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Waters Floor Statement on Omnibus Funding Bill

Washington, DC, September 7, 2017
Tags: HUD

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, made the following floor statement on H.R. 3354:

As Prepared for Delivery

Mr. Speaker, I strongly oppose H.R. 3354, a bill that not only fails to make critical investments in our nation’s future, but also eliminates important protections for everyday Americans.

As Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, I am particularly concerned that H.R. 3354 imposes such severe cuts on the Department of Housing and Urban Development that it will result in families losing their housing assistance and putting them at risk for homelessness.

The bill also takes some of the worst provisions from the Republicans’ Wrong Choice Act that would return our economy to the reckless practices that caused the financial crisis. One provision takes away the authority of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to stop abusive practices by banks like Wells Fargo, which ripped off more than 3.5 million of its customers. Another provision repeals the Labor Department’s commonsense rule that protects seniors from conflicted retirement advice from unscrupulous financial advisers. There are so many gifts to Wall Street, one would think Christmas came early.

But it isn’t Christmas, Mr. Speaker. It is September and we are in the middle of hurricane season. Our cities are literally underwater, and yet the Republican leadership has done nothing to prevent the National Flood Insurance Program from expiring at the end of the month.

Republicans have also let us come dangerously close to defaulting on our debt and the obligations owed to servicemembers, veterans, seniors and the most vulnerable among us. And just yesterday, 800,000 young Dreamers were told by our President that their future is in the hands of a hostile Congress.

We must oppose this bill so we can get to work on what Congress should be doing.

Ranking Member Waters submitted the following amendments to the funding bill to the Rules Committee:

  • An amendment to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for one year, which is the longest term that can be offered for this appropriations bill.
  • An amendment to add an additional $5 billion to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Homeless Assistance Grants over and above what was already included in this bill in order to more fully address the needs of our homeless neighbors in America.
  • An amendment to prohibit the use of HUD funding to directly or indirectly benefit the President, a relative of the President, or certain high level White House and Cabinet level officials.
  • An amendment to strike the provision repealing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s authority to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices, and strike the provision that would prevent consumers from joining together in class action lawsuits to hold financial wrongdoers accountable for their unlawful conduct.
  • An amendment that would ensure that investors in securities in non-retirement accounts receive the same level of protection as retirees receive under the U.S. Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule.
  • An amendment to take away Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and his immediate family’s access to fly on government owned jets until he provides copies of all documents or records requested by the Financial Services Committee as well as other committees responsible for conducting oversight of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

None of the amendments were made in order.


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