Mr. LINDER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Texas (Mr. SESSIONS) for yielding the time.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support for House Resolution 235, a structured rule providing for consideration of H.R. 10, the Financial Services Act of 1999.
Mr. Speaker, what we are witnessing this afternoon is the politics of legislative destruction. There are some in this Congress whose game is to stop important legislation, especially historic legislation, and there should be no doubt that this banking bill is an historic accomplishment.
This bill has been painstakingly crafted to achieve a balance between all of the parties, and we have a great opportunity to promote competition, protect consumers and give firms the ability to compete globally as we enter the 21st century, and this rule will hold together the compromise legislation that Members have constructed after many years of hard work. Unfortunately, because some Members did not get everything they wanted, they decided to threaten the passage of the legislation.
Earlier this week, we had a strong, bipartisan privacy amendment with Democrat and Republican cosponsors. I sat through 4 hours of testimony in the Committee on Rules yesterday, and leading Democrats on the Committee on Banking and Financial Services argued that this privacy legislation was a great accomplishment and that the language would benefit American consumers. Then last night, because they did not get everything they wanted, some Members took their names off the bipartisan amendment and decided for partisan purposes to jeopardize this important legislation.
Perhaps because of this kind of partisan demagoguery, and we are going to hear the minority demagogue privacy and redlining all afternoon, much of the financial services industry remains the same as it was 66 years ago. We have a chance to change the New Deal regulations that locked down certain activities and interests of financial security. H.R. 10 will free the market to determine the future of the financial services industry.
I am also surprised that any Member would endanger banking modernization, because the timing of this legislation is critical. American institutions are losing market share to foreign financial institutions. This bill will modernize the industry and relieve U.S. financial institutions of their current international competitive disadvantage.
It comes down to this: The philosophy of this Congress is to encourage competition in order to provide more efficient service and superior products to the consumer. We did that in telecommunications. We put market forces to work in crafting Medicare. Today we lay the foundation for a new financial services industry that creates more choices and lower prices for consumers and enables companies to compete in the global marketplace.
Are all the interested parties happy with everything in the bill? No, certainly not; including me.
There is an amendment that I wish were made in order but it could not be, and that is probably a pretty good indication that we have a good piece of legislation in front of us.
I urge all of my colleagues to ignore the demagoguery, understand that there is an effort here to make a partisan victory. Support this rule and pass this historic legislation.