Maxine Waters Plans to Return Donations from Collapsed Silicon Valley Bank’s PAC

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), the ranking member on the House Financial Services Committee, said she plans to give back the campaign donations she received from the political action committee for Silicon Valley Bank.

Following the bank’s collapse last week, Waters said she would return the $2,500 from the bank’s PAC she took in late 2020 when she was chair of the Financial Services Committee in the Democrat majority.

“Yes, I will send it back,” she told Politico on Tuesday. “Everybody knows I have an open-door policy.”

The congresswoman’s decision comes after some initial political blowback happened over the weekend with the bank’s collapse after federal investigators had reportedly decided to open a probe into the bank’s failure.

Waters told Politico that she recalled talking to someone from the bank around 2020 about FinTech but did not remember many details.

Waters also told Politico that she has not spoken to the bank about a 2018 bill that loosened up regulations for some, such as Silicon Valley Bank. Lobbyists for Silicon Valley Bank were among those who lobbied for a bipartisan measure in 2018, which Waters opposed.

“Philosophically, I’m opposed to deregulation, always have been, been consistent on it, and will continue to be,” she noted.

The Silicon Valley Bank collapsed last week when panicked customers suddenly withdrew tens of billions of dollars after the bank announced a loss of approximately $1.8 billion from selling its investments in U.S. treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. Ultimately, regulators shut Silicon Valley Bank down, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) took control of the bank and said they would protect insured deposits.

On Sunday, the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve, and the FDIC announced that they would be taking “decisive actions to protect the U.S. economy by strengthening public confidence in [the U.S.] banking system” by effectively making deposits above the FDIC’s $250,000 limit available Monday. Over the weekend, the Silicon Valley Bank failed to be auctioned off after none of the largest U.S. banks bid. However, the FDIC reportedly plans to attempt a second auction for the bank.

Politico noted that Silicon Valley Bank’s PAC had given more than $50,000 in campaign contributions to nearly two dozen senators and representatives from 2017 to 2022. The donations mainly went to Republicans and Democrats who served on the relevant committees such as House Financial Services Committee or Senate Finance Committee.



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