By Congresswoman Maxine Waters
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee of Financial Services, made the following floor statement in support of H.R. 264, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2019, which would restore funding for federal government agencies to continue their important work on behalf of the American public:
“Thank you very much Mr. Speaker and Members. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the opposite side of the aisle, but today, I rise in support of H.R. 264, legislation that would reopen the federal government and put Wall Street’s cop on the block, the Securities and Exchange Commission, back to work.
“This President has all but closed the doors of the SEC, furloughing 94% of the agency and essentially providing fraudsters and schemers with a free pass to swindle investors and small businesses. With such a skeleton crew of less than 300 staff, the SEC cannot possibly oversee the activities of the over 26,000 registered entities, such as investment advisers, broker-dealers, and stock exchanges. Worse, the SEC is unable to hold bad actors accountable through most enforcement actions, preventing harmed investors from obtaining relief.
“But the importance of the SEC goes beyond ensuring the rule of law. Businesses that are looking to enter the public stock markets may have to delay their Initial Public Offerings because the SEC cannot approve their documents. Businesses seeking guidance from the SEC are left in legal limbo until the SEC can get back to work.
“The Trump shutdown is jeopardizing the integrity of our financial markets and the hard-earned savings of millions of Americans. So, let’s end this Trump shutdown and open the government so that the SEC and other agencies can get back to work on behalf of the public.
“Mr. Speaker and Members, I appreciate some of the comments that have been made about the fact that we have been able to work together on both sides of the aisle on the Financial Services Committee, working on such things as the JOBS Act but we can’t do any of that. We cannot move. We cannot get to work for the American people because this President not only has shut down the government, but he took responsibility for it.
“He wanted everybody to know that he did it, that he not only did it, but he’s going to continue to do it until he can bend us to his will and give him $5 billion dollars plus to put up a wall of some kind. We don’t even know what it is.
“So, I want to say to my friends on the opposite side of the aisle and to Mr. McHenry—Yes, we are going to be able to work together on a lot of good legislation, but why don’t you join with us and talk to the President and tell him to open up the government—that we cannot continue to have the American people suffer in the way that they’re doing and have our financial services agencies unable to do the job that the people sent them here to do.
“So, with that, I yield back the balance of my time.”