Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who’s prepped to be the next chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, laid out her priorities in a Friday letter to her House colleagues, seeking their support. She cited among matters of utmost importance under her watch: consumer and investor protection, cracking down on “bad actors” like Wells Fargo, supporting fintech and continuing to fight for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
With the House flipping to the Democrats in the midterm elections and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, out in January, all odds are on ranking minority member Waters taking the top seat.
Congress historically has caucus and steering committee meetings in December, where the House Financial Services Committee leadership “will largely be figured out,” Ed Mills, policy analyst for Raymond James, told ThinkAdvisor on Monday. For Waters, “this should be a formality, but it is still customary to ask for the support.”
The House Financial Services Committee oversees, among other agencies, the Federal Reserve Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
In her eight-page letter, Waters said she would “prioritize protecting consumers and investors from abusive financial practices, making sure that there are strong safeguards in place to prevent another financial crisis,” and would encourage “responsible innovation in financial technology” and promote diversity and inclusion in the financial services sector.
During the past six years, Waters said she’s “been on the front lines of pushing back against a rigid Republican ideology set on rolling back Wall Street reform and pursuing an anti-consumer, anti-investor, and anti-low and moderate- income family agenda.”
Despite the efforts of House Republicans and the Trump administration, Waters continued, “I have been able to lead Committee Democrats in fighting back and in achieving legislative success.”
While not citing the SEC’s advice standards package, including Regulation Best Interest, Waters called attention to the fact that she led Democrats in “pushing back” against Hensarling’s attempts to repeal the Labor Department’s “long overdue” fiduciary rule, which was eventually vacated by an appeals court.