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CRL Statement on the Certification of President-elect Biden and Vice-President elect Harris

Thursday, January 7, 2021
Nikitra Bailey

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congress certified President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President elect Kamala Harris’ win early Thursday morning in a joint session of Congress, hours after a historic insurrection by extremists who violently breached the Capitol and disrupted lawmakers’ certification of the Electoral College votes.

Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) Executive Vice President Nikitra Bailey released the following statement:

We look forward to working with the new Administration and Congress on a wide range of issues. The historic nature of this moment is not lost on us as the nation will have the first woman who identifies as Black and Asian serving at the highest level of our federal government. We are hopeful for bold action to create a more inclusive economy that centers racial justice and families hardest hit by COVID-19. Americans urgently need reforms that will address the uneven recovery that thwarts economic stability. With a unified control of Congress, we urge the Biden-Harris Administration to immediately pursue a robust package with relief measures like those in the House-passed HEROES Act.

Congress needs to prevent mass foreclosures, evictions, bankruptcies, and other financial catastrophes, especially for the millions of struggling families and essential workers who have no choice but to put their lives at risk while they work to provide for their families during an ongoing health pandemic. Congress and the Administration must also ensure that federal small business relief and capital programs work for small businesses owned by people of color as they are a proven mechanism for building wealth and essential to an inclusive economic recovery. Millions of families, especially Black and brown communities, low-income, and low-wealth families, also find themselves at risk of losing their homes, livelihoods, and businesses. Congress has the resources and duty to provide relief during a catastrophic public health emergency.

Moreover, our communities need bold racial equity solutions to be swiftly implemented. We call on the Biden-Harris Administration to issue an executive order creating a taskforce to design and implement a targeted restorative justice homeownership program to address the federal government’s role in housing and mortgage discrimination. Critical fair lending rules require restoration, such as the Disparate Impact rule and the Community Reinvestment Act, meant to ensure that all families receive housing justice.

Curbing predatory payday and installment lending that siphons millions of dollars from hardworking families and abusive debt collection and overdraft fees should be top priorities. Also, student loan borrowers need the pause on student loan payments extended and the new Administration to keep its promise to provide substantial, across-the-board student debt cancellation on Day One.

These actions are long overdue—the time is now. We hope the new Congress and the Biden-Harris Administration will prevent further financial devastation for economically marginalized families and create policy changes for those who are disproportionately affected by laws and practices that reinforce systemic racism and inequality. All Americans deserve ladders of opportunity to create and sustain wealth. We should all be able to share in the nation’s prosperity—not just a select few.

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Press Contact: Vincenza Previte vincenza.previte@responsiblelending.org