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House Financial Services Committee Member Files for Bankruptcy

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Question: Why does a member of Congress, who can't keep his own balance sheet out of the red, get a seat on the House Financial Services Committee?

The AP reports:

An eight-term Texas congressman who serves on the House Financial Services Committee has filed for personal bankruptcy and is blaming his family meat company for his problems.

According to federal bankruptcy court documents, Democratic Rep. Ruben Hinojosa has $2.9 million in liabilities, though he also has nearly $1.5 million in assets.

Most of the money Hinojosa owes — $2.6 million — is a claim by Wells Fargo Bank. The congressman says that is due to a loan he personally guaranteed for the H&H Meat Products Co., which went bankrupt.

The Financial Services panel has jurisdiction over legislation affecting banks. House aides and outside experts say the House has no rules forbidding a lawmaker who owes large sums to a bank from serving on that committee.

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