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Waters Leads Committee Democrats on House Passage of Historic Racial Equity Bill to Provide Overdue Mortgage Assistance, Lending and New Opportunities to Communities of Color

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, released the following statement on the passage of her bill H.R. 2543, The Financial Services Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Economic Justice Act, in the House by a vote of 215-207. Congresswoman Waters, the first woman and African American to chair the Committee on Financial Services, led Committee Democrats on a historic piece of legislation on racial equity in mortgages, lending, and investments. The bill holds banks, corporations, and financial institutions accountable for denying access to capital to millions. Chairwoman Waters was assisted by Congressman Al Green (D-TX), when she could not be present.

“This indeed was history in the making, this legislation will change the lives of millions. Too often we have seen families denied mortgages, loans, and rules by government agencies that were established to ensure fairness and equity in financial services. The lack of fairness in lending have prevented communities of color from homeownership, small business development, fair pricing, and protection by the government. As banks close in small towns and cities across this country, low-income communities and communities of color are cut off from access to capital. Two years ago, we witnessed pledges made by banks and corporations in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, pledges that promised diversity at the highest levels and capital to promote equity. However, to this day many of those pledges remain unfulfilled.

“So, I am so pleased that the House passed my landmark bill, H.R. 2543, ‘The Financial Services Racial Equity, Inclusion, and Economic Justice Act,’ a bill that includes provisions led by myself and Members of my Committee, including Representatives Meeks, Green, Cleaver, Beatty, Garcia of Texas, Torres, and Auchincloss.

“As the Chair of Financial Services Committee, I took on the leadership responsibility to correct discrimination and exclusion of so many communities that have been left out of financial services. This bill will not only correct these problems but will go a long way in strengthening the economy because of the talent and energy of so many people of color who are eager to participate. I am pleased that the Biden Administration has eagerly rolled out the support and endorsement of this comprehensive legislation. I applaud my fellow Democrats for voting to pass this bill from the House floor. I look forward to working with the Senate and the other side of the aisle to support this long overdue legislation and send it to the President’s desk for signature in order to achieve fairness, equity, and support for those who have been traditionally left out. This has been a long time in coming.”


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