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HousingWire Magazine: December 2021/ January 2022

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Politics & MoneyMortgageReal Estate

Democrats choose Rep. Maxine Waters to lead House Financial Services Committee

Waters lays out her intentions for committee

The Democratic Steering and Policy Committee nominated Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., late Monday to lead the Financial Services Committee.

Waters currently serves as the House Financial Services Committee’s Ranking Member, so it comes as no surprise that now, after the Democrats took control of the House in the midterm elections, she would be nominated as committee chair.

In fact, since the elections, experts have speculated what changes would come to the finance industry with Waters as chair. Mortgage Bankers Association Chief Lobbyist Bill Killmer told HousingWire there will be an emphasis on issues ranging from consumer protection, affordable housing and more.

And Waters herself even began making promises for what she would do if selected to lead the Financial Services Committee including spotlighting affordable housing and “bringing accountability to the Trump administration.”

Waters will be the first woman and African American to chair the Financial Services Committee. Of course, her nomination must still be approved by the Democratic Caucus.

“I am honored to have been nominated by the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee to serve as Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee in the 116th Congress,” Waters said.

She explained that she will focus on protecting consumers and investors from abusive financial practices, ensuring strong safeguards to prevent another financial crisis, expanding affordable housing, encouraging responsible innovation in financial technology, promoting diversity and inclusion and getting Americans and small businesses fair access to the financial system.

“Appropriate oversight of the Trump Administration and the regulatory agencies under the Committee's jurisdiction will also be an important responsibility for the committee,” Waters said. “Of particular importance is ensuring that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is not dismantled by Trump’s appointees. This critical agency must be allowed to resume its work of protecting consumers from unfair, deceptive or abusive practices without interference from the Trump Administration.”

“As Chairwoman, I will continue to have an open-door policy, in order to hear the perspectives of all stakeholders, including representatives of the financial services industry as well as advocates for consumers and investors,” she said. “I will continue to work with both Democratic colleagues and my colleagues across the aisle to find commonsense solutions to benefit hardworking Americans and protect vulnerable families.”

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