As she prepares to take over leadership of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) is arguing that the ongoing government shutdown is harming the integrity of U.S. financial markets.
Her remarks, on Jan. 9, came in support of H.R. 264, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act of 2019, which would restore funding for federal government agencies. The bill, she said, would “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 percent of the agency and essentially providing fraudsters and schemers with a free pass to swindle investors and small businesses,” Waters said. “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.”
The importance of the SEC goes beyond ensuring the rule of law, she added. “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.”