Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, delivered the following floor speech on the Inflation Reduction Act:
I rise in recognition of the very long and difficult negotiations that have taken place following the Build Back Better Act led by President Biden and the Democrats. I applaud the beneficiaries of the reconciliation bill in what is now the Inflation Reduction Act. This Act includes historic climate change legislation, will lower prescription drug costs, reduce the cost of Medicare, and will hopefully force major corporations to pay their fair share of taxes.
However, as Chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee, I worked with members of my Committee, and many members of Congress, to confront the housing crisis in this country. We organized a request for $150 billion in the Build Back Better Act, which included rental assistance with Section 8 vouchers, the development of more affordable housing units, support for first-generation homebuyers, repairs to fix deteriorating public housing, and fair housing enforcement to eliminate discrimination and unlawful evictions. However, there is not one nickel, not one dime, not one dollar, for the development of housing in this bill.
We can no longer afford to have housing as an afterthought, a ‘nice to have,’ or simply something that can wait until later. It is foundational to the prosperity of families, key to a healthy economy, and crucial to fighting inflation. Yes, I’m disappointed. I’m going to vote for this bill because so many people are going to benefit in different ways, but I’m disappointed that housing does not show up in any way in this bill.