House Financial Services Committee Chairman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) predicted a “new approach” to hearings in the Democratic-led House thanks to freshman members who are “going to come right out with it.”
Waters, who has served in the House since 1991, is the first woman or African-American to lead the committee. She told MSNBC today that she had been up all night “getting prepared for the work that we have to do” including how she’s “going to try and undo the damage that [Mick] Mulvaney has done” by neutering the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Waters said she thinks “we are going to follow up on the letters we have already sent” to the head of Deutsche Bank, a lender with whom Donald Trump has had a long-term relationship, “and see if they have a change of mind” to appear before lawmakers “now that things have changed in the House.”
“Inquiries into Deutsche Bank was part of the work we had already started to do. We had sent letters to Deutsche Bank trying to find out about two internal reviews that they had done. And what did they find out? Of course, they did not answer us,” she said. “We’ve been trying to find out about the money ties to Russia through Deutsche Bank. We know that Deutsche Bank lends this president — have loaned him a lot of money. And we want to know whether or not some money laundering is going on.”
On other committee business, Waters lamented that “the big banks of America have basically control of the Congress of the United States as far as their issues are concerned” yet “many of our members have failed to even try to rein them in.”
“And so what I am saying to the big banks right now is stop it. Stop it. Don’t come in here with all of these bills where you’re trying to undo everything that we have done and you’re sending a message to your investors that you’re looking out for them. I want a moratorium on this,” she added.
Waters acknowledged that “we need the banks — we need them to operate and provide certain kind of services.”
“But that does not mean that they could use their influence and their power to basically control the decisions of Congress. And we’re going to have to work hard at it,” she said. “One of the good things about what is happening is some of our younger members are going to be very vocal. The newer members are going to be very vocal.”
“I like that. They’re going to raise questions. You’re going to see a new kind of approach in the hearings that we have. They’re going to come right out with it. They won’t be ashamed. They won’t be afraid. They really believe in what they’re doing. I think that’s good for the institution.”