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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California


August 6, 2009
Floor Statement
Rep. Maxine Waters [D-CA]: Mr. Speaker, I find it rather embarrassing to have to come to the floor of the Congress of the United States to protect the constitutional rights of the citizens of this country when, in fact, that is what we were all elected for, to make sure that this democracy works.

I am opposed to this rule, and I cannot believe that my colleagues on the opposite side of the aisle would jeopardize the opportunity for us to provide housing for people who are victims of these hurricanes that have hit this country because they have interjected politics into this bill.

This is absolutely outrageous. There is nothing in this bill that would allow any nonprofit or profit-making organization who wished to produce housing for low- and moderate-income people to use this money for any political activity. It is not fair. My colleagues are making it up, and it is absolutely outrageous.

As a matter of fact, we were so concerned about making sure that everybody had an opportunity to provide housing, to produce housing, we put in an amendment that would make sure that this money would not go to one or two big organizations; that it would be available in rural communities; it would be available to the faith-based communities; it would be available all over this country to small- and medium-sized organizations, not just a few large ones.

So we have been very democratic. We know that there are some people on the opposite side of the aisle that did not like the idea of providing funds for low- and moderate-income housing; but we also know, because of the leadership of some people on the other side of the aisle who understood the homelessness and the crisis that we have in America, lack of housing, the low-income people, that they were able to prevail, and we came out with a good bill.

Do not get up here and fuss and talk about closed rule, modified rule, manager's amendment. It has nothing to do with that. My colleagues either want to provide low-income housing and not put politics in it and prevent people from exercising their constitutional rights or they do not want anything for anybody.