Now that the Democrats have wrested control of the House of Representatives from the GOP Los Angeles Representative Maxine Waters, currently the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, is expected to become chairwoman.
The ferocious pol is promising big changes. She is expected to clamp down on banks and spotlight the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a new Obama-era agency that has been utterly gutted by the Trump Administration.
In a statement earlier this week Waters declared, “For the last two years, Republicans in Congress have served as accomplices to Trump and have completely neglected Congress’ oversight responsibilities, enabling corruption and destructive policies to run rampant. It is critical that we bring accountability to the Trump administration and the regulatory agencies under the committee’s jurisdiction.”
Waters added, “If I am selected by my colleagues to serve as chair of the committee, I will prioritize protecting consumers and investors from abusive financial practices, making sure that there are strong safeguards in place to prevent another financial crisis, expanding and supporting affordable housing opportunities and tackling the homelessness crisis, encouraging responsible innovation in financial technology, promoting diversity and inclusion in the financial services sector and ensuring that hardworking Americans and small businesses have fair access to the financial system and opportunities to thrive,”
The congresswoman said it was crucial that “we bring accountability to the Trump administration and the regulatory agencies under the Committee’s jurisdiction,” Waters said. “That includes ensuring that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can be allowed to resume its essential role of protecting consumers from harmful practices without interference from the Trump administration.”
While “Auntie Maxie,” as she is widely known these days, could scrutinize the CFPB she is reportedly relatively powerless to reverse any of the changes because the Trump officials in charge have wide latitude.
To reverse changes the Trumpites made she would need to use the Congressional Review Act, which would require the GOP controlled Senate to vote in favor of any revamping as well.
But financial analyst Ian Katz has stated that Waters could stymie regulators trying to roll back protections by putting them through the ringer—forcing them to testify and turn over oodles of documents. “One impact that has been a little understated and maybe not fully appreciated is that when she calls up regulators, that takes a lot of bandwidth for those agencies to prepare for hearings. If you have a pretty big to do list like they do at the Fed, that can really slow you down.”
Waters is also expected to give big banks much tsurris.
Katz speculated that Waters would investigate Wells Fargo, which is headquartered in San Francisco. The financial behemoth is still reeling from itsaccount fraud scandal, which involved creating millions of savings and checking accounts without customer consent. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) roasted CEO John Stumpf, who eventually resigned amid $185 million in fines and ongoing lawsuits.
Waters on Wednesday told Bloomberg television she would go after Deutsche Bank, a German conglomerate, because it was a big lender for Donald Trump before he became president.
“We want to know some things about that.”
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