Washington DC – Wisconsin Congressman Sean Duffy, Chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing & Insurance, recently spoke on the House floor in support of two pieces of legislation that he introduced. The bills, which passed in a bipartisan fashion, are titled the Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration Act and the International Insurance Standards Act of 2018.
Please click HERE to view Congressman Duffy’s remarks in support of the Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration Act of 2018 (H.R. 5793).
“I rise in support of H.R. 5793, the Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Act. And I want to thank Mr. Cleaver. We have worked together on a number of different pieces of legislation. This is just another example of two like-minded people seeing a problem. This isn’t earth-shattering. Earthquakes and lightning aren’t happening, but this is a small demonstration project that can modify a program that can have a true impact on people’s lives.
“How much we spend to help people is relevant, but how much we spend on federal government programs is not the end all be all. It is the actual success of the program and the money that we spend on leading people out of poverty and dependency into self-sufficiency and opportunities.
“We have to give families the opportunity to pick themselves up so they can find a better job, live in a safe environment, and so they can better provide for their children. H.R. 5793 moves toward those goals by authorizing the H.U.D secretary to carry out a housing choice voucher demonstration program designed to help those receiving housing vouchers to move to lower poverty opportunity areas and help them better their lives.
“This bill would allow H.U.D to implement a plan to regionalize various PHAs in one area to allow for portability and movement to higher opportunity areas. And the gentleman from Michigan mentioned this: we know that low income children whose families moved to lower poverty area have higher earnings as adults. We must eliminate the cycle for poverty that keeps generations of families living within the same areas with limited amount of opportunity.
“By helping people move to better opportunities we’ll increase the chances for them to achieve academic success and reduce intergenerational poverty. And I think as we look around the country we have help wanted signs everywhere- everyone is looking for help- and different regions have different starting wages. So if you live in one area and you might not have as much opportunity or as great of wages, and you don’t have the money to go to a different part of town or a different area of your state, you can’t take advantage of a better paying job.
“So what we’re saying is let people go! Give them the voucher and let them move! Let them get that great job! And that mobility that we give them helps them actually start climbing the economic latter and hopefully get off dependence on the federal government.
“It’s a win-win deal. And so again it is a demonstration project, I think it is going to work; I know Mr. Cleaver does; I know that ranking member believes that as well. And again, this is just another sign of parties working together to help people. We don’t always agree on everything, but this was again a common sense proposal that can make H.U.D work better and help more people out, and I want to thank both the ranking member and Mr. Cleaver for working so diligently on this effort.”
Please click HERE to view Congressman Duffy’s remarks in support of the International Insurance Standards Act of 2018 (H.R. 4537).
“I rise in support of H.R. 4537, the International Insurance Standards Act. I first want to start with thanking the gentleman from Washington, Mr. Heck, for his countless hours and effort that he put in, in a bipartisan effort, crafting this bill that would allow us to get an incredibly wonderful bipartisan vote. On top of that, we have some jurisdictional issues so we had two Chairmen from Texas, Ways and Means and Rules Committee, Chairman Brady and Chairman Sessions, who also worked with us to navigate those jurisdictional issues. And I also want to thank the ranking member, Ms. Waters, for working with both of us, Mr. Heck and myself, to navigate some of the issues that she had with this bill, to allow to us craft a piece of legislation that could get bipartisan support.
“And I know at a time when a lot of people don’t think that bipartisanship necessarily happens in this chamber or in this town, because it doesn’t make great news, but it happens. And people work and they compromise and they find a pathway forward and I think this is a great example of that. And I want to thank the ranking member for her help in this effort and for her support. Again, it passed out of committee 56-4.
“In essence, you know, what we’re doing here is saying, we’ve had a state-based model in America that’s served this country very well for 150 years. We’ve had a focus on policyholder protection and solvency protection and our insurance industry has been pretty resilient. And we’re proud of it. But we also recognize that the world is changing. It’s become a far smaller world. We have different standards and different countries and we have to be able to navigate those differences and as Americans we have to be able to engage with the rest of the world.
“And that’s a good thing. But as we engage we also want to make sure we don’t sell our state-based American model for some other model and some other country. And if we want to change an insurance model of regulation in America, that’s our job. In this chamber we should not have some executive appointee negotiate a trade deal that undermines our state based model. So that was the vision here of what we are trying to accomplish and in essence we provide parameters to US negotiators that prevent Federal US negotiators from entering into an international insurance agreement unless it is consistent and reflective of the existing US system of insurance regulation. So again it has to be consistent and reflective of our model. ‘
“It creates more transparency in the international insurance negotiation process as US negotiators have to regularly inform Congress as to the state and content of the negotiations that are being undertaken. And it also ensures that our state insurance regulators are closely consulted in the process of the international insurance standard setting. So this is a well-crafted bill that took into concerns that both sides of the isle had.
“And I would just note, as a member of this chamber and I think both sides feel the sway, and whether it’s President Clinton or Bush or Obama or now President Trump, we have a role in this chamber and oftentimes we cede power to the executive. I think it is important for us to exert some authority here to say if we are going to be changing rules you can’t just do it without us and through international negotiations. And I think this is a look to that point that again we have a great model and if we are going to change it we need to be a part of it. We need to be consulted. And with that I want to thank the ranking member and I want to thank Mr. Heck.”