Despite Bailout Handout Scandal, Maxine Waters Takes Top Spot on House Financial Services Committee

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif. (AP)

Just months after being cleared of ethics violation charges, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) on Tuesday was officially named the top-ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, The Hill reports.

The California congresswoman promised to work with Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), the committee’s new chairman, to help reform housing finance.

“Housing finance reform, in particular, will be crucial to ensuring the long-term success and stability of our economy. I believe we need a financial system that facilitates economic opportunity and wealth creation for all, and I stand ready to work with my colleagues towards that goal,” she said.

However, although Rep. Waters said in a statement that she hoped both Rep. Hensarling and herself could “reconcile [their] visions” concerning housing finance reform, there is little hope the two will find any common ground in regard to the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to protect, defend and implement the important provisions of Dodd-Frank,” said Rep. Waters, stressing her vow to defend the controversial bill from conservatives who’d rather see it done away with.

Rep. Waters was the immediate choice of Democrats to replace Rep. Barney “what housing bubble?” Frank (D-Mass.) after he announced he would not run again in 2012. However, her nomination was held up by an investigation regarding bailout funds directed toward a bank where her husband owns stock.

She had been under investigation since 2009, starting with the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. The case later shifted to the Ethics Committee, where it has caused much dissension.

She was cleared of all charges in September and her grandson, Mikael Moore, took the fall.

Rep. Waters was unanimously selected to be the ranking member of the committee Tuesday by the House Democratic Caucus.

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