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Maxine Waters, Ranking Member, Blasts Federal Judge’s Decision to Weaken MBDA, Harm Minority-Owned Businesses

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, released this statement following a Texas federal judge’s ruling that the Minority Business Development Agency, the sole federal agency that exists to promote the growth of minority-owned businesses, must now open its doors to every race.

“This decision by an extremist judge in Texas, appointed by the twice-impeached, four-times criminally indicted former President is a ruling that weakens the MBDA and its singular mission to support minority-owned businesses. Don’t be fooled, extremist Republicans and mega-wealthy conservative groups are launching lawsuit after lawsuit in a bad-faith effort to convince the American public that racism is a thing of the past, and that the most vulnerable groups today are simply imagining its existence. In fact, they’re going so far as to suggest that crucial DEI programs are actually racist against white people, and that for Black communities who’ve endured generations of subjugation and discrimination – nothing is needed to help level the playing field. This is absurd, and we must call out these racist efforts for what they are: an effort to roll back the clock to a time when Black people had no political or economic power.

“The MBDA was established in 1969 within the first day 100 days of President Nixon’s presidency. Even he could not ignore the fact that the system was rigged against communities of color and that policy makers needed to step in with solutions. Fifty years later, the racial-wealth gap is wider than it was during the civil right days, Black workers still earn significantly less than their white counterparts, and businesses of color face a disproportionate struggle to access capital.

“I saw the attacks on DEI coming long ago, which is why when I became Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, I created Congress’ first-ever Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee. It’s also why in 2021 I moved quickly to codify the MBDA into law to help to prevent efforts, such as this, to gut the agency. Even with the MBDA, minority businesses still struggle to get the same opportunities as their White counterparts. This means that America has not made the progress necessary to truly give minority businesses a real chance to survive and thrive, and as a result, the MBDA is needed now nearly just as much as it was then.

“The extremist attacks against the MBDA, as well as other programs to ensure racial equity, not only stand to hurt our nation’s entrepreneurs but also do great damage to our nation’s economy and further exacerbate the racial wealth gap. As the top Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, rest assured that Democrats will use every tool available to combat the assault on DEI and preserve the original mission of crucial agencies like the MBDA.”


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