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Maxine Waters, Ranking Member, Delivers Opening Statement During Hearing with Federal Reserve Chair Powell: “Unfortunately, Extreme MAGA Republicans Are Not Just Ignoring Housing Inflation, They Are Advancing Their Project 2025 Manifesto That Would Dismantle U.S. Democracy and the Economy as We Know It Today.”

Full Committee

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, delivered the following opening statement during a full Committee hearing entitled, “The Federal Reserve’s Semi-Annual Monetary Policy Report.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Welcome back to the Honorable Jerome H. Powell, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Chair Powell, as we saw with the latest jobs report, the labor market remains strong, and the economy is surging. Despite inheriting an economy from the prior Administration that had the worst jobs record since the Great Depression, President Biden has now overseen a record 15.7 million jobs created since he took office, with 206,000 new jobs created just last month. Not only that, but under the Biden Administration we are witnessing low unemployment rates, rising wages, and stabilizing prices for goods and services.

This is not only because of President Biden’s strong leadership, but also because of the historic legislation signed into law by President Biden, which has resulted in lower costs, created more jobs, rebuilt our infrastructure, supported small businesses, eliminated costly junk fees, wiped out more than $144 billion in federal student loan debt for 4 million borrowers, and cut child poverty in half. President Biden is and will continue to advance policies that are providing good-paying jobs and an economy that works for everyone.

Now, while I am pleased to see that inflation is declining, the latest data makes clear that housing remains the number one driver of core inflation. Since 2020, house prices have increased by nearly 50 percent with Americans now spending on average over 30 percent of their income on housing. This is a top priority for Democrats but remains an afterthought for Republicans. Earlier this Congress, I reintroduced my comprehensive legislative housing package, including the “Housing Crisis Response Act.” This bill provides more than $150 billion in fair and affordable housing investments, representing the single largest investment in affordable housing in our nation’s history. These funds would create nearly 1.4 million affordable and accessible homes, bring down housing costs for all, and revive the American dream of homeownership. Committee Democrats are committed to getting this bill across the finish line, and continue to hold out hope that our Republican colleagues will finally join us in this effort.

Unfortunately, extreme MAGA Republicans are not just ignoring housing inflation, they are advancing their Project 2025 manifesto that would dismantle U.S. democracy and the economy as we know it today.

Project 2025 is authored by almost two dozen former Trump White House staffers and Trump Administration officials. It was compiled and published by the ultra-far right Heritage Foundation, whose CEO recently declared that they “are in the process of a second American revolution, which will be bloodless if the left allows it to be.” And if that kind of talk reminds anyone of the rhetoric we heard in the lead up to and on January 6, 2021, it should. Project 2025 promotes radical ideas to materially undermine the Federal Reserve if not effectively abolish it.

MAGA wants to put you out of a job, Chairman Powell. So, I look forward to your testimony and hearing from you – a Republican who was first nominated as Chair by President Trump – about your thoughts on the importance of the Federal Reserve and the work you have done to help our economy.

I yield back.


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