Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, gave the following floor statement on the urgent need to pass the FY2021 Joint Budget Resolution on COVID-19 relief:
Mr. Speaker, I happily rise in support of this joint budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2021 to enact our President Biden’s American Rescue Plan and provide urgently needed COVID-19 relief. Thank god for President Biden. We have been without a plan with a president who was busy trying to steal votes and abandoned the American people when he knew that we were suffering. Communities across the nation continue to suffer during this pandemic crisis. Congress has the duty to act and come to the aid of struggling individuals, families, and small business. This is not about giving tax breaks to the richest people in America, the way the past president and the Republicans are intent on always doing.
President Biden’s plan provides the relief that America so badly needs. The plan increases the stimulus payments to individuals in December to $2000, adding $1400 for every individual, extends enhanced unemployment assistance, provides nutritional assistance to address growing hunger. People are hungry all over America. They are hungry in the cities, in the little towns, in the rural areas, and this plan provides nutritional assistance to address this growing hunger and includes $350 billion in funding for state, local, tribal and territorial governments.
As Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, I have been sounding the alarm about the urgent need for emergency rental and homeless assistance during this crisis, as millions are at risk of losing their homes. They don’t care on the other side whether families will be sent on the sidewalk with their children. The past president turned a blind eye to the fact that people have not been able to pay their rent since March.
Pursuant to this resolution, my Committee will quickly consider an additional $25 billion to support renters and their landlords, including by funding emergency housing vouchers, tribal housing assistance, and rural housing. And we will provide another round of funding for people experiencing homelessness, who are often the most vulnerable to the pandemic.
My Committee will also quickly respond to the urgent needs of small and minority-owned businesses, by establishing programs used successfully during the financial crisis to promote growth in the economy.
And importantly, my Committee will support our president’s efforts to roll out a comprehensive federal plan to address the pandemic by considering how to bolster the authorities under the Defense Production Act to ensure our frontline workers have the medical equipment and supplies they need to fight this pandemic.
And so, I am so pleased we finally have a plan for America.
I yield back the balance of my time.