Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement after a bipartisan Congressional delegation to Europe and the Middle East that she is leading concluded with a visit to Qatar.
“Today, my colleagues and I depart Doha, Qatar, after meeting with the Minister of Finance, the Governor of the Qatar Central Bank, and the CEO of the Qatar Investment Authority. We were briefed on the many steps the Qatari government has taken to strengthen its economy in the face of regional instability and to improve oversight of its financial services industry, including its modernization of its anti-money laundering and countering financial terrorism (AML/CFT) regime. We also discussed the benefits of deep political, economic, educational and military cooperation between the U.S. and Qatar.
“Our delegation also met with U.S. servicemembers at Al Udeid Air Base, and received educational briefings on the challenges and improvements of their living conditions and on the depth of the U.S. partnership with Qatar. We saw how, despite triple-digit Fahrenheit heat, our armed forces are leading the charge to bring stability to the region.
“I would like to extend my gratitude to Major General Saltzman, Deputy Commander of the Air Force Central Command (AFCENT); Brigadier General Tulley, 379th Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW) Commander; Mr. William Grant, Charge d’Affaires for the U.S. Embassy in Qatar; and their staffs for their abundant hospitality and candor during our visit.”
Chairwoman Waters has prioritized strengthening the financial system to prevent illicit finance activities.
In June, the Financial Services Committee passed H.R. 2513, The Corporate Transparency Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation that requires corporations and Limited Liability Companies (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. The bill was introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Chair of the Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship, and Capital Markets, and Rep. Peter King (R-NY). It was passed by a bipartisan vote of 43 to 16.
In May, the Financial Services Committee passed HR 2514, the Coordinating Oversight, Upgrading and Innovating Technology, and Examiner Reform Act (COUNTER Act), bipartisan legislation that 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. This bill was introduced by Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) and Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH). It was passed by a vote of 55-0.
In March, the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy convened a hearing entitled, “Promoting Corporate Transparency: Examining Legislative Proposals to Detect and Deter Financial Crime.”