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Waters Pushes to Increase Consumer and Investor Protections

Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Congresswoman Maxine Waters

As the House of Representatives considers the harmful Republican financial services and general government funding proposal, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, offered three amendments designed to provide adequate resources to our financial regulators.

The amendments build off concerns raised by Waters, when she criticized Republicans for attempting to use an appropriations measure to make controversial legislative changes that would undermine consumer protection, weaken important Wall Street reforms and hurt regulators’ ability to protect our economy. She raised concerns about provisions within the legislation, H.R. 5016, that place improper funding restrictions on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), among others.

The three amendments offered by Waters included:
An amendment to restore the independent funding of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Under the GOP finding measure, the Bureau’s independent funding stream would be eliminated, instead tied to the highly political Congressional appropriations process. Despite being directly relevant to the provisions within the bill, Republicans objected to the amendment, ruling it out of order on an appropriations measure.

An amendment to fully fund the Securities and Exchange Commission, one of Wall Street’s top cops, at the President’s request of $1.7 billion, and at no cost to the taxpayer. The underlying bill undermines the SEC by cutting nearly $300 million or nearly 20 percent from the requested level.  The Waters amendment will be voted on in the coming days.

An amendment to provide the SEC with the authority to impose and collect reasonable user fees on federally registered investment advisers to increase the number and frequency of SEC examinations. This provision is consistent with legislation coauthored by Waters and Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), H.R. 1627, the Investment Adviser Examination Improvement Act. Last week, Waters called on House Financial Services Committee Chairman Hensarling to hold a hearing on this and other legislative proposals that would increase these reviews. Republicans also objected to this amendment, ruling it out of order on an appropriations measure.

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