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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Congresswoman Beatty Determined to ‘Close the Gap’

Feb 18, 2020

At a time when Black household wealth is nearly one tenth of the average wealth of a White household ($17,600 to 174,000), U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-3) remains committed to addressing income inequality--and ultimately closing the racial wealth gap so that more families can realize their American Dream.

To that affect, Beatty was recently awarded a perfect score on the Annual Catholic Justice Scorecard by NETWORK Lobby for her work to reduce income inequality. “I have dedicated my life to advancing justice, economic equality, and equal opportunity,” Beatty said. “That is why I am proud to work with NETWORK and many other organizations to defend critical programs that feed hungry families, provide affordable housing, and address the ever-growing wealth-gap.”

For most Americans, the greatest source of wealth creation is homeownership. Yet, homeownership rates among communities of color pale in comparison to White homeownership rates. Currently, the Black homeownership rate is 43 percent compared to 72 percent for their White counterparts. With those statistics in mind, Beatty focused her line of questioning with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on the Fed’s collection and dissemination of detailed data on race and wealth. In response, Powell assured Beatty that the Fed would follow up with her office to share the information on their efforts. Beatty and staff intend to discuss her bill, the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Act, H.R. 5360, with Fed officials at that time.

Prior to Beatty’s conversation with Powell, she similarly inquired about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) commitment to equipping all consumers with the much-needed tools and financial resources to better understand and manage their finances, as well as to build wealth for themselves and their families. During a February 6th Financial Services Committee hearing on “Protecting Consumers or Allowing Consumer Abuse? A Semi-Annual Review of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” Beatty pressed CFBB Director Kathy Kraninger about her apparent lack of interest in promoting financial literacy –– one of the critical responsibilities of her job. To view Beatty’s interaction with Kraninger, please visit YouTube.

As the House Democratic Majority continues to push forward on its “For the People” agenda, Beatty will use her positions as Chair of the House Financial Services Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee and Vice-Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus to urge her House and Senate colleagues to address the wealth gap. If Congress fails to act, it could take 228 years to close the racial wealth gap according to the Institute for Policy Studies and the Corporation for Economic Development.