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Waters Statement at Hearing on National Debt

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services, gave the following statement at a full Committee hearing entitled, “The Peril of an Ignored National Debt.

As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, since this hearing is about attention to the national debt, I think it is important for the public to understand that the Republican tax scam, pushed through by Congressional Republicans and Donald Trump during this Congress, explodes deficits by an estimated $2.3 trillion from 2018 through 2028, leaving future generations to foot the bill.

The shameless GOP tax scam contains massive giveaways for the nation’s largest banks. According to Americans for Tax Fairness, the country’s six largest Wall Street banks will collectively save an estimated $14 billion in 2018 alone.

And it’s not just banks - the tax scam includes a 20 percent deduction for pass-through businesses, which is a huge giveaway to hedge funds and other Wall Street firms.

To make matters worse, companies are overwhelmingly using the windfall from the tax scam not to hire more workers or raise wages, but to buy back shares from their investors.

This law has been very deliberately constructed by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to benefit huge corporations on Wall Street and millionaires and billionaires, at the expense of hardworking Americans.

The American public, and future generations will be forced to pay for these handouts to massive corporations because of the actions of the Republican-controlled Congress and this President.

And of course, Republican policies such as the Bush tax cuts – and the Iraq war – are also major contributors to the deficit.

So, when my colleagues on the other side of the aisle talk about fiscal responsibility and the perils of ignoring the national debt, it must be understood that their actions do not match their rhetoric, particularly when it comes to tax cuts for the wealthy.

When we return next year in the new Congress, with Democrats in the Majority, this Committee will reject harmful and reckless policies like these, and work to ensure that our financial system is fair. We will prioritize protecting consumers and investors, making sure strong safeguards are in place to prevent another financial crisis, expanding and supporting affordable housing opportunities, encouraging responsible innovation in financial technology, promoting diversity and inclusion in the financial services sector and ensuring that hardworking Americans and small businesses have fair access to the financial system and opportunities to thrive.

So, Mr. Chairman, I thank you and I yield back the balance of my time.


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