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Chairman Crenshaw, Ranking Member Serrano, members of the Subcommittee, thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak about the Treasury Budget. The President's FY 2015 Budget requests
Let me start by saying what an honor it is to work with the dedicated men and women at the
I would now like to turn to an overview of the economy and the substantial progress we have made toward recovering from the worst recession since the Great Depression. We have now experienced nearly five years of growth. A stronger private sector is helping grow the economy and drive deficits lower. Our businesses have added 8.9 million jobs over the last 49 months. The housing market has improved. Home prices are rising, and millions of homeowners are no longer under water on their mortgages. Household balance sheets continue to heal, exports are growing, and manufacturing is making solid gains. And health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years.
I want to take a moment and quickly applaud the
Five and a half years after the GSEs were put in conservatorship, we still face a housing finance system does not adequately meet the needs of the American people. Far too many potential homeowners do not have access to credit, and will not until there is a clear path to a new system that provides certainty to all participants. The system today continues a flawed dynamic where taxpayers must support future losses at
As the President said in his State of the Union address, we are now better positioned to meet the demands of the 21st century than any other nation.
There is considerably more that needs to be done. While corporate profits have been hitting all-time highs and the stock market has been vibrant, too many in the middle class and those striving to get into the middle class, are struggling to make ends meet.
The President's Budget addresses these challenges. It puts forward proven, pro-growth initiatives to expand opportunity for all Americans. And it fulfills the President's pledge to make this a year of action, while offering a framework for long-term prosperity and competitiveness.
As part of this proposal, the President's request for the Treasury will allow the department to carry out its mission to maintain a strong economy and responsibly manage the government's finances. It will also allow Treasury to foster greater investment in American communities and small businesses, protect our national security, monitor risks to the financial system, and promote conditions that support economic growth and stability at home and abroad.
Strengthening the economy and job creation, protecting the financial system
For nearly 20 years, Treasury's
We are also supporting small business growth by requesting a second round of funding for the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), which was enacted in 2010 to empower states to help small companies grow. Just last week, I saw the positive difference SSBCI can make in our communities when I visited New Center Stamping in
The program's original funding of
In the coming year, Treasury will continue to rebuild and reform our financial system. Reforms like the Volcker Rule are transforming the way
The Budget also proposes to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program and to implement programmatic reforms to limit taxpayer exposure and achieve cost neutrality. The extension will preserve the long-term availability and affordability of property and casualty insurance for terrorism risk.
Finally, we seek to improve the protection and resilience of the critical infrastructure in the financial sectors with a special focus on reducing the risks associated with cybersecurity incidents. Working with industry and government partners, we promote best practices, develop incident management plans, and identify, analyze, and share timely and actionable information. . Further, this budget includes
Boosting resources for taxpayer services and enforcement measures, finding new efficiencies across Treasury programs
The President's Budget makes substantial investments in improved taxpayer service and enforcement at the
To counter these effects, Treasury's Budget request includes substantial investments to help strengthen taxpayer service, enforcement, and technology at the
The request for the
Treasury's request also includes
The FY 2015 Treasury Budget builds on our commitment over the past five years to deliver core services more efficiently and at a lower cost to the taxpayer. In fact, the department has been able to propose more than
One area where we have made progress has been our multi-pronged effort to expand the use of electronic transactions in conducting the business of government, including electronic payroll savings bonds, electronic benefit payments, and electronic tax collection. These efforts have reduced costs, improved customer service, and decreased susceptibility to fraud. The "Paperless Treasury" initiative has saved the government hundreds of millions of dollars through electronic payment of benefits and increases in the electronic filing rate for tax returns.
It is important to note that the President's Budget also includes a separate Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative. This Initiative includes pro-growth investments that are fully paid for by cutting spending and closing tax loopholes. Treasury investments under the Initiative will support progress in the areas of taxpayer service, fiscal transparency, and global food security. This includes
Protecting national security interests and preventing illicit use of the financial system
I want to end by highlighting the Treasury Budget's proposals to protect our national security interests and continue the department's financial intelligence and enforcement activities.
The Treasury Budget proposes
In particular, TFI conducted a sustained sanctions campaign against
Last year, we completed more than 500 actions under our sanctions authorities in an effort to disrupt and dismantle the financial networks that support terrorists, narcotics traffickers, transnational organized crime, and the proliferators of weapons of mass destruction. Our sanctions programs are effective because they stand on a foundation of reliable intelligence analysis, strong systemic safeguards in the financial sector, and robust engagement with our financial sector, foreign governments, and foreign financial institutions.
The Ukrainian people have demonstrated tremendous courage as they have charted an independent course for their country and demanded a government that reflects the will of the people.
The FY 2015 Treasury Budget reflects a careful balance of savings proposals and targeted investments in key priorities.
The proposed savings will be achieved through a combination of efficiency improvements and increased streamlining of operational processes, making Treasury even leaner and more effective as it continues to deliver essential services to the American people.
The Treasury Budget is balanced, responsible and carefully-designed. It adheres to the President's strategy to make our economy stronger while keeping our fiscal house in order. And I am eager to work with you to put it into action.
Thank you and I look forward to answering your questions.
Read this original document at: http://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP23/20140429/102008/HHRG-113-AP23-Bio-LewJ-20140429.pdf
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