Nov 18, 2018

2. Maxine Waters targets global banks with Financial Services shakeup

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters is proposing a new direction for the House Financial Services Committee, which she will almost certainly lead in the next Congress, Axios has learned.

Between the lines: The most notable proposed change: is lumping oversight of “International Financial Institutions" — which could mean anything from the World Bank to foreign banks — with the existing Terrorism and Illicit Finance subcommittee, while scrapping the Monetary Policy and Trade subcommittee.

  • As word leaks out about the proposal, it's catching the attention of foreign banks. It's a strong signal that Waters is not just talking about going after the likes of Deutsche Bank, sources familiar with the proposal tell Axios.
  • "[Waters has] not been shy about the direction and focus she would take if she got the gavel; she’s just now literally putting it in writing which got folks’ attention. Sort of like, “oh...she wasn’t kidding!”, the source who shared the proposal with Axios told us via text.

Background: Waters has been fixated on going after international financial institutions for their potential roles as laundromats for bad actors like Russia and China.

  • A big target for Waters is Deutsche Bank, for its ties to President Trump and Russia money laundering. She's been publicly outspoken about going after the bank and come January, Democrats will have subpoena power.
  • On proposing to change the committee's name to seemingly include overseas financial institutions with illicit finance and terrorism, "it's a bit like shooting first, aiming later as by title it's accusatory," a source says.

Other proposed changes to the House Financial Services Committee include dropping insurance from the "Housing and Insurance" subcommittee, and renaming it "Housing and Community Development."

  • Waters also proposed to swap "Consumer Credit" with "Consumer Protection" for the current Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit subcommittee.
  • There's also a new proposed subcommittee, solely focused on diversity and inclusion within the financial sector, as first reported by Reuters.

The bottom line: It's common for new leaders to shift the agenda of subcommittees, but the proposals are a strong signaling of priorities for Waters.

  • Waters' office tells Axios: “Ranking Member Waters is in the process of having conversations with the Democratic Members of the Committee about the Committee’s future structure and seeking their input. This process has not been completed."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Bernie Sanders suspends presidential campaign

Photo: ANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders announced Wednesday that he is suspending his presidential campaign.

The big picture: It's an end to the campaign of the leading progressive in the race — and the candidate who seemed to be the clear front-runner for the Democratic nomination just a few months ago. It also makes Biden the presumptive Democratic nominee four months before the party's convention in Milwaukee.

Indians look to Taiwan amid China's coronavirus missteps

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Many Indians are angry at China and the World Health Organization for their perceived mishandling of the coronavirus. The efficiency and transparency of Taiwan's response to the epidemic, in contrast, has made it a topic of renewed sympathy and interest in India.

Why it matters: The coronavirus crisis is showcasing Taiwan's democratic system of governance on an international stage, the biggest soft power win for the country in years.

Go deeperArrow42 mins ago - World

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 1,447,466 — Total deaths: 83,471 — Total recoveries: 308,215Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 399,929 — Total deaths: 12,911 — Total recoveries: 22,539Map.
  3. 2020 latest: The results for Wisconsin's primary elections won't be released until April 13. Thousands of residents cast ballots in person.
  4. Federal government latest: The U.S. has begun to see "glimmers of hope" despite its highest recorded number of deaths in 24 hours, Anthony Fauci said.
  5. Public health latest: Surgeon General Jerome Adams highlighted the disproportionate impact the illness is having on African-American communities.
  6. 🚌 Public transit: Systems across the country are experiencing ridership collapse, squeezed funding streams and slow recovery from the pandemic.
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.