Press Releases

Waters Statement on Labor-HHS Appropriations Measure

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Washington, DC, June 24, 2015 | comments

Following a House panel’s approval of legislation to fund the Departments of Labor, Education, and Health and Human Services, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, criticized Republicans for advancing legislation that would undermine a broad swath of the American people, from seniors and students to those investing in their retirement.

Waters criticized two central tenets of the measure that undercut important protections for hardworking Americans. First, a provision designed to block the implementation of the recent “fiduciary duty” rule, which seeks to ensure that those providing investment advice are actually working in the best interest of retirement savers. In addition, she criticized a provision that would stop the Department of Education from enforcing its “gainful employment” rule, which ensures career colleges improve their outcomes for students—or risk losing access to federal student aid.

Waters has been an outspoken advocate for both. She released the following statement:

“It’s remarkable how far Republicans will go to undermine rules that protect hard-working Americans. The education and labor spending bill that passed today actually reverses protections for seniors, students and those saving for retirement.

The measure undermines a recently released proposal by the Department of Labor that would help ensure those providing retirement advice do so in a manner that puts the interests of workers and retirees ahead of their own. It is a direct assault against the right that every American should enjoy: the right to retire with dignity and security.

This legislation also guts the Education Department’s ability to hold for-profit schools accountable when they receive federal funding, by stopping a proposed rule that ensures these institutions are meaningfully and affordably preparing students to join the workforce. The proposed rule was recently upheld by district courts in both D.C. and New York, rejecting attempts by industry to escape accountability. Yet despite these rulings, Republicans are still fighting to shield the for-profit industry from much needed legal and reasonable regulation. Instead, they have pushed a measure that will disproportionately harm minority, low-income and veteran students who are more likely to be steered into predatory education programs, particularly at for-profit institutions.

This spending harms every aspect of our population, at every age and every income level. It directly contradicts the core values we should be embracing and fighting for on behalf of the American people.”

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