Congressman Al Green Welcomed Members of Congress to Houston for a Congressional Field Hearing on Barriers to Consumer Credit, Homeownership, and Financial Inclusion

Sep 4, 2019 Issues: Financial Services

(Houston, TX) - On Wednesday, September 4, 2019, U.S. House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations Chairman Al Green (TX-09) presided over a congressional field hearing in Houston, Texas, titled: Examining Discrimination and Other Barriers to Consumer Credit, Homeownership, and Financial Inclusion in Texas. Congressman Green was joined by Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver (MO-05), Congressman Gregory Meeks (NY-05), Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-13), and Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (TX-29).                                                                              

Congressman Green said, “I must thank Chairwoman Maxine Waters for her leadership of the Financial Services Committee as well as for continuously making space to address and correct issues that involve invidious discrimination in financial services. It was my honor to host my colleagues from across our Nation and right here in Houston for this landmark congressional field hearing on Examining Discrimination and Other Barriers to Consumer Credit, Homeownership, and Financial Inclusion in Texas. This hearing informed the public of pervasive disadvantages in the financial services industry that disproportionately affect people of color and persons in the LGBTQ community. With the help of highly knowledgeable panelists from community organizations, academia, and small banks, my colleagues and I were also able to explore legal and policy solutions to ensure that American economic life becomes truly inclusive and equitable.”

“I want to thank Congressman Green for hosting this field hearing on such a pivotal issue currently affecting millions of Americans,” said Congressman Cleaver. “Equitable access to credit and homeownership remains elusive, especially for minorities, but I believe we heard from some very insightful individuals and discussed several creative ideas that we can bring back to Washington to level the playing field.”

According to Congressman Meeks, “The evidence makes clear that there is discrimination present in financial services, and that the barriers minority communities face disproportionately restrict their ability to access credit and generate wealth. Field hearings like today’s allow us a closer look on the specific needs of different communities across the country, informing us as we move to introduce legislation that can help level that playing field for buying a home or starting a business, and restore community banking in banking deserts. I look forward to hosting an upcoming field hearing in New York where we can listen and respond to the needs of communities like mine in southeast Queens.”

Congresswoman Tlaib added, “I thank Chairman Al Green for his continued leadership on working to increase access to housing and equitable lending across the country. Hearing from experts and advocates today made it clear – there is action needed now and I look forward to working with my colleagues to bring solutions forward.”

“We need to wrestle as a country with some hard truths, locally in Houston and as a nation. The legacy of discrimination and racism have kept some communities from succeeding,” said Congresswoman Garcia. She adds, “I believe Congress has an obligation to ensure we break down barriers that keep people from owning a home and make sure that discriminatory impacts don’t get incorporated into new ways banks and other financial institutions use new technologies.”

For those who were unable to attend the hearing, please watch the LIVE recording at https://youtu.be/zj-1M1e4mJo.