House Financial Services Committee Passes Waters Bill on Racial and Economic Equity, Warren and Gillibrand Introduce Senate Companion
Washington, DC, April 21, 2021
Tags: Federal Reserve
Today, the Financial Services Committee passed legislation introduced by Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) to require the Federal Reserve to use its existing authorities to close racial employment and wage gaps and report on how the gaps change over time. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced companion legislation in the Senate to address the inequities that exist within the Federal Reserve.
“The job of the Federal Reserve is to oversee our nation’s economy,” said Chairwoman Waters. “In that role, the Fed has a responsibility to ensure the voices of communities are heard and to play a role in addressing racial and economic inequality. Over the past year, Fed officials themselves have recognized they have a role in addressing the racial inequality that has plagued our economy for far too long. This extends beyond the Fed’s monetary policy to things like their oversight of the payments system and their review of bank mergers. This bill requires that the Fed provide labor force trends and plans to ensure racial and economic justice is included in decision making. Long before the pandemic hit people of color the hardest, my colleagues and I had called on the Federal Reserve to fix systemic barriers for candidates of color within its labor force. The current crisis has only further highlighted the fact that we need all hands on deck, including the Federal Reserve, to take action to address racial equity.”
The Federal Reserve Racial and Economic Equity Act would require the Federal Reserve to carry out its duties in a manner that supports the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities in employment, income, wealth, and access to affordable credit. The Board would be required to report on disparities in labor force trends as well as on plans and activities of the Board to minimize and eliminate these disparities.