Skip to Content

Press Releases

Ranking Member Waters Delivers Opening Statement at Full Committee Markup

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, delivered the following opening statement at a full Committee Markup

Today, we are marking up bills that both Committee Democrats and Republicans have worked on together to reach agreement. Notably, most of these bills aim to hold the Chinese government accountable. With that said, again, I urge my colleagues to be mindful of the words being used and ask that we refrain from language that stokes xenophobia and anti-Asian hate. 

Democrats have a strong record of standing up to the Chinese government, and I am pleased that Republicans are moving legislation to build on Democratic achievements, such as the Inflation Reduction Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the CHIPs and Science Act, the longest reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, and more. 

I continue to lend my support of legislation that strengthens our economy, including 11 of the bills being considered today. This list includes the “COVID-19 Emergency Medical Supplies Enhancement Act of 2021,” led by Congressman Vargas; the “China Threat Mitigation Act” sponsored by Congresswoman Spanberger; and my bill, the “Aligning SEC Regulations for the World Bank’s International Development Association Act.”

But let me be clear, these are modest efforts to hold China accountable, and notably this markup is not considering any legislation to address the biggest threats to our economy: a possible default on the United States debt or the persistent inflation in our economy. Both issues, if unresolved, will advance China’s interests and cause untold harm to our constituents. And yet, despite requesting a hearing on the topic of a potential default on our debt, the Chair has not taken any action on these threats to our economy. The Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, who is a Democrat, and the Chair of the Federal Reserve Board, Jay Powell, who is a Republican, have also both urged Congress to act to prevent this preventable economic disaster.

And on inflation, despite repeatedly claiming last year that it was a priority, after two months of leadership, Republicans have not brought forward any legislation to bring down costs for consumers. Failing to rein in inflation will undermine our ability to compete with China and inflict further pain across our communities. 

So, while I will support these modest efforts to address the threats from China, I continue to urge Republicans to take immediate action on inflation and the looming debt crisis to avoid further harming our economy with partisan brinksmanship.

Now, there is another bill we are considering today that my Democratic colleagues and I have major concerns about: Chairman McHenry’s “Data Privacy Act of 2023.” Time and time again, consumers have called for stronger data privacy protections so that their sensitive personal data is not used or shared without their consent. Legislation in this space is long overdue. However, this bill is not the answer to America’s data privacy problems. In fact, this bill is the problem. It fails to address consumers’ concerns about their data privacy and actually undermines existing data privacy protections. Specifically, this bill would preempt many existing laws in states across the United States, including the strong privacy laws in my state of California. Let me be clear: this bill will not provide American consumers with the control that they need over their own data. It will weaken consumer protections and make it harder for consumers to protect themselves from bad actors and scammers. I urge the Chairman to heed the concerns of consumer data privacy experts, consumer groups, and other stakeholders, and pull this rushed piece of legislation from today’s markup so we can work together and develop a bipartisan bill that all of our Members can support. 

I thank you, and I yield back the balance of my time.


Back to top