Black Women Send Letter to Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi in Support of Maxine Waters

Reply Fri 30 Nov, 2018 05:29 pm
@Real Music,
Republicans have made a target of Maxine for three reasons: She's a Democrat, she's a woman, and she's black. So according to the Republican code, she gets mud thrown at her daily.

Unfortunately for Re;publicans, this time it won't work.
0 Replies
Real Music
Reply Wed 16 Jan, 2019 04:16 am
Maxine Waters meets with CBS News representatives over lack of black 2020 reporters

Published January 16, 2019
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) met with representatives from CBS News to discuss the ongoing controversy over the network's lack of black reporters slated to cover the 2020 presidential race.

"CBS admitted they had a lot of work to do & committed to including Blacks on their 2020 election team & all other teams. True diversity is the inclusion of ALL. I won't let them off the hook!" Waters tweeted Tuesday night.

The California Democrat had earlier sent a tweet panning the network for its lack of diversity in its campaign team.

"CBS, the efforts on your website about your support for diversity fly in the face of your display of all of the reporters you've selected for the 2020 campaign. Not one Black. What's up with this? An explanation is needed," she tweeted Monday morning.

CBS News did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill regarding the Waters meeting.

The network has faced criticism after it rolled out its campaign team last week.

"This WH admin has made having a functional understanding of race in America one of the most important core competencies for a political journalist to have, yet @CBSNews hasn't assigned a *single* black journalist to cover the 2020 election," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Saturday.

"CBS News' decision to not include Black reporters on their 2020 Election news team further proves the voting power and voices of Black America continue to be undervalued," the NAACP echoed in a statement Tuesday.

A CBS spokesperson said Sunday that its team was an "initial wave of what will be an outstanding and diverse wave of journalists" that will cover the highly anticipated election.

0 Replies
Real Music
Reply Thu 17 Jan, 2019 10:17 am
Maxine Waters, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Democrats

prepare to push Financial Services Committee into social issues

Published January 17, 2019
House Democrats are poised to push the House Financial Services Committee into hot-button social issues.

With Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif, wielding the gavel and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and other progressive freshmen occupying the dais, the committee is set to intervene in new areas, such as monitoring diversity in companies' hiring and — if Ocasio-Cortez has her way — scrutiny of investment in for-profit prisons.

Waters said Wednesday that she specifically plans to prod technology companies on their workforce diversity.

“I recently took a visit to Silicon Valley where I was able to visit some of the technology firms,” Waters told an audience at an event at the Center for American Progress. “I was a bit shocked to find out that it was so bad. That there were so few minorities, particularly blacks and Latinos, who had been hired by these companies.”

The Los Angeles Democrat said she planned to collect and publish data on the number of minorities and women working at tech companies in an effort to highlight what she termed deficient practices.

Ocasio-Cortez, for her part, said that she aims to use her position on the committee to monitor an industry normally beyond the scope of the committee's oversight: private prisons.

“I think that are some really legitimate concerns over the practices that a lot of these private detention centers participate in to maximize profit for shareholders,” Ocasio-Cortez told the Washington Examiner. “And there are elements of that absolutely falls within the purview of those that finance such detention centers, and I think it’s important to start asking those questions.”

Ocasio-Cortez said that she initially tried to join the committees with oversight over taxes, healthcare, and the environment, which were points of emphasis in her insurgent campaign, but that leadership informed her that no freshman would get on those panels. But she said that her seat on the Financial Services Committee will allow her to pursue her agenda.

“For us, we got exactly what we wanted, because everything that I did campaign on does have jurisdiction, in one way or another, on Financial Services," she said.

A posse of freshman progressives are expected to join the committee along with Ocasio-Cortez: Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Katie Porter, D-Calif., and Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, D-Ill., all of whom are to the Left of much of the Democratic caucus and could influence the committee to be more aggressive in overseeing Wall Street and advancing progressive legislation.

“They wanted to come onto the committee, they know many of these issues, and they’re prepared to fight for our families," said Waters.

Ocasio-Cortez and the other apologetically progressive freshman will join a group of Democrats on the panel that already includes strident liberals, but also features centrist members of the party who have worked with Republicans in the past on legislation to ease regulatory burdens.

On Wednesday, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that the committee, in the past, has been "a place where big bank lobbyists were slipping in their work."

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., a leading member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus that met with Trump at the White House on Wednesday to discuss the shutdown, said he hadn’t spoken to the new progressive members about their ideas for the committee yet, but that what Waters wants will ultimately matter most.

“We’ll see,” said Gottheimer, who represents a district with a number of New York City commuters and finance industry workers, when asked if he was concerned whether the new members might advance policies he disagrees with.

“I know that the chairwoman has her agenda," Gottheimer said. "I think she has a perspective on what she wants on the agenda, and she drives the agenda.”

Waters said that her agenda starts with overseeing the Trump administration’s management of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency tasked with regulating mortgages, credit cards, and all other consumer financial products. Republicans have sought to limit the agency's powers and lessen the burden of the regulations it enforces.

Waters also said Wednesday that her to-do list includes reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program and the Export-Import Bank, and potentially diving into the Trump Organization’s finances.

On a more bipartisan front, Waters also said she might work with the committee’s top Republican, Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., on legislation related to crowdfunding and angel investing as well as on a bill the duo introduced last Congress to study transparency in corporations selling off their own stock.

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Real Music
Reply Sun 20 Jan, 2019 10:28 am
Maxine Waters pledges to 'undo the harm' done to consumer protection agency

Published January 16, 2019
Rep. Maxine Waters laid out a broad agenda for the Committee on Financial Services, which she chairs, in one of her first extended remarks since the midterm elections on Wednesday. She promised to hold "many hearings" and declared it "a new day in Congress for the Financial Services Committee."

The remarks at the left-leaning Center for American Progress Action Fund focused on a variety of issues from low-income housing to Russian sanctions. Waters, a California Democrat, signaled a specific focus on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which was recently headed Mick Mulvaney, now the president’s acting chief of staff. Mulvaney, Waters claimed, had a "direct intent to undermine and destroy" the agency. She vowed to "undo the harm that Mulvaney has done."

The event was delivered to a supportive audience in downtown Washington. Waters received applause when she noted that she is the first woman and first African American to lead the committee.

‘I have the gavel’

The crowd also applauded her message of increased oversight of the Trump administration. Throughout her remarks, Waters peppered in asides directly taking on the president. At one point, she said he was throwing a "tantrum" over the shutdown and later noted he had been sued for violations of the Fair Housing Act before he became president. At another point, she pledged to try to cooperate with Republicans but noted "if they don't, I have the gavel." Waters also implied that Trump might not finish his term, saying that her committee would pass legislation “and then we’re going to send it to whoever is president at the time.”

During the midterms, President Donald Trump has singled out Waters — a frequent target of his criticism — saying she would be “put in charge of our Country’s finances.” Both Democrats and Republicans have also wondered whether Waters would use the committee gavel to issue subpoenas to Trump and those close to him. She did not address that topic directly on Wednesday.

‘A breath of fresh air’

In her remarks, Waters did announce the creation of a subcommittee on diversity and inclusion, noting that it was the first subcommittee of its kind in Congress. The moderator of the event, Neera Tanden, expressed hope that the subcommittee would spur companies across the financial sector to increase diversity.

Tanden, the president of the Center, told Yahoo Finance in an interview that she is optimistic about the direction the committee was taking.

"Businesses recognize that to thrive in the economy, we need wages to go up as well," she said. "I think she'll be a breath of fresh air in terms of ensuring that we have a structure that really addresses the needs of working people."

The Chairwoman also kept the focus on her overall agenda instead of individual personalities. The committee's membership is expected to be one of the most dynamic in Congress with at least 15 new Democrats expected to be named. Some of the higher profile names include influential freshman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and, reportedly, presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard. While Waters didn’t discuss any individual committee members, Tanden told Yahoo Finance that Cortez "is a phenomenal new voice in the Democratic party, but I think she is one of many voices."

With a GOP-controlled Senate it is unlikely that Waters will get much of her agenda to Trump’s desk. However, she signaled a desire to be a key adversary to the president through the second half of his term noting, "we’re in this to fight and to work hard and to not back down."

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Real Music
Reply Sun 17 Feb, 2019 04:51 am
Maxine Waters wields gavel on powerful committee, but freshmen could make it challenging.

Published February 14, 2019
Rep. Maxine Waters had toiled 28 years in Congress for the moment last month when she presided over the powerful House Financial Services Committee for the first time as its chairwoman — and she wanted to make sure everything was perfect.

So the Los Angeles Democrat cleared her throat, prepared her notes and adjusted a thin microphone before declaring, “the committee will come to order.”

But after quickly promising a “new agenda” under her leadership, Waters made a subtle move to defuse a potential obstacle to her success — a crop of high-profile, freshmen panel members intent on shaking up the Washington establishment that Waters has navigated to reach her important committee chair.

Waters took a few minutes at the Jan. 30 meeting to specifically single out the new Democratic committee members, introducing each one by highlighting their backgrounds. She expressed her desire to work with “members on both sides of the aisle on commonsense solutions to benefit hardworking Americans and protect vulnerable families.”

“The issues before this committee are critically important for the economic well-being of millions of Americans and our whole economy,” Waters said.

The 80-year-old lawmaker has become known as “Auntie Maxine,” a leader of the liberal resistance to President Trump and one of his most frequent public targets of derision. At the same time, she wants to burnish her reputation as a lawmaker by passing bills to reduce homelessness, increase affordable housing and improve consumer protection.

But seeking that legislative compromise was made trickier by the very election that vaulted her into her powerful post. Now she must balance the concerns of liberal freshmen such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York), Katie Porter (D-Irvine), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).

They arrived in Washington after successful campaigns last year bashing Wall Street and disavowing contributions from corporate political action committees that have flowed freely for years to Waters and many members from both parties on the Financial Services panel.

The new social media-savvy lawmakers could pull Waters further left as she tries to strike bipartisan deals to advance legislation in a divided Congress, including important re-authorizations of national flood insurance, terrorism risk insurance and the federal bank that provides export assistance to U.S. companies.

Those who have worked with Waters said her liberal bonafides and political skills made her well-positioned for the challenge of dealing with the committee’s upstart freshmen.

Maxine has been fighting very hard for everything they’ve been fighting for and understanding how best to do it and what the opposition is,” said former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who chaired the committee from 2007-2011. “I believe they’re going to figure out pretty soon that she’s an ally and they should be working with her.”

At the committee’s first meeting, Ocasio-Cortez praised Waters for her leadership and her “graciousness.” Then she came to Waters’ defense as committee Republicans pushed to codify that they would get 48-hour notice from Waters when she exercises her unilateral authority as chairwoman to issue subpoenas or launch investigations.

“We should hold you and give you the same exact discretion that the previous chair was given as well,” said Ocasio-Cortez, the media darling of the House Democratic freshman class, from her seat three rows down from Waters’ high perch.

Waters knows what it’s like to be a newcomer on one of the largest committees in Congress: 60 members, seated by seniority in four rows in the hearing room.

“It’s going to be very frustrating sitting down there,” Waters said during an interview in her Capitol Hill office before that first meeting.

“There will be moments of misunderstanding. There will be times they really think that they have a point of view that’s not been appreciated,” she said. “There will be all of that. My job is to manage that.”

Waters’ office, filled with awards, books and photos of her with President Obama, Nelson Mandela and other famous figures, is a stark contrast to the spartan accommodations of freshmen such as Porter.

Serving on the Financial Services Committee was the first choice for Porter, a UC Irvine law professor who has focused on consumer issues, because she said its work is “at the heart of our capitalist economy.”

“I have every confidence in Chairwoman Waters,” Porter said as she sat in her office, where the only decoration so far was a blue-and-white tapestry.

“She is an experienced leader. She knows these issues. She has strong staff and she has made very clear that she wants enthusiastic, hard-working, engaged committee members,” said Porter. “And that’s exactly what I intend to be and that’s what I expect from my colleagues.”

The priorities of Porter and the other high-profile freshmen align with the agenda Waters has laid out. And they all have bashed Wall Street frequently.

In her first speech as chairwoman at a liberal think tank last month, Waters promised the committee will be “keeping an eye on the big banks and their activities, including by holding many hearings.”

As the top Democrat on the committee since 2013, Waters has been a persistent critic of big banks. And she intends to push bills on housing and other issues even though she admits they probably won’t get approved by the Republican-controlled Senate or signed by Trump.

“I think it’s important for this committee to come up with legislation that defines who we are and what we care about and what we think is important to the people of this country and how we feel about government’s role in assisting families and children,” Waters said. “The president can say whatever he wants to say. We’re not going to be deterred from our mission of fashioning legislation in the best interests of the people. We’ll fight for it.”

Waters plans to introduce legislation that would undo some of the industry-friendly changes made by Trump administration appointees at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, including restoring enforcement powers to the agency’s fair lending office and establishing a new office dedicated to policing student lending. Waters has similar legislation to reverse changes made by Ben Carson, secretary of Housing and Urban Development, that she says have undermined fair housing protections.

And Waters wants to tackle the problem of homelessness. The committee held a hearing Wednesday on that topic, and she is readying legislation that would provide $13.3 billion over five years in new funding to federal programs and initiatives that seek to prevent homelessness.

She’s likely to get strong support from committee freshmen on those types of bills. But Waters also has been an unlikely champion of the business community on some key issues, including playing a pivotal role in reauthorizing the federal Export-Import Bank, which helps U.S. companies sell their products abroad.

That’s where she could run into problems with liberal freshmen.

In addition, some of them are at odds with Waters and many committee veterans about how to handle campaign contributions from the financial industry. In past years, a committee seat has been one of the most sought-after in Congress because of the campaign contributions that flow to its members from industry executives and corporate PACs.

During the 2018 election cycle, Financial Services Committee members raised an average of $2.3 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan research group that tracks campaign contributions and lobbying. That was the fourth-most for any House committee.

“These millions of dollars are a relatively small investment to make compared to the potential returns they’ve enjoyed,” Sheila Krumholz, the center’s executive director said of financial industry executives. “If anyone gets investing, they do. And they’ve done very well with it.”

Corporations are prohibited from contributing to congressional candidates. But they can pool money from employees into PACs and distribute it in contributions to candidates. Last year, some Democrats running for Congress rebelled against that long-time practice.

Ocasio-Cortez, Porter, Pressley and Tlaib were among the newly elected freshmen who refused to accept PAC contributions. That trend made the Financial Services Committee less desirable among freshmen than in the past, said Ed Mills, a Washington policy analyst for financial services firm Raymond James.

“Wall Street money is politically toxic in Democratic primaries,” he said.

Rep. Porter said that there were only a handful of freshman who made a seat on the committee their top priority this year.

“I think it reflects the fact that when you have representatives who are not taking corporate PAC money, then people pick committees based on what they’re really passionate and knowledgeable about,” she said. “If you don’t take corporate PAC money, that diminishes the rationale” for being on Financial Services.

Porter believes that each member must make the choice of whether to accept the contributions. She noted she has worked before with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-New York), a 13-term veteran who will chair one of the panel’s subcommittees this year, and has “no idea if she takes corporate PAC money or not.”

“I’ve seen that she’s committed to doing right by consumers,” Porter said.

Maloney accepts corporate PAC money and agrees it should be personal decision.

“That’s their philosophy. The younger ones don’t take it.” Maloney said. “They have a lot of energy and a lot of passion and a lot of desire to help the people they’re representing, and I think they’ll bring in some new ideas.”

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Porter Ranch), who has served on the committee with Waters for 22 years, said the decision should be up to each candidate. The topic hadn’t caused any tensions between Democrats, he said.

And Sherman is confident that Waters, who he called a “wily congressional operator,” can navigate that and any challenges as chairwoman.

“She’s served a lifetime on the committee,” he said. “She understands the issues. She understands the players. She understands how to get things done.”

0 Replies
Real Music
Reply Thu 18 Apr, 2019 02:14 pm

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