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Maxine Waters, Ranking Member, Delivers Opening Statement During Full Committee Hearing: “Committee Democrats are Fighting Back…to Strengthen the Safety and Soundness of the Banking System, Protect Depositors, and Prevent Future Financial Crises.”

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, “Importing Global Governance: Examining the Dangers of Ceding Authority Over American Financial Regulation.”

Thank you very much Mr. Chairman. Good morning. Last week, we marked the one-year anniversary of the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, with First Republic failing soon thereafter. These failures represented the second, third, and fourth largest bank failures in U.S. history and threatened to snowball into a full-blown banking crisis. Thankfully, the actions of President Biden, Secretary Yellen, and the banking regulators testifying today, stabilized the situation, averted a banking crisis, and protected our nation’s depositors. Because of this swift action, our banking system remains strong.

Unfortunately, it seems as if Republicans and big banks are pretending like none of this ever happened. As our banking regulators move to write rules that would address weaknesses in our banking system, including on bank capital and related to the climate crisis, Republicans are convening this hearing to attack any effort to collaborate with other countries that face the same problems. Right now, the global climate crisis is getting even worse, evident by record-breaking heat, floods, storms, droughts, and wildfires communities across the United States are experiencing. In the face of this crisis, we’re seeing big banks and major financial institutions give in to extreme MAGA Republican and walk back many of the climate commitments they made to strengthen our banking system.

Just this year, Bank of America walked back its commitment and began financing new coal mines, coal-burning power plants, and Artic drilling projects. In addition, JPMorgan, State Street, PIMCO, and BlackRock all pulled out of an international coalition aimed at addressing climate issues. Let’s be clear, climate change is real and climate-related financial risk must not be ignored. It’s critical that our financial institutions take these threats seriously instead of feeding into the extreme MAGA Republican’s anti-ESG campaign.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, big banks are spending millions of dollars to gut the proposed Basel III endgame rule to increase capital. Over the last several months, their executives have proven that they care more about protecting their million-dollar bonuses and further padding their pockets than they do about making America’s banking stronger in the service of working families.

Today, you will hear Republicans try to undermine our regulators as they collaborate with their foreign counterparts to ensure that our global and interconnected financial system is strong. This adds to the long history Republicans have of abandoning our international partners and hurting our global standing in the process. Time and time again, Republicans shamelessly defend comments made by the twice-impeached, four-times indicted former President Trump who attacks our partners in NATO and the UN. Let’s be clear, extreme MAGA Republicans’ hostility towards our allies is terrible for America, and only weakens us as a nation.

The U.S. banking system has the potential to be the strongest in the world. But, we can’t get there if our nation’s most powerful banks and financial institutions block the government from devising policy that protects our nation’s consumers. Rest assured, Committee Democrats are fighting back and working around the clock to strengthen the safety and soundness of the banking system, protect depositors, and prevent future financial crises.

I don’t know what more I can say and with that, I yield back.


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