(Extensions of Remarks - February 08, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E117]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                          HON. SPENCER BACHUS

                               of alabama

                    in the house of representatives

                        Friday, February 8, 2013

  Mr. BACHUS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in recognition of the 150th 
anniversary of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The OCC 
is the oldest regulatory agency in the federal government.
  President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the National Currency Act 
on February 25, 1863. The National Currency Act created a new system of 
locally owned, federally-chartered and -supervised financial 
institutions and a new position in the Treasury Department, the 
Comptroller of the Currency, to oversee their safety and soundness.
  The National Currency Act became law during the Civil War, which by 
1863 had already proven far more costly in blood and treasure than 
anyone had imagined at the war's outset. Because the act required newly 
chartered banks to purchase U.S. government bonds to secure their 
obligations, it brought millions of dollars to the Treasury, helping to 
ensure that the troops and those who furnished their food and equipment 
would not go unpaid.
  But for Lincoln, Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase, and their allies 
in Congress, the system ushered in by the National Currency Act was 
also the fulfillment of a dream to truly unite the country into a vast 
national market in which a reliable money supply flowed freely from 
state to state and region to region, stimulating commerce, 
communication, and a sense of mutual engagement in the enterprise of 
growth and prosperity for all.
  For the past 150 years, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency 
has aided in advancing the great American enterprise. Over that long 
period, national bank examiners and those who support their work have 
exemplified professionalism and integrity.
  With skill, steadiness, and good judgment, the men and women of the 
OCC have helped steer the nation's banking system through crisis. 
During the Great Depression, OCC examiners worked day and night to 
reorganize banks and reopen them to the public. The banking system went 
on to play a major part in financing the American war effort between 
1941 and 1945, and the rebuilding of the war-torn world thereafter. 
During the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, the OCC helped shore up 
the banking system and its recovery, so that banks could resume the 
vital functions they perform in support of America's businesses and 
  Since 2011, the OCC has also been responsible for the supervision of 
federal savings associations, whose support of housing finance has made 
it possible for millions of Americans to enjoy the benefits of home 
  Now, whereas Congress approved, and President Abraham Lincoln signed, 
the National Currency Act of 1863, creating the federal banking system 
and the position of Comptroller of the Currency; and whereas the Office 
of the Comptroller of the Currency has served the people of the United 
States with distinction, ensuring a safe and sound national banking 
system to support American business, consumers, and communities, 
Congress hereby congratulates the OCC on its 150th anniversary and 
wishes it continued success in the accomplishment of its important