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Waters calls on federal regulators to diversify, attacks Republicans over CFPB

by Colin Wilhelm, Politico

House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) today announced the findings of a committee investigation into the employment of minorities and women at financial regulators.

"Minorities and women remain underrepresented," among employees at financial regulatory agencies, especially in senior positions, Waters said while flanked by members of the Congressional Black, Asian Pacific American, and Hispanic Caucuses. The report data was garnered from individual agency inspector general audits of employee practices between 2011 and 2013.

"It limits regulators' ability to understand complex challenges for traditionally underserved communities," Waters said at today's press conference. "Diversity and inclusion should be key components of these agencies' strategic plans."

After announcing the committee's findings Waters quickly pivoted to criticize House Financial Services Committee Republicans, who have held hearings on the CFPB's employment practices, including the allegation that minorities and women are underrepresented.

"Their true motivation is simply hatred for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau," Waters said, calling the agency, "the centerpiece of Dodd-Frank."

"We should investigate all of the agencies. And it became very clear to us that Republicans were simply carrying out a political agenda," Waters continued.

"The CFPB has the highest percentage of women in the workforce [of federal financial regulators] at nearly 50%" Rep. Al Green (D-Tex.), another member of Financial Services Committee, said in defense of the bureau.

"If we are going to close the wealth gap we have to start right at home in the federal government," Waters concluded. "Discrimination has lasted and persisted for far too long."

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