Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, denounced Chairman Jeb Hensarling’s proposal to weaken our country’s financial and consumer protections:
“Today, just steps from Wall Street, Chairman Hensarling unveiled a special interest wish list that would deregulate the financial sector to the detriment of consumers and investors. In the six years since Democrats saved our economy from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Republicans have been clear about their intent to dismantle the historic protections we put in place under the Dodd-Frank Act. They seem to forget about the trillions of dollars of wealth that were stripped from American families and they refuse to acknowledge that the crisis was caused by reckless behavior on Wall Street and a wholly inadequate regulatory regime. That’s why most Americans favor robust financial regulation. They know that Wall Street Reform has made our financial system safer, fairer, and stronger.
“From hobbling the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – an agency that’s returned nearly $12 billion to 25 million consumers in just five short years – to undoing regulators’ ability to rein-in non-bank actors like AIG, to bringing back the same type of speculative trading that led to the crisis, to repealing Dodd-Frank’s mechanism to unwind large banks without harming taxpayers, this package is a gift to nearly every special interest that the Financial Services Committee oversees. While the plan purports to get tough on bank crime, it gives Wall Street a ‘get out of jail free’ card by including legislation that would gut law enforcement’s ability to prosecute financial fraud. It fakes a step in the right direction by requiring higher capital ratios at the largest banks, but immediately takes two steps backward by eliminating any oversight of the riskiest activities at banks and non-banks by dismantling the Financial Stability Oversight Council and subjecting bank regulators to the appropriations process. And it takes yet another shot at the Labor Department’s much-needed conflict of interest rule, threatening Americans’ hard-earned retirement savings.
“The Chairman’s proposal takes a page from Donald Trump’s casino playbook by gambling with the American economy. We cannot allow Republicans to take us back to the depths of the financial crisis by weakening regulatory oversight and giving banks the tools to game the system once again.”