Rep. Maxine Waters to Chair House Finance Committee
By Stacy M. Brown
One day after saying she wants President Donald Trump’s new chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, to testify before her committee about his work overhauling the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA 43) was elevated to another position where she will undoubtedly continue to hold President Trump and his administration accountable.
Waters, the fiery and outspoken California Democrat whom Millennials have adopted as “Auntie Maxine,” was named by the Democratic Caucus to serve as the first woman and the first African American chair of the House Financial Services Committee.
“I am honored to have been selected by my colleagues to be the first Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee in the 116th Congress.
“Since 1995, I have served as Ranking Member or Chairwoman of every Subcommittee under the Committee’s jurisdiction, taking on important issues on behalf of consumers, investors, and vulnerable populations,” Waters said.
“As Chairwoman, I will continue to prioritize protecting consumers and investors from abusive financial practices, making sure there are strong safeguards in place to prevent another financial crisis, expanding and supporting affordable housing opportunities, tackling the homelessness crisis, encouraging responsible innovation in financial technology, promoting diversity and inclusion in the financial services sector, conducting appropriate oversight and ensuring that hardworking Americans and small businesses have fair access to the financial system and opportunities to thrive,” she said.
As such, Waters has summoned Mulvaney as a review begins of the CFPB.
“I am writing to inform you that while your time running the Consumer Bureau may be over, the time for accountability for your actions is about to begin,” Waters said in a letter to Mulvaney, who is also the director of the administration’s Office of Management and Budget.
Mulvaney served as the CFPB’s acting director for one year and had previously charged that the agency overreached its statutory authority under the administration of former President Barack Obama and it ignored several rules and ceased enforcement efforts.
In her letter, Waters accused Mulvaney of pursuing actions “harmful to consumers” and said she plans to review them.
“I consider it a privilege to hold the Chairwoman’s gavel and look forward to working with my fellow Democrats, Ranking Member McHenry and my colleagues across the aisle on commonsense solutions that benefit hardworking Americans and strengthen our economy,” said Waters, who has served as a Member of Congress and the Financial Services Committee since 1991.
Throughout her decades of public service, Waters has gained a reputation as a fearless and outspoken advocate for women, children, people of color and the poor.
In her various leadership roles on the House Financial Services Committee, she has fought for the protection of consumers, investors, small businesses and vulnerable populations.
In a news release, Waters’ camp noted that in 2010, she and her Democratic colleagues worked tirelessly to pass the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, landmark legislation to prevent another financial crisis, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency dedicated to protecting America’s consumers from financial abuses.
She also was one of 10 Committee Members to be selected to serve as a conferee on the Dodd-Frank Act.
A central driver of the crisis was predatory mortgage lending, which intentionally targeted minority communities with toxic products and resulted in devastating foreclosures across the country and an immense loss of generational wealth.
Democrats specifically designed Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Bureau to prevent the harmful practices that caused the financial crisis.
The Bureau protects consumers from predatory and abusive financial practices in areas such as mortgage loans, private education loans, and payday loans.
Waters said despite Republican efforts to destroy the Consumer Bureau, she has fought to make sure “it is not impeded from its important work cracking down on industries that have a history of harming consumers, including debt collectors, payday lenders and consumer reporting agencies.”
While she has always been outspoken in her efforts, the era of social media has allowed for her longstanding efforts to be shared with millennials who have dubbed Waters as “Auntie Maxine.”