Jeremy Hobson: Well it’s been a busy week in Washington. Congress passed those three long-delayed free trade deals yesterday, in a move to create jobs in this country. But lawmakers also voted down the President’s jobs package in the Senate earlier this week.
We’re going to talk jobs and more now with Republican Congressman David Schweikert of Arizona. Congressman, good morning.
David Schweikert: Good morning.
Hobson: Well when the president announced his jobs plan, you released a statement, and you said, “this administration’s regulatory environment has destroyed jobs and created a weak and uncertain economy.” Give me an example of a regulation that you think has made this economy worse.
Schweikert: I sit on the House Financial Services Committee. Day, after day, after day, we talk to folks who need lines of credit — lenders or community banks. And they start to think, look, we’re ready to go out and play — except with the rules and promulgations of such that are coming through Dodd-Frank, we don’t know what the risk retention requirements are.
Hobson: Like what? What are they worried about?
Schweikert: I’ll give you a good example. If you and I were going to go out and do a certain type of mortgage lending, what’s the reserve requirements you have to have for it? We’re not sure! So you actually can’t open up your billfold until you know the rules you’re playing under.
Hobson: But the Dodd-Frank Financial Regulatory Reform Bill was passed for a reason — and it was passed because many people thought that Wall Street was not being regulated enough before. That’s what led us into the bubble — which burst in 2008 — and led us into this mess.
Schweikert: Yeah. But go back to what you just said — regulate those areas of risk. When we sat in a committee with the very senior members of the year before who had voted for it, and we were getting testimony from the regulators talking about the new regulations on credit card securitization and automobile securitization, and they’re looking at the regulators saying, “Oh god, that’s what we voted on?”
Hobson: Congressman, your leader in Congress, Eric Cantor, recently referred to the Occupy Wall Street protestors as “growing mobs.” Do you agree with that statement?
Schweikert: Not at all. The other day, I actually walked down by the group here in Washington, DC. But I found it fascinating, because there were members there holding signs that would have read exactly the same as folks as a Tea Party rally — “No more bailouts.” Much of the frustration that at least I was seeing was the same frustration I hear from some of the most conservative activits out there.
Hobson: Republican Congressman David Schweikert of Arizona, thanks so much for joining us.
Schweikert: I enjoy it.
We also asked the Congressman about a new piece of legislation he’s introduced — involving American coinage.
Hobson: I want to ask you one more thing, because I noticed that you just introduced legislation to replace the dollar bill with coins to save the government money. Does this idea you think have a chance this time? It never seems to work.
Schweikert: Well, we actually have some much better examples out there. If you look at Europe and the 1 euro coin, we see an example that has worked. Look — it’s about $184 million a year in savings.
Schweikert: So $6 billion over 30 years. You have a government that is in desperate straights financially — maybe it’s time that the public and Congress will step up and understand, we need to be finding savings everywhere we can. And this is a good start.
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