House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters on Thursday said she will fight to reverse the easing of financial rules that has taken place under President Donald Trump, calling the election of Joe Biden "the dawn of a new progressive America."
The California Democrat made the pledge at a hearing with top Trump appointees from the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the National Credit Union Administration.
Waters signaled several potential areas of focus for Democrats. She slammed the OCC’s "harmful" revisions to anti-redlining rules under the Community Reinvestment Act, the landmark 1977 law that was intended to stop discrimination in lending. She also cited looser approaches by Trump appointees to speculative trading restrictions under the so-called Volcker Rule as well as capital requirements for the biggest banks.
"I’m putting our witnesses on notice that I will be working with the Biden administration to roll back these rules," she said.
Waters did not explain how Democrats planned to undo the Trump-era rules. If Republicans control the Senate, legislative changes are probably off the table. Biden’s appointees could act on their own, though.
"We are emerging from the dark days of the Trump administration into the dawn of a new progressive America, where pro-consumer and pro-investor policies will always be first on the agenda," Waters said.
The top Republican on the committee, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), rejected her premise, citing the slimmer majority that House Democrats will hold in the next Congress. It was a signal of partisan warfare to come.
"I don’t see the election outcome as this vote for the woke left policy agenda of House progressives," McHenry said. "Anything but that. We have more Republicans in the next Congress in the House of Representatives because, quite frankly, the far left went so far. While you may have had some successes in the election, I don’t think it’s a wide endorsement of a far-left policy agenda the chair noted."
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