Politics, government and public life for Southern California

LA Democrat Maxine Waters snags key committee post

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U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters has served on the House Financial Services Committee for more than two decades.

Los Angeles Congresswoman Maxine Waters has been unanimously elected top Democrat on the powerful House Financial Services Committee.

It's the job Waters has been waiting for. The L.A. Democrat has served on the committee for more than two decades and is known for her advocacy for community and minority banks. In a statement after her election to the post, Waters said: "I believe we need a financial system that facilitates economic opportunity and wealth creation for all."

Waters thanked the outgoing ranking member, Barney Frank of Massachusetts. And she vowed to "protect, defend and implement" the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, better known as Dodd-Frank, which was passed after the financial crisis:

"I understand that regulatory certainty is an important aspect of growing our economy, and remain committed to ensuring clear and transparent regulation which creates the space for innovation, safety and soundness."

It's a stunning comeback for Waters, hounded by a three-year ethics investigation for allegedly using her position on the Financial Services Committee to help a minority-owned bank in which her husband owned stock. Waters was cleared of charges, but her chief of staff was reprimanded.

Republican Congressman Steve LaTourette of Ohio, who is retiring, said "minority banks don't have a better fighter than Maxine Waters in this country."

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