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Waters Opening Statement at Full Committee Markup

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, gave the following opening statement at a full Committee markup of eight bills to strengthen housing protections, crack down on illicit finance activities and reform the National Flood Insurance Program.

As Prepared for Delivery

Today, this Committee convenes for a markup of eight bills.

The slate of legislation we will consider includes bills to make homeownership more affordable and sustainable, reverse shameful, harmful actions Ben Carson and the Trump Administration have taken at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), reauthorize and reform the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and crack down on the illicit use of the financial system.

At today’s markup we will complete consideration of the Corporate Transparency Act, H.R. 2513, introduced by Representatives Maloney and King, which requires corporations and Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) to disclose their beneficial owners to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, ending criminals’ ability to use anonymous shell companies to hide their money and illicit activities.

Then we will consider several housing bills to improve homeownership affordability and block the Trump Administration’s cruel policies. The FHA Loan Affordability Act, H.R. 3141, introduced by Representative Phillips, makes homeownership more affordable for FHA borrowers by repealing the requirement that borrowers with FHA loans pay mortgage insurance premiums for the full life of the mortgage, and reinstates FHA’s previous policy of requiring FHA borrowers to pay premiums only until the outstanding principal balance of the loan reaches 78 percent of the original home value.

The Housing Financial Literacy Act, H.R. 2162, introduced by Representative Beatty, requires HUD to provide a 25 basis point discount in upfront FHA single-family mortgage insurance premiums for first time homebuyers who complete a housing counseling program to help them sustain homeownership.

We will also consider three housing bills that reverse the harmful actions of Ben Carson and the Trump Administration.

The Ensuring Equal Access to Shelter Act, H.R. 3018, introduced by Representative Wexton, blocks HUD from implementing a proposed rule that would allow shelter providers to deny transgender and gender non-conforming people equal access to homeless shelters.

H.R. 2763, introduced by Representative Sylvia Garcia, blocks HUD from implementing a proposed rule that would terminate housing benefits for families with mixed-immigration status, resulting in evictions and family separations.

The Homeownership for DREAMers Act, H.R. 3154, introduced by Representative Vargas, clarifies that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients cannot be denied mortgage loans backed by FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or USDA solely on the basis of their DACA status.

Finally, we will also consider two measures to strengthen and reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program. My bill, H.R. 3167, the National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019 reauthorizes the NFIP for five years and also includes a number of reforms to increase affordability, improve mapping, enhance mitigation, and modernize the NFIP.

I’m so pleased that I was able to work with the Ranking Member on this important bill so that we can finally bring long-term stability to the millions of homeowners, renters, and businesses that rely on the NFIP.

H.R. 3111, introduced by Representative Velazquez, makes a number of improvements to the National Flood Insurance Program’s appeals and litigation process. Superstorm Sandy exposed many of the flaws in the oversight, accountability, and transparency of the claims process and these reforms are long overdue.

I thank the Members for their work on these bills, which benefit hardworking Americans and vulnerable families, and look forward to passing them through Committee today.


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