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Does He or Doesn’t He? Mnuchin’s Confirmation Hearing Raises Questions

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, issued the following statement following Steven Mnuchin’s confirmation hearing to become Treasury Secretary before the Senate Finance Committee:

“What we saw during yesterday’s hearing has only increased my concerns about how the incoming Trump Administration is going to effectively govern. The confirmation hearings this week have made several things abundantly clear, but there is one commonality that is particularly troubling: many of Trump’s nominees have no understanding of the concerns facing working people and no desire to protect consumers and investors from financial harm.

“In his hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, Mr. Mnuchin distinctly stated that he wanted to defund the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, our sole watchdog looking out for the interests of students, servicemembers, seniors and other borrowers, and subject the Bureau to the whims of the Congressional appropriations process. Taking such a reckless move would only further empower predatory financial firms like the one led by Mr. Mnuchin in the years following the financial crisis.

“What’s more, Mr. Mnuchin defended his record as the ‘Foreclosure King’ and tried to dismiss criticism of his eviction practices as simply “business as usual.” Even worse, he brushed-off concerns over his neglect to disclose information about funds he directed in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands and Anguilla. It is sadly ironic that Mr. Mnuchin would dismiss these critical omissions as mere paperwork errors, when in fact his very bank evicted thousands of people from their homes simply because their loan modification paperwork was supposedly incomplete. Finally, Mr. Mnuchin paid lip service to wanting to reinstate a ‘21st Century’ version of the now defunct Glass-Steagall Act. I sincerely hope he communicates this to Chairman Hensarling of the House Financial Services Committee, who both testified today on Mnuchin’s behalf and who, over my objections, is diligently working to dismantle any remaining firewall between borrowers’ deposits placed in banks for safekeeping and speculative trading.

“Yesterday’s hearing has made clear what many of us have already known. If Steve Mnuchin becomes Treasury Secretary, he will continue his lifelong practice of putting the mega rich and their interests before everyone and everything else. I urge my Senate colleagues to reject his nomination."


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