Financial Services Committee Democrats are not going to let the Republicans easily shut the door on discussing the Financial CHOICE Act, the Republican-led act to replace the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, released an updated version of the Financial CHOICE Act, H.R. 10, earlier this month, simultaneously announcing that there would be only one scheduled committee hearing to discuss the act. The one and only hearing didn’t sit well with committee Democrats.
During the hearing, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ranking member of the Financial Services Committee, submitted a letter to Hensarling requesting an additional hearing.
"Following the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, this committee held 41 public hearings related to financial reform prior to the passage of the House version of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act," the letter stated. “Mr. Chairman, while Democrats may not always agree with your policy proposals, we should all agree that the American public deserves nothing less than full transparency, accountability, and debate of the matters before this Committee.”
The follow-up hearing, held on April 28, referred to as a “Minority Day Hearing,” is the first hearing before the Financial Services Committee under the 115th Congress where Democrats could select the panel of witnesses.
“Today, Democrats are going to set the record straight. We’ve asked for this second hearing to hear from experts and well-informed witnesses who know, understand and appreciate the importance of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and who can point out the dangers of the Wrong Choice Act,” Waters stated in her opening remarks.
“Now, even with this additional hearing, we cannot fully cover all of the many ways this bad bill would hurt hardworking Americans. We would need dozens more hearings to do that. But with this slate of outstanding experts here today, we will have the opportunity to educate the public about some of the harmful repercussions of the Wrong Choice Act,” she continued.
The Democrat’s witness list is significantly more packed compared to the first hearing and includes:
- The Honorable Elizabeth Warren, United States Senator
- Rohit Chopra, senior fellow, Consumer Federation of America
- Corey Klemmer, corporate research analyst, Office of Investment, AFL-CIO
- Rev. Willie Gable, pastor, National Baptist Convention USA, Inc.
- John C. Coffee Jr., Adolf A. Berle Professor of Law, Columbia University
- Rob Randhava, senior counsel, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
- Melanie Lubin, Maryland securities commissioner, North American Securities Administrators Association
- Emily Liner, senior policy advisor, Economic Program, Third Way
- Amanda Jackson, organizing and outreach manager, Americans for Financial Reform
- Ken Bertsch, executive director, Council of Institutional Investors
- Sarah Edelman, director, housing policy, Center for American Progress
Most notably, the witness list includes Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., since the CFPB is, in many ways, the brainchild of Elizabeth Warren.
Although Dodd-Frank goes way beyond outlining the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it does face some of the most drastic changes, which includes a name change.
Warren left the CFPB shortly after it officially opened for business on July 21, 2011.
The hearing, however, was met with no support from committee Republicans, who chose to not attend the hearing.
Hensarling provided the following comment in response to the hearing, stating, "Barack Obama is pocketing $400,000 for a Wall Street speech and Professor Warren is joining Wall Street CEOs in defending Dodd-Frank. How awkward for the Democrats. The Financial CHOICE Act ends bailouts for Wall Street and imposes the toughest penalties in history for those who commit financial fraud and insider trading. Community banks and credit unions are supporting the Financial CHOICE Act. Wall Street CEOs and Democrats are the ones saying, ‘Don’t repeal Dodd-Frank.’"
The tweets below show snippets from the hearing through committee Democrats.
Here is a tweet from the committee Democrats’ twitter account on Waters’ opening remarks:
The following tweets are from other commmittee Democrats on the hearing:
This final tweet comes from Third Way Economic, which was featured on the panel.