After the Senate failed to reach an agreement in a proposed $2 trillion stimulus package, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats brought forth one of their own. In it, Pelosi pushed for a number of provisions aimed at ensuring equity, including mandatory reporting for federal agencies on their use of minority-owned banks.
The newly-introduced House version of the “Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act,” according to Democrats, will prioritize individuals over large corporations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the key reasons the Senate failed to vote on the GOP measure is that it included a corporate bailout provision “with no protections for workers and virtually no oversight,” according to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
In Pelosi’s legislation, it says that “Conscious efforts to facilitate diverse and inclusive firm selection for investment advisers services opportunities are required to overcome obstacles facing diverse individual-owned and controlled firms, especially as women- and minority-owned businesses across the financial services sector struggle to recover from the impacts of the coronavirus disease (COVID–19) outbreak and future major disasters.”
It goes on to state facts about minority-owned firms, detailing that while they perform as well as their industry counterparts, they are not often-enough selected to manage institutional assets. House Dems, including Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC), believes that the time to change that is now, calling the stimulus package “a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision.”
Outside of the provision for the minority-owned institutions, it also outlines racial and gender pay equity changes, calls for student loan deferment, institutes new voting measures, calls for diversity on corporate boards, and gives $100 million to juvenile justice programs.
Speaking to CNBC on Tuesday morning, Pelosi said of reaching a bipartisan agreement on a bill, “I think there is real optimism that we can get something done in the next few hours.”