Skip to Content

Press Releases

Maxine Waters, Ranking Member, Delivers Opening Statement During Full Committee Markup: “The Republican—Led Bills Today Serve as Further Proof that Republicans Will Always Choose Wall Street and Corporate Elites Over Our Nation’s Consumers.”

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.

Thank you, Chairman McHenry.

Good morning, everyone. Today, this Committee is marking up several bills. Unfortunately, most of the bills we are considering are not bipartisan, and would pose significant harm to our nation’s consumers and investors. This includes the six Congressional Review Act resolutions, or CRAs, that will repeal important consumer, investor, and environmental protection rules. With these CRAs, Republicans are working on behalf of credit card companies, big oil and gas, the Chamber of Commerce and other titans of Wall Street. Committee Republicans are teaming up with Big Banks to block rules that would protect consumers against junk fees— which cost consumers $10 billion annually; rules that would help prevent another financial crisis; and rules that would provide investors with information about the financial risks of the climate crisis that could impact the value of their investments.

If enacted, these harmful and problematic resolutions will prohibit the federal government from ever putting out any similar protections going forward. And that’s really the point.

That’s not all my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are doing to harm our nation’s financial system. They are also moving forward with a bill to remove basic safeguards for consumers using Earned Wage Access products. Even though these products have long posed many of the same risks to consumers as other credit products, EWA companies have wrongly insisted that they are “different.” I don’t buy it. The bill before us today would give the industry exactly what they want—a weaker regulatory framework—and this will push vulnerable consumers into a dangerous cycle of debt, with unsustainable, payday loan-like interest rates.

We will also consider another bill that demonstrates how Committee Republicans have forgotten the “responsible” part of “responsible innovation.” The so—called, “Financial Services Innovation Act of 2023,” creates so—called “sandboxes” where financial firms can break Federal laws in the name of innovation.

I am also deeply disappointed with the woefully inadequate Republican response to the affordable housing crisis. At the last markup, the only bills Republicans could muster simply required more talking about the housing crisis. Unfortunately, Republicans have now decided to exacerbate the crisis with legislation to make it easier to evict tenants. And while insurance companies cancel homeowners’ policies and pull out of state after state, Republicans are rewarding the insurance industry by moving legislation to prevent the Federal Insurance Office from investigating these industry practices. A better use of this Committee’s time is to move legislation that will actually address housing inflation and homelessness, including my bills, the “Housing Crisis Response Act,” “Ending Homelessness Act,” and “Downpayment Toward Equity Act.”

The Republican—led bills today serve as further proof that Republicans will always choose Wall Street and corporate elites over our nation’s consumers. The simple truth is, they cannot solve our most pressing issues or safeguard our economy. Committee Democrats, however, have solutions to real problems, including bills from Mr. Green and Mr. Sherman to respond to, and prevent a repeat of the catastrophic bank failures last year. It’s time to get these bills across the finish line.

With that, I yield back.


Back to top