BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT
Mr. SCOTT of Georgia. Thank you so much, Ms. Fudge. I just want to say how proud we all are of you and your leadership that you are providing on the floor for this hour, that you have been going forward with all of this year. And I certainly want to single out for special praise our distinguished chairlady of the Congressional Black Caucus. The good Lord has surely brought us the right person at the right time to lead this caucus in a very serious sea of turbulent waters. And so, Ms. Barbara Lee, I just want to personally thank you for that leadership as we go forward.
Let me start at the very beginning, because I think that we need to understand what we are referencing when we use the words ``targeting'' and ``focus.'' Let me just say clearly, yes, we are the Congressional Black Caucus. But we are talking about targeting and focusing our efforts on the basis of need, no more, no less, than what they did for Wall Street. You all may remember, I serve on the Financial Services Committee, and it was Secretary Paulson, the Republican Secretary of the Treasury, who rushed over here to Capitol Hill with just two pieces of paper, two pieces of paper. And said that the sky is falling down on Wall Street, and we needed to target and focus $700 billion or $800 billion he said, on Wall Street.
And then he went on to say, not only targeted to Wall Street, but targeted to specifically 12 to 15 bank and financial houses. Targeted, because that was where the source of the problem he felt. And he analyzed that source of the problem by saying it's because the credit markets are frozen. There is no lending. And we have to move.
Well, we sent him back, and we said, well, we can't do that; we have to have something more moving. And he came back and said, Well, let's target it to troubled asset relief, or TARP, so that we can relieve these troubled assets with these financial institutions. Again, targeted. The point I'm trying to make is that we know the value of targeting where the problem is.
All we are simply saying here is we have troubled assets. What more troubled assets in our financial institution can we have than the job and our homes? And it is more troubled assets than the 12 or 15 houses to unfreeze the credit, which we did, and which we moved to. We must do the same here. We are advocating strongly that we take the remaining $200 billion of this TARP money and focus it on where these troubled assets are now, jobs, and to saving our homes. This is what the American people want and need.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me just say, we have a soaring economy. But we must understand that it, too, is targeted. We have roughly 300 million people in this country. Eighty percent of those are targeted at the bottom one-third of the economic wealth stream of our economy. That means roughly 80 percent of that 300 billion, that is 270 million people, are targeted there.
And I bring that point up because, simply, our economy runs on mass consumption. Stores require spending. And it means that you need as many people going in that store buying that carton of milk or going into that auto dealership buying that car as possible. That is why this effort now--we've taken $700 billion, we've targeted the top; we need to take this $200 billion and target it at the bottom, and target it for jobs, and target it related to housing because they are so interconnected.
The most immediate thing we can do is what, again, we in the Congressional Black Caucus, 10 of us stood firm on the Financial Services Committee and said, no, no. No more. You're going to have to respond to this. If we did no more than anchor our movement in terms of providing moneys and target it into those areas that have high foreclosure, high closed and abandoned buildings and homes, and target money into those communities to fix up those homes, get them back on the market, that will save the housing prices and stop them from falling but will also create jobs in the most meaningful way for the very people we are trying to target it for. We need to also target money to help people who are losing their jobs to stay in their homes.
And secondly, we've got to target jobs to those people who no matter what you say about a rising tide lifts all boats, it doesn't. Many people are left behind. And nowhere is that more specific than in the African American community of African American males.
I will just recall in my closing to you this evening, we realized this, and we put the Manpower Training Act, and we targeted that. We realized this point, and we put forth what was known as the opportunities and industrialization centers into these communities where we paid for the salaries and the training, and for the individuals to go on to the jobs so that they not only are trained for the jobs that are existing, but they are actually placed in those jobs. There are new jobs coming, and they've got to be trained for them.
Madam Chairwoman, I just want to thank you again. I appreciate this opportunity, and again, I'm very proud of my colleagues and what we are doing. Thank you.
Ms. FUDGE. Thank you very, very much, Representative Scott. We so much appreciate your thoughtfulness, quite frankly, and showing a real difference between what is happening on Wall Street and Main Street.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT