just West Virginia.” 

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.