Following the House of Representatives’ approval of a measure to fund the nation’s housing and transportation programs, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, blasted Republicans for undercutting a number of important programs that protect our nation’s seniors, veterans, families and persons with disabilities.
Waters criticized House Republicans for dramatic cuts to important public and assisted housing programs, for limiting funding to improve transportation infrastructure and in many other areas. An outspoken opponent of the bill’s harmful cuts, and the Ranking Member of the Committee with jurisdiction over the nation’s housing programs, Waters released the following statement:
“The measure approved by the House of Representatives today makes clear that helping families, seniors, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities age in place, live with dignity, and provide for themselves has no place on the Republican agenda. I believe the Republican Party owes the American people an explanation.
This legislation ignores low-income families who need our support the most, by gutting our public and assisted housing programs. It actually reverses what little progress we have made toward the nation’s goal of ending chronic, family, veteran and youth homelessness. Key housing programs that provide rental assistance and help fight homelessness will be reverted to levels that are blatantly unacceptable. And if this Republican measure were enacted, deteriorating living conditions will persist and the nation will continue to permanently lose thousands of public housing units a year due to disrepair.
Republicans have blocked funds for the National Housing Trust Fund, which would ensure that homeless families and extremely low-income households have an available supply of housing that is decent, safe, sanitary and affordable. The bill cripples the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which creates jobs and is a vital lifeline for local communities across the nation. It prohibits the enforcement of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, designed to curb housing discrimination and bring more federal investment to minority communities.
After devastating housing programs for our families, the legislation takes aim at critical transportation initiatives such as the successful TIGER program, slashing its funding and eliminating its ability to support critical functions such as public transit, passenger rail, bicycle and pedestrian projects. Under the bill’s restrictive language, innovative public transit projects like the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor in my district, would never have qualified for TIGER funding.
While the lack of consideration for our nation’s seniors, families, poor and disabled in this Republican spending bill is extremely disappointing, it’s unfortunately not surprising. Supporting programs that get individuals and families off the street and into safe and decent housing has never been important to Republicans – despite the fact that it is the right thing to do morally and economically. As we’ve seen time and again, this Republican measure sends a clear message to those who have fallen on hard times: good luck on your own.”