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Maxine Waters Set to Protect Dodd-Frank, Look for Agreement on Community Banks

January 18, 2013
In The News

Efforts by House Republicans to turn back the landmark Dodd-Frank banking law will meet with staunch resistance from Rep. Maxine Waters.

The 12-term California Democrat was just appointed as the Ranking Member on the U.S. House Financial Service Committee. She is the most senior Black female in Congress and clearly the most powerful given her senior role on the Committee. As the architect of legislation that created the new Offices of Minority Inclusion that will oversee federal financial services agencies, Waters is focused on what she can get done in the 113th Congress.

Waters told that her top priority is to stop GOP lawmakers from trying to weaken the banking law.

Dodd-Frank was signed into law by President Obama nearly three years ago, following the financial crisis of 2007-2009 that led to the Great Recession.

The new law created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and provided badly needed oversight of the multibillion dollar derivatives market as part of a historic overhaul of the U.S. financial services industry.

Waters, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee are desperate to alter provisions in Dodd-Frank that regulate the derivatives market and those that allow the Treasury Department to liquidate troubled financial institutions.

"(Republicans) have over 60 amendments that were proposed. Because they are in the majority, they will be able to pass them out," Waters said. "We have to be in a position to defend Dodd-Frank."

The 113th session of Congress, which began on January 3, will not be limited to political disagreements, however. Waters said she is willing to work with House Republicans on areas of common agreement.

"People are thinking I am a strong personality and they think that there are going to be fireworks," she said. "But we share some of the same views on community banks, for example, so I am hopeful we will be able to have a meeting of the minds on more than a few things."

Waters said she has instructed other Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee to get up to speed on federal initiatives to deal with housing foreclosures and home loan modification programs.

Other Congressional Black Caucus lawmakers who will hold Democratic leadership posts on the financial services subcommittees include: Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., as Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit; Rep. William "Lacy" Clay, D-Miss., as Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade; and Rep. Al Green, D-Tex., as Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.