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Maxine Waters, Ranking Member, Delivers Opening Statement During CFPB Hearing: “After 14 Years of Attacks from Congressional Republicans and the Industry…the Supreme Court Sided with Consumers and Affirmed What I and Committee Democrats Have Been Saying All Along: the CFPB is Constitutional and Here to Stay!”

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, “The Semi-Annual Report of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.”

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And first, let me say to Director Rohit Chopra, thank you for your patience this morning. I know that you’ve been waiting for about forty-five minutes, I also want to thank Mr. McHenry despite the fact that he waited, he decided to go ahead and get the meeting started and I’m very pleased about that. And I hope that the other Members will show up. They’re being held up by Mr. Trump, who decided to come over and hold a meeting and that’s what’s happening this morning.

So, I’m pleased to welcome you back Mr. Chopra. After 14 years of attacks from Congressional Republicans and the industry, last month, the Supreme Court sided with consumers and affirmed what I and Committee Democrats have been saying all along: the CFPB is constitutional and here to stay! Now, never in a million years did I think I’d be thanking Justice Clarance Thomas or applauding this ultra-conservative Court, but they made the right decision to put consumers first by upholding the constitutionality of the CFPB and rejecting the baseless attacks led by greedy payday lenders, extreme MAGA Republicans, and a convicted felon and former President.

Even a conservative Supreme Court was able to see right through the frivolous challenges to the CFPB’s funding structure. While my colleagues on the other side of the aisle still choose to remain willfully ignorant about this, the Constitution is clear that Congress can fund the executive branch, including the CFPB, the Federal Reserve, and other agencies, however it likes and has done so since the nation’s founding.

Now, I am pleased that the agency can continue its work as the only federal watchdog for our nation’s consumers in the financial marketplace. Under the leadership of Director Chopra, the CFPB is combatting excessive and illegal junk fees, fighting against housing discrimination and redlining, and holding megabanks accountable for breaking the law and harming consumers. In addition, this week, the CFPB released a proposal that would ban medical debt from credit reports. If finalized, this rule will relieve medical debt for more than 15 million Americans with medical bills and ensure that health issues no longer mean families have to endure financial hardship through lower credit scores. I applaud the CFPB for this proposal and for its work to cut excessive credit card late fees and reduce the typical fee from $32 to $8.

Additionally, the CFPB has returned an astounding $20.7 billion to 205 million consumers harmed by financial institutions since we created it in Dodd-Frank. Given this successful track record, it’s no surprise that 82% of Americans, including 77% of Republicans support the agency.

However, despite all of this great work and the recent Supreme Court ruling, Republicans have made clear that their effort to undermine and eliminate the agency will continue. There is a long-term strategy by radical extremists to not just challenge and undermine the CFPB, but also critical federal regulators like the Federal Reserve, which are also funded outside of annual appropriations, as well as the independent funding of Social Security and Medicare. The very first financial services resolution Republicans brought to the House floor demonized Social Security and Medicare as being so-called “socialist programs” that are destroying America. And the insidious Project 2025 similarly calls for eliminating the CFPB and ending the Fed, Social Security and Medicare as we know it.

Rest assured, Committee Democrats will never ever stop fighting to block these harmful and misguided attacks. And when it comes to consumers, we will continue to craft legislation to build on the historic efforts of the CFPB.

And I thank you very much for the time, and I yield back.


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