Congressman Patrick McHenry of Gaston County will have new oversight responsibilities over financial services agencies in Congress next year.
He has been named chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, replacing Rep. Randy Neugebauer of Texas. That is a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee.
That will give McHenry power to monitor the Federal Reserve, Treasury, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Credit Union Administration, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Export-Import Bank.
“Government regulators need proper oversight in order to avoid bureaucratic overreach,” McHenry said in a statement. “I’m excited to exert greater influence over that process and look forward to ensuring that small businesses across Western North Carolina are able to access the capital they need to grow and expand.”
McHenry, 38, will be beginning his fifth term in the House. He also served a term in the state legislature. He worked two years as a real estate broker before entering politics.
Perdue speaks out on cliff
Gov. Bev Perdue has written to each member of the state’s congressional delegation, calling on them to find a way to put the brakes on the fiscal cliff plunge. The letter was released Friday by the North Carolina chapter of the organization formed to pressure Washington to solve the problem, Fix the Debt.
It promotes finding some solution based on the Simpson-Bowles commission recommendations calling for tax increases and spending cuts. Perdue’s letter, dated Thursday, says the tax increases that would go into effect if no agreement is reached by the end of the year would harm Americans at all income levels.
North Carolina receives 6.3 percent of its revenue from federal grants, the letter says, and if that money were to suddenly stop, consequences would be serious for the programs it funds and for state-funded programs, too. Suffering would be seen in education, public housing, nutrition programs for low-income women and children, she says. Sequestration would also hit North Carolina especially hard due to its $18 billion military economy.
“Members of both parties must stop squabbles and build a plan for American that avoids the fiscal cliff and gets our country back on a track of fiscal sustainability,” she writes.
Minority leader to stay
Democrats in the state Senate have chosen Sen. Martin Nesbitt of Buncombe County to again serve as minority leader. Here are the rest of the officers: Sen. Dan Blue of Wake County, caucus co-chair; Sen. Dan Clodfelter of Mecklenburg, caucus co-chair; Sen. Ellie Kinnaird of Orange, caucus secretary; Sen. Josh Stein of Wake, minority whip; Sen. Gladys Robinson of Guilford, deputy minority leader; Sen. Floyd McKissick of Durham, deputy minority whip; Sen. Clark Jenkins of Edgecomb, deputy minority leader.
Nesbitt released a statement saying he was honored and looked forward to working with the officers, and the handful of new Democratic senators who will arrive.
2 urged to not vote on cliff
A campaign finance reform group is calling on U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, a Democrat from North Carolina, and Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, a Republican from Missouri, to resign or recuse themselves from energy or environment matters, including the “fiscal cliff.” Both are leaving Congress to take jobs that create a conflict of interest in their remaining days in office, the Campaign Legal Center contends.
Shuler will join Duke Energy in January as its vice president of federal affairs. Emerson will join National Rural Electric Cooperative Association as its CEO. Both spend millions on lobbying every year, the group says. By law, they won’t be able to lobby Congress for a year.
“It is hard to imagine a more clear cut conflict of interest. Representative Shuler and Representative Emerson, in their waning days in office, face issues that will impact their future employers,” said Meredith McGehee, Campaign Legal Center Policy Director. “Out of respect for the institution and their constituents, Representative Shuler and Representative Emerson should resign immediately.
“If they don’t resign, they should, at a minimum, recuse themselves from voting. Landing lucrative jobs based on lobbying former colleagues sadly has a long tradition in Washington. But at the very least Members leaving public service to cash in through the revolving door should not be in the business of serving two masters while still holding office.”
Staff writers Rob Christensen and Craig Jarvis
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