Wagner pushes to bolster ranks of GOP women on Financial Services Committee

Rep. Ann Wagner

Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) said at a Thursday Ripon Society breakfast event that the House Financial Services Committee may soon have only one female Republican member.

“With Shelley (Moore Capito) going on to the Senate and Mrs. Bachmann going on to retire, you’re looking at the last ‘skirt’ on our side of the aisle,” Wagner said.

Capito (R-W. Va.) will be focusing on her 2014 Senate bid while Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) announced in May that she would not pursue a fifth term in Congress.

“I’m tired of women being looked at as a coalition,” Wagner said. “Women aren’t a coalition – we are a majority. We are 54 percent of the electorate, and to have just three of us on Financial Services and only 19 in our Republican conference out of 234 is a failure.”

Capito serves as chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, where she has led aggressive legislative efforts to unwind the Dodd-Frank law. Her efforts include a bill in the 112th Congress to prevent the transfer of certain consumer financial protection functions to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau until a director had been secured.

“Our community banks, regional banks, credit unions and other financial institutions are really feeling the weight of Dodd-Frank,” Capito said at the Ripon Society event. “When you ask them who they’re hiring and what kind of expansion plans they have for their business, they are all hiring compliance officers.”

Capito has also fought for a stay-at-home mother’s ability to obtain credit through regulations imposed by the CARD Act.

“The work that Shelley has done for years and years in terms of regulatory relief and the unwinding of Dodd-Frank is amazing,” Wagner said.

Wagner, a freshman member of the House, is one of the most junior members on the committee. She recently scored a major legislative accomplishment after the full committee passed her Retail Investor Protection Act in a 44-13 vote. The bill would amend provisions within the Dodd-Frank Act.

“I say to my colleagues over and over again that we have to look at people when we are delivering our message and say we are speaking to a 37-year old single mother of two who is trying to make it to the 15th and the 30th of the month,” Wagner said. “We have policies, we have vision to give her hope and make her life a little bit easier, and that is the party I think we need to be.”

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