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Waters: Our Plan would be Committed to Providing Greater Opportunity for Every American

Today at the House Committee on Financial Services markup of its Oversight Plan, Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) underscored Democratic priorities for the 115th session of Congress:

As Prepared For Delivery

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. To begin, let me say that I appreciate that there was an attempt to present this oversight plan in a straightforward and clear manner.

The oversight plan – which is designed to discuss the issues this Committee will examine throughout the 115th Congress – does not need to be controversial or partisan.

However, this plan does not fully represent my priorities, or the Democratic priorities, for what the mission and larger purpose of this Committee should be.

For example, there is no discussion about how this Committee will work to preserve Wall Street Reform, even though this historic law has helped us recover a glimpse of the American dream. The Dodd-Frank Act has propelled us forward from the depths of the Great Recession, giving regulators the tools to make our financial markets safer, fairer, and more resilient. But as we’ve seen in the first weeks of the Trump Administration with an executive order that attempts to roll back Wall Street Reform – it seems that Republicans will continue to prioritize Wall Street over Main Street even if that means turning their backs on the very people they pledge to represent.

What’s more, a Democratic oversight plan would certainly highlight the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – an agency that has been a remarkable success story by returning 12 billion dollars to consumers who have been subject to the deceptive practices of unscrupulous corporations and financial institutions, and setting rules of the road to prevent such actions from happening again. Do we really want to tell our constituents that this Committee helped banks like Wells Fargo after it ripped them off with hidden fees or with predatory products they never sought?

Our plan would be committed to providing greater opportunity for every American. That is why we will be offering amendments that instruct this Committee to address the crisis of homelessness, to seek ways to promote the affordability of flood insurance, and review whether Americans are better served when financial advice is in their interest or the adviser’s. These are all issues that this plan seems to omit.

A Democratic oversight plan would direct the Committee to seek ways of reforming the housing finance system that still maintain access to the 30-year, fixed rate mortgage, something that experts have already said would not happen under the Chairman’s so-called PATH Act.

So I thank the Chairman for trying, but unfortunately, this oversight plan falls far short of the kind of work this Committee should be doing for the American people. Thank you, and I would like to yield my remaining time to our Vice Ranking Member, Mr. Kildee.


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