Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, delivered the following opening statement at a full Committee hearing entitled, “Oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission.”
Good morning. The Chairman just indicated that his patience is running thin, mine is thinner with the opposite side of the aisle and extreme MAGA Republicans who have taken over the House of Representatives, and who are gleefully forcing the government of the greatest country in the world to shut down and forcing millions of government workers, including U.S. service members protecting the country, to work for free or not at all. Likewise, in three days, the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is in charge of overseeing our $110 trillion capital markets, will also be shuttered. This extreme MAGA shutdown would cripple the SEC’s ability to stop fraud, help businesses raise money, or finalize rules that are critical to investors. But you won’t hear the Republicans today express any concern about the SEC, or the countless businesses, workers or investors that may be harmed when Republicans unilaterally defund Wall Street’s cop.
Chair Gensler, I know that you and your agency are likely concerned about what will happen later this week. I too am concerned. Earlier this year we saw Fitch downgrade the U.S. credit rating after Republicans tried to force a default, and now Moody’s is also considering downgrading the U.S. rating if Republicans and Trump get the shutdown they so desperately want. I hope we can discuss today how undermining the SEC’s mission by furloughing 90% of your staff will affect this country and your ability to protect our markets.
That said, I want you to know that you are doing exactly the job the American people want. Under your leadership the SEC is providing investors with the information they need to evaluate climate change risks. You are reforming the stock market, which failed investors during the GameStop trading event. And you are working to empower investors to exercise their votes over the companies they own. I’m also pleased to see that you are finalizing rules that will bring transparency to private funds, like private equity funds.
And although Republicans will likely claim that the SEC is implementing too many rules too quickly, the fact is that you are moving thoughtfully and effectively. In fact, your SEC has issued fewer rules than the Trump, Obama, and Bush administrations at this point in their tenure, and you’ve provided twice as much time to comment than is required by law. The SEC is very much implementing the priorities that I and my Democratic colleagues championed when we were in charge, and is shaping up to be the most pro-worker, pro-investor, pro-small business SEC since FDR created the agency.
Chair Gensler, I appreciate that you are here today even as you and your staff prepare to close the agency. I hope that if nothing else comes of this hearing, the American public will understand that this extreme MAGA Republican shutdown is the biggest threat to our nation’s investors, small businesses, and working families.
My patience is wearing thinner than the Chairman’s patience. Let’s get on with it.
I yield back.