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Waters Opening Statement at Markup of Five Bills

Today, at a full Committee markup, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee gave the following opening statement.

As Prepared for Delivery

Today, this Committee convenes for a markup of five overdue bills.

As I have said before, under my leadership, this Committee will be focused on fairness and policies to benefit consumers, investors, small businesses and our economy.

In advancing these bills today, the Committee is taking action to combat foreign corruption, end the national homelessness crisis, ensure that legitimate businesses have access to the banking system, and put consumers and investors first, and I am pleased to say that several of the bills we are marking up today already have bipartisan support, and I hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will join us in voting for all of these commonsense measures.

Today we will consider the Kleptocracy Assets Recovery Rewards Act, H.R. 389, introduced by Representatives Lynch and Budd, which creates a Treasury-based rewards program to incentivize individuals to notify the U.S. government of stolen assets that are linked to foreign government corruption. This bill takes important steps to improve the federal government’s ability to fight foreign corruption and kleptocracy.

Next, we will consider my bill, the Ending Homelessness Act, H.R.1856, which provides $13.27 billion in new funding over five years to federal programs and initiatives to prevent homelessness. It includes funding for new units of affordable housing, new vouchers, case management, and technical assistance. There are currently over a half million people experiencing homelessness nationwide, which is a travesty. Congress has an obligation to provide the resources necessary to ensure that every American has a safe, affordable place to call home.

We will also consider the SAFE Banking Act, H.R. 1595, put forth by Representatives Perlmutter, Heck, Stivers and Davidson, which provides state-authorized and regulated cannabis businesses with the ability to access the banking system, and provides clarity for banks that they may serve these businesses, their employees, as well as ancillary businesses that provide services to these businesses. This bill addresses an urgent public safety concern for legitimate businesses that currently have no recourse but to operate with just cash. However, I also view this bill as part of a holistic approach towards providing criminal justice reform to those who have been harmed by the criminalization of marijuana and it should not by any means be the only bill that the House takes up on the important issue of cannabis reform.

Additionally, we will consider the SEC Disclosure Effectiveness Testing Act, H.R. 1815, introduced by Representative Casten. H.R. 1815 would require the SEC to test any new disclosure intended for retail investors under the SEC’s proposed regulation best interest. It would also require the SEC to review and test its existing disclosures for retail investors, such as mutual fund disclosures. Retirement savers not only deserve advice that is in their best interest, they also deserve to understand the disclosures that are supposed to be in place for their protection.

Lastly, we will consider the Consumers First Act, H.R. 1500, my bill to reverse the harmful structural changes Mick Mulvaney made at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and ensure that the Consumer Bureau is fully empowered to carry out its mission. The Consumer Bureau is an absolutely critical agency for American consumers, and this Committee will not stand by while the Trump Administration tears it down from the inside.

I thank the Members for their work on these commonsense bills, and urge all of the Members of the Committee to support the legislation.

I now yield five minutes to the distinguished Ranking Member, Mr. McHenry, for an opening statement on these measures.


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