In her first major speech as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) today highlighted the priority issues she will focus on in her new role. Among other things, Waters noted that the evolution of fintech, housing reform and encouraging diversity and inclusion in financial services would be points of focus during the 116th Congress.
With regard to the future of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Waters outlined seven principles for reform. These included: maintaining access to 30-year fixed-rate mortgages; ensuring sufficient private capital is in place to protect taxpayers; providing stability and liquidity; ensuring a smooth transition to a new housing finance system; requiring transparency and standardization to ensure a level playing field; maintaining access to mortgages for qualified borrowers; and ensuring access to affordable rental housing.
Waters also flagged several issues that could see bipartisan cooperation, including the long-term reauthorization and reform of the National Flood Insurance Program, terrorism risk insurance and the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. “I am very hopeful that we will be able to get some good bipartisan work done in the committee,” she added.