Why Trump Should Fear Maxine Waters Leading The Financial Services Committee

November 8, 2018, 12:43 PM UTC

With her re-election this week, California Rep. Maxine Waters is set to lead the House Financial Services Committee when the next session of Congress begins in January, and that is potentially bad news for President Donald Trump.

As head of the financial services committee, which oversees the American banking system and its regulators, Waters would have the power to subpoena Trump’s personal tax returns and bring in bank executives for investigations.

Trump has bucked presidential tradition in not releasing his personal tax returns, claiming that he has to wait for an IRS audit on his returns to be completed first. Yet that still hasn’t happened.

Waters opposes the Trump administration’s deregulation of banks and financial institutions, and wants more power for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. While it’s unlikely her regulation proposals for the banking industry would make it through a Republican-controlled Senate, it’s also unlikely any further deregulation would make it past her committee.

Waters said Wednesday that she plans to investigate Deutsche Bank AG (DB), which has loaned money to Trump, calling the Frankfurt-based lender “one of the biggest money laundering banks in the world.” She also wants to meet with Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan and investigate payday lenders.

Waters, a 13-term member of Congress and the ranking Democrat on the committee, has long been a thorn in Trump’s side, this summer encouraging her supporters to harass his cabinet members. If appointed, she would be both the first woman and first African-American to head the House Financial Services Committee.