Congresswoman Waters Delivers Remarks at the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce 14th Annual State of the Region Event
LOS ANGELES - Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Ranking Member of Committee on Financial Services, and Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33) delivered remarks at the 14th Annual State of the Region event sponsored by the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce on Monday, December 14th at the DoubleTree by Hilton Torrance-South Bay in Torrance. Congresswoman Waters and Congressman Lieu were invited by the Chamber to give updates about the legislation and economic development opportunity affecting the South Bay region.
Congresswoman Waters opened her remarks by giving an update on budget negotiations in Congress. She informed the audience of the continuing negotiations in Congress pertaining to finalizing a budget and educated them on policy riders that jeopardize negotiations. In addition, Congresswoman Waters discussed the impending interest rate increase being discussed by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen.
As Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, Congresswoman Waters’ remarks focused on the historic efforts she led to renew the Export-Import Bank, which provides critical support to the United States exporters looking to compete and sell products to foreign markets. Some of those suppliers such as Boeing and Space X are in the South Bay region.
"We worked with a diverse coalition, including The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, small businesses and labor groups such as the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers to ensure the Bank could get back to the business of growing jobs and supporting American exporters," said Congresswoman Waters.
The Congresswoman also discussed job creation, business development and major developments in the South Bay Region, such as the $200 million dollar renovation of the Del Amo Mall in Torrance and the football stadium in Inglewood that is scheduled to open in 2018.
"These new developments and initiatives will bring more revenue to the region. When the local economy thrives, more people in this region will start businesses and even more jobs are created," said Congresswoman Waters.
Homelessness was also a major focus. The Congresswoman discussed the work she has done to increase federal investments in public housing, homeless and rental housing assistance for vulnerable population. Congresswoman Waters guided the passage of the reauthorization of the McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance program, and worked to support federal funding for programs such as the Los Angeles County Continuum. The Congresswoman also fought to ensure that federal funds support permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless veterans and seniors.
"Homelessness is a major issue across the country, especially among veterans. I am determined to ensure that the men and women who valiantly serve this country have homes. Vermont Villas in Harbor Gateway is a new development that recently opened due to private and public sector funding to reduce the number of homeless veterans and elderly residents living on the streets. We need more developments of this kind across the country, and I have focused my efforts to achieve this goal," said the Congresswoman.
The Congresswoman also discussed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) that Congress recently passed. The FAST Act includes $3.7 billion in bus and bus facilities funding, a 75 percent increase over current funding levels that will help transit agencies in the South Bay region.
"I am pleased that this additional funding will help agencies such as the Torrance Transit in the City of Torrance, and GTrans in the City of Gardena to expand and improve services and reduce traffic congestion," stated the Congresswoman.
At the conclusion of her remarks, Congresswoman Waters complimented the Torrance Chamber of Commerce and the other Chambers of Commerce in the area for the work they do to improve the business climate and the care they have shown by providing resources for the vulnerable in our society such as the homeless.