Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, gave the following opening statement at a full Committee hybrid markup.
Since the start of the 117th Congress, this Committee has marked up 21 bills and has held five markups. Today, this Committee will mark up 11 more bills.
As Chairwoman of this Committee, I am so very pleased to advance many strong pieces of legislation that Democrats on this Committee have introduced to bring relief to millions of Americans and to create a foundation for a stronger and more sustainable economy.
Today, Committee Democrats will continue to take a proactive approach by introducing a range of bills, including legislation that preserves housing rights and affordability of manufactured housing communities; legislation that ensures every household has the information they need to exercise their right to vote; and legislation that addresses the GameStop volatility from earlier this year to better protect investors and strengthen market integrity.
During the first of a series of three hearings that this Committee held on GameStop and related market volatility, we received testimony directly from those involved, including from the CEOs of Robinhood, Melvin Capital, Citadel, Reddit, and a retail investor.
In the second hearing, the Committee heard from a panel of experts who examined the critical issues and offered policy recommendations. And in the final hearing of the series, the Committee heard from SEC Chair Gary Gensler and the heads of FINRA and DTCC to hear directly from regulators on how they were responding to the market volatility.
Today we will be marking up several bills based on what we learned at those hearings. My bill entitled, “the Short Sale Transparency and Market Fairness Act,” seeks to address the problem of information asymmetry by providing the SEC with the authority to increase the frequency of disclosures Wall Street hedge funds and other large asset managers must make from quarterly to monthly. It also expands the types of information disclosed including derivatives.
Representative Casten’s bill would require the GAO to conduct a robust study on the positive and negative impacts of the gamification trend of online trading platforms. Representative Sherman’s bill will require a study of the practice and conflicts of payment for order flow. Finally, Representative Green’s bill will make it a criminal act for market makers to trade ahead of their customers and will hold a CEO personally accountable if they trade ahead or engage in insider trading. This Committee will continue to focus on ensuring that we have strong investor protections in our markets and that our financial system is fair.
At today’s markup, we will also consider bills Democrats on this Committee have introduced to build a more fair and inclusive financial system, including:
- legislation to promote the formation of new and diverse depository institutions, led by Vice Chair Auchincloss;
- legislation to preserve and maintain affordable manufactured housing communities to benefit residents, led by Representative Axne;
- legislation to bring needed transparency and reforms to the $6 trillion family office industry, led by Representative Ocasio-Cortez;
- legislation that finally puts an end to LIBOR, the reference rate that Wall Street and other global banks manipulated at the expense of municipalities and consumers, led by Representative Sherman; and,
- legislation that provides tenants and mortgage loan applicants with information on how to register to vote, led by Representative Williams.
Finally, I am pleased we will also be marking up two bills led by Republican Members of our Committee, Representative Huizenga and Representative Wagner.
I would like to thank the Members for their tremendous work on these important bills, which I look forward to passing through this Committee.