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At Markup of Budget Views, Waters Blasts Harmful Republican Agenda

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, gave the following statement at a full Committee markup to consider the Majority's Views and Estimates on the Budget for FY 2019:

As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, Committee Democrats are committed to advancing policies that create shared prosperity and economic opportunities for all, ensure fairness in our economy, protect consumers from predatory practices, and support vulnerable families.

By contrast, this President has once again put forth a budget request to Congress that would be deeply harmful to American families and communities throughout our nation. This budget would hurt millions of hardworking families, seniors, veterans, and persons with disabilities. It cuts deeply into the social safety net, eliminating billions of dollars in funding for healthcare, supplemental nutrition assistance, and housing programs.

Trump’s budget proposal cuts the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s budget by 24.1 percent compared to current levels, eliminates new funding for the National Housing Trust Fund and Capital Magnet Fund, and eliminates the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund and the Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships programs.

The Trump proposal also completely cuts funding to repair and maintain public housing. This amounts to the total abandonment of the effort to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing for millions of children, families, seniors, and veterans across the country. These cuts are simply senseless and cruel.

Mr. Chairman, let me just say that I am also looking to work with you on the homelessness crisis. There are over 550,000 people experiencing homelessness in this country. Over 20 percent of the homeless population are children, and over seven percent are veterans. This pressing problem requires the attention of this Committee. We have talked about this before, so I’m looking forward to having some closure on the possibility of having a hearing.

The Trump budget also continues the misguided and reckless Republican effort to dismantle the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It calls for the elimination of the Consumer Bureau’s independent funding, and would reduce its ability to crack down on predatory financial institutions. In their continuing efforts to remove the critical protections Democrats put in place following the financial crisis, Republicans are leaving hardworking Americans behind in order to do the bidding of Wall Street. They appear to be determined to take us back to the flawed system that led to the financial crisis.

Congressional Republicans are working in lockstep with this President, all the while looking the other way and enabling his shameful actions and behavior. The Majority’s views and estimates on the budget align with Trump’s agenda and would take the country backwards, leaving millions of Americans worse off. Democrats will continue to stand up to the regressive policies of the Majority and Donald Trump, and stand up for hardworking Americans.

With that, I yield back the balance of my time.


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