Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, delivered the following opening statement during a full Committee hearing entitled, “Oversight of Prudential Regulators.”
Good morning and thank you Mr. Chairman for holding this hearing, continuing the tradition that Democrats started in holding semi-annual hearings to provide oversight of our prudential regulators.
I want to take this opportunity to applaud our nation’s regulators. After the failures of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank, and First Republic — which marked the second, third, and fourth largest bank failures in our history — it was our nation’s regulators and President Biden’s Treasury Department that protected our nation’s economy. Now, they are taking steps to address weaknesses in our nation’s banking system, including by strengthening capital requirements, and this makes sense because well-capitalized banks lend more.
Committee Democrats are also doing our part to prevent another banking crisis. We have introduced a wave of bills to address gaps exposed by the bank failures, such as strengthening bank executive accountability. Several of these bills are advancing with broad bipartisanship in the Senate, and I urge House Republicans to take them up as well. I am hoping we can discuss legislation today to strengthen deposit insurance to better protect small businesses and their employees.
I also want to applaud our banking regulators for finalizing the Community Reinvestment Act rule, something that had not been updated in nearly three decades. Under my leadership, Committee Democrats led the way to protect the CRA when the Trump Administration tried to gut it, including by crashing a FDIC board meeting. So, I am pleased that regulators are taking action to combat modern-day redlining. I look forward to learning more about how our regulators will implement this final rule and stand ready to craft legislation that may be necessary to bolster this effort.
Finally, before I conclude, I want to say that I am very troubled by recent reports of sexual harassment and toxic workplace culture at the FDIC. All of our nation’s regulators should provide safe work environments that are free from discrimination, harassment, and unfairness. I look forward to learning more today about what is being done at the FDIC and the other banking agencies to ensure that everyone feels safe and respected in their place of work, and that wrongdoers are held to account.
So, I thank you very much. Mr. Chairman, I yield back.