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Waters Takes Reins At House Financial Services Committee

This week, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) formally takes the reins as Chair of the House Financial Services Committee. She outlined some of her priorities, noting they include housing affordability and homelessness. She has said that the partial government shutdown has been particularly harmful to the poor who depend on the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

With Republicans in control of the Senate and its Banking Committee (chaired by Sen. Mike Crapo, R-ID), Waters is unlikely to move major legislation without finding a bipartisan appeal. Rep. Patrick McHenry (N.C.), Ranking Republican on the Financial Services Committee, noted they disagree on most issues, but noted: “There’s also policy areas where we’re going to be able to work together and get results.” Waters also discussed the issues of the GSEs and the futures of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were seized by the government in 2008. A decade later, they are still under government control. Waters noted: “We have to work on redefining [Fannie and Freddie] because the basic mission is one that I agree with and I support.”

Waters also added that the Committee will hold “many hearings” into bank conduct, that would include a probe into the activities of Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s tenure as Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and that credit reporting agencies would be scrutinized in the wake of the Equifax hacking scandal.

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