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Waters Opening Statement at Final Committee Markup of 2019

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, gave the following opening statement at a full Committee markup to protect student loan borrowers, improve our broken credit reporting system, preserve and promote Minority Depository Institutions and strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity

As Prepared for Delivery

Today the Committee will mark up eight bills and three resolutions.

As Chairwoman of this Committee, I have made it a priority to advance legislation to protect consumers and investors from bad practices, and at this markup we will continue to do so.

Today we will consider a number of measures to protect student loan borrowers. We are in the midst of a student loan debt crisis. The Federal Reserve estimates that 44.7 million people in the U.S. hold student loan debt, with an average debt of $32,731. Around 9 million Americans are currently in default on their student loans, which leads to considerable and lasting financial consequences for those borrowers. And so, the Committee is working to ensure that student loan borrowers have strong protections from harmful lending and collection practices. The student borrower protection bills we will mark up today include the Student Borrower Protections Act (H.R. 5294), a bill by Representative Adams; the Fair Student Loan Debt Collection Practices Act (H.R. 5287), a bill by Representative Lawson; and, the Private Loan Disability Discharge Act (H.R. 4545), a bill by Representative Dean.

We will also consider two bills to improve our broken consumer credit reporting system: the Protecting Your Credit Score Act of 2019 (H.R. 5332), a bill by Representative Gottheimer, and the Consumer Protections for Medical Debt Collections Act (H.R.5330), a bill by Representative Tlaib.

We will also consider a pair of bills to ensure that our regulators work effectively to preserve and promote Minority Depository Institutions: the Diversity in Community Banking Act of 2019 (H.R. 5322), a bill introduced by Representative Meeks, and the Expanding Opportunities for Minority Depository Institutions Act (H.R. 5315), a bill introduced by Representative Beatty.

In addition, we will take up the Cybersecurity Disclosure Act of 2019 (H.R. 1731), a bill introduced by Representative Himes which strengthens our nation’s cybersecurity and helps protect consumers from cybersecurity breaches by ensuring public companies are appropriately taking steps to protect them.
While noticed, I am informing all Members that the Committee will not consider the Self-Employed Mortgage Access Act (H.R. 2445), at the request of the sponsor of the bill.

We will also vote on several resolutions. One resolution is to elect Representative Sherman as the new Chair of the Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets, following Chairwoman Maloney’s election to lead the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

The other two resolutions re-establish the Committee’s task forces on financial technology and artificial intelligence, which we created for the first time earlier this year.

So far, this Congress, the Committee has passed 61 bills to benefit American consumers, investors, small businesses and the economy. And we are continuing to pass commonsense bills to benefit hardworking Americans.

I thank the Members for putting forth the measures on the agenda today and look forward to moving them forward.


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