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Waters Opening Statement at Full Committee Markup

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, gave the following statement at a full Committee markup to consider six bills and two resolutions.

As Prepared for Delivery

Today this Committee convenes for a markup of six bills and resolutions creating two taskforces.

As I have said before, under my leadership, it’s a new day and a new way for this Committee. Our slate of bills for this markup includes legislation that will help to crack down on criminals, protect investors and whistleblowers, and benefit small businesses. I am pleased to say that several of the measures we will consider today have bipartisan support.

We will consider a bill by Representatives Maloney and King, the Corporate Transparency Act (H.R. 2513), to require corporations and limited liability companies or “LLCs” to disclose their beneficial owners to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, ending criminals’ ability to use anonymous shell companies to hide their money and illicit activities.

We will also consider a bill by Representatives Cleaver and Stivers, the COUNTER Act (H.R. 2514) which closes loopholes in the Bank Secrecy Act, increases penalties for those who break the law, and helps provide financial institutions with new tools to fulfill their obligations under the law.

In addition, we will consider a bill by Representative Himes, the Insider Trading Prohibition Act (H.R. 2534), which creates a clear definition of illegal insider trading under securities laws so that there is a codified, consistent standard for courts and participants in financial markets, and to better protect the hard-earned savings of millions of Americans.

We will also consider a bill by Representatives Green and Huizenga, the Whistleblower Protection Reform Act (H.R. 2515) which expands whistleblower protections by amending Dodd-Frank to clarify that whistleblowers who report misconduct to their employers and not to the SEC also have protections against retaliation under the law.

We will also consider a bill put forth by Representatives Axne and Mooney, the Expanding Access to Capital for Rural Job Creators Act (H.R. 2409), which would require the SEC to identify unique challenges rural small businesses face in securing capital, and to describe the most serious issues that these businesses and their investors face in its annual report to Congress.

Finally, we will consider a bill put forth by Representatives Scott and Zeldin, the Protect Affordable Mortgages for Veterans Act (H.R. 1988), which would ensure that a group of VA loans which were inadvertently made ineligible for securitization by Ginnie Mae are made eligible, and thereby enabling those banks to make additional loans, including to veterans.

I thank the Members for their work on these bills and look forward to moving the legislation forward.

I am also pleased to announce that the Committee will create two taskforces to sharpen our attention on aspects of the financial services industry that need closer scrutiny. The first task force on financial technology will examine the current legal framework for fintech, how fintech is used in lending and how consumers engage with fintech.

The second taskforce on artificial intelligence or “AI” will examine the impact of automation and machine learning and how companies and consumers can use AI to improve their lives. Both of these taskforces will provide our Committee with the opportunity to dive deep into these issues and better understand where Congress is needed to ensure fintech and AI serve the best interests of consumers, investors, business and the economy.

With that, I now yield five minutes to the Ranking Member, the distinguished gentleman from North Carolina, Mr. McHenry.


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