Opening Statements

Van Duyne: “Fintech and Transparency in Small Business Lending”

Opening Statement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Small Business Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Regulations held a hybrid hearing on “Fintech and Transparency in Small Business Lending.”

Subcommittee Ranking Member Beth Van Duyne’s opening statement as prepared for delivery:

A little over an hour ago, the latest CPI number peaked at a whopping year-over-year increase of 9.1%. Maybe even more shocking is that inflation rose 1.3% from just a month ago. This month of surging inflation is just the latest in a long line of pain-inflicting economic numbers that have come under President Biden's leadership. At this point, one thing is clear: Small businesses in our communities cannot prosper, let alone survive if this Administration's current policies and frivolous spending continue.

Over a year after the Democrats in Congress forced through their $1.9 trillion reconciliation package, Americans now feel the full inflationary effects that Republicans were warning of.

Filling up at the gas station is now a shocking experience; grocery store visits cost over 12% more; and housing prices are almost untenable. There is no doubt we are now paying for this Administration's free money policies.

Unfortunately, it seems we have reached the point of Deja Vu. As labor shortages and supply chain troubles persist, we are back to talks of another trillion-dollar reconciliation package. And if that wasn't bad enough, Democrats plan to include tax increases on small businesses in the proposed bill. While details are still developing, I want to say loud and clear that any changes or expansions of the Net Investment Income Tax will be a tax on small business pass-through entities.

When I visit the small businesses that make North Texas one of the quickest growing areas in the United States, they tell me the same thing: the government needs to get out of the way. As we're all well aware, small business owners are some of the best America has to offer. Yet, they struggle to be optimistic when it seems like they are working against a tough economy and a government that won't listen. According to a survey by NFIB, the number of small business owners expecting business conditions to improve has continued to go down, decreasing every month this year.  

Every American knows this is a difficult moment, but luckily, we can turn the tide back in favor of economic growth. We can put small businesses back in the driver's seat by ending the trillions of dollars in reckless spending and aggressively reform regulations.

In addition to these challenges, access to capital remains an important issue for American small businesses, as it could be the difference between business expansion or business stagnation. 

As today's hearing title suggests, small business lending must include an examination of how small businesses fared over the last two years during the COVID-19 pandemic and how FinTech lenders performed during the Paycheck Protection Program.  Anything less would shortchange this topic. 

Also, given that this is an Oversight subcommittee hearing, I would be remiss not to mention the disappointment that Committee Members on our side have with the fact that we are exploring FinTech lenders that were brought into the PPP under the authority of the Department of the Treasury, and we have yet to hear from Secretary Yellen regarding her legal and statutory requirement to testify. 

Across the board, these are important topics that deserve the attention of this Subcommittee and Members of Congress.  I am looking forward to today's conversation, and I would like to welcome all of today's witnesses.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I yield back.