Jason Hopkins on January 17, 2019
California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters announced in her first major policy speech since taking the reins of a powerful House committee that she will target acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
“The time for accountability for his actions is about to begin,” Waters said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank. Waters took the gavel of the House Financial Services Committee after Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives. A longtime critic of the Trump administration, Waters vowed to hold hearings involving other White House officials, and also plans to target the banking industry.
The California Democrat has taken issue with Mulvaney’s tenure as the interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an agency he lead from November 2017 to December 2018. Waters suggested he tried to dismantle the CFPB by rolling back fair housing safeguards and protections for consumers.
“It is a new day in Congress and for the Financial Services Committee,” she said, adding that her committee will push legislation that seeks to undo the rollbacks.
Waters is just one of a number of new Democratic committee leaders who plan to vehemently target the Trump administration for the next two years. House Democrats are expected to hold several dozen investigations, with Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff announcing that every committee will focus on investigating the White House.
Like other newly-empowered Democratic chairmen, Waters will enjoy subpoena power, but will not be able to unilaterally reform legislation while the GOP still controls the Senate and the White House.
There is no love lost between Waters and President Donald Trump. The California Democrat has established herself as one of the president’s harshest critics and a fervent purveyor of Trump-Russia conspiracy theories. While speaking at an event hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus in 2017, she “guaranteed” that the president was “in collusion with the Russians to undermine our democracy.”
Trump has responded in kind with attacks against the lawmaker’s intelligence. He called Waters “a very low IQ individual” while headlining at campaign rally in March 2018 and has made similar statements on Twitter.
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