Maxine Waters

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U.S. Representative

Maxine Waters ()
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Leadership: No leadership position
Committees: House Committee on Financial Services, House Committee on the Judiciary
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Next election: Nov. 6, 2012

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[[Category:Members of the U.S. House of Representatives|]]

Maxine Waters, a Democrat, has represented the 35th District of California in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1991.(map)


Record and controversies

Congressional scorecards

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Organization 2007 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
2008 Scorecard
Score - Agree ratio
American Civil Liberties Union not avail. not avail.
American Conservative Union not avail. not avail.
AFSCME not avail. not avail.
Americans for Democratic Action not avail. not avail.
Club for Growth not avail. not avail.
Drum Major Institute not avail. not avail.
Family Research Council not avail. not avail.
Information Technology Industry Council not avail. not avail.
League of Conservation Voters not avail. not avail.
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not avail. not avail.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce not avail. not avail.

Iraq War

Waters voted against the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

Regarding House Democrats attempt to end the Iraq War through the FY2007 Iraq supplemental spending bill, originally, Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus Chair Waters said that 20 to 25 members of the caucus would oppose the bill. Several days later, she admitted that this opposition had suffered “a lot of damage” as a result of Democratic leaders aggressively urging members to support the bill. She stated “This is the process: people who feel strongly about this issue hold out as long as they can...lot of pressure comes to bear and they can't hold up under the pressure.” In response to these tactics, Waters stated, that “[Majority Whip] Jim Clyburn said he was doing an assessment, so that's what I was doing. Now that he's whipping, I'm going to start whipping.”

Main article: U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq Accountability Act, 2007 (H.R.1591)
For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Environmental record

For more information on environmental legislation, see the Energy and Environment Policy Portal

Corruption allegations

Waters has long been considered one of the last great practitioners of urban "machine politics." In September 2005, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) named Waters one of the thirteen most corrupt members of Congress. CREW's designation was largely based on the results of an investigation by the Los Angeles Times into non-competitive awards of federal contracts to businesses owned by or connected to members of Waters' family.

Assata Shakur

Waters has been accused of aiding convicted murderer Assata Shakur to remain in Cuba, where she is receiving political asylum. In 1998, the United States House of Representatives passed a unanimous resolution that urged Cuban President Fidel Castro to return Shakur to the United States. The document used Shakur's birth name, Joanne Chesimard. Waters voted in favor of the measure, but when she later realized that Assata Shakur and Joanne Chesimard were the same person, she wrote her own letter to Castro. Waters' letter explained that she had been tricked by House Republicans into supporting the measure and further stated that Shakur had been "persecuted as a result of her political beliefs and political affiliations," and that she supported "the right of all nations to grant political asylum to individuals fleeing political persecution." Expectedly, Waters came under attack for casting her vote without understanding the issue for which she was voting. Shakur remains free in Cuba.

National security and foreign policy

In 2007, Rep. Waters sponsored a bill to help deliver federal funds for the purpose of housing to victims of Hurricane Katrina. Specifically, the bill would:

  • Direct $1.2 billion of already appropriated funds to the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) for the community development fund of the Department of Housing and Human Development. Around $5 million of the funds would go to private developers who would, under Louisiana law, develop property and help put it back on the market.
  • The HUD Secretary would be directed to provide an independent study of public housing residents of New Orleans and their eventual return to a repaired public housing or comparable dwelling unit.
  • Previous public housing households would be granted the right to return. Those households could not be prevented from occupying a replacement dwelling unit. The local authorities would also be prohibited from demolishing or disposing of any public housing dwelling unit operated or administered by that authority.

It was considered in the House on March 21 and passed 302-125.

Main article: U.S. congressional actions to provide disaster assistance


In this CSPAN video ( you can see Maxine Waters rejecting the 2004 warnings of OFHEO (Office of the Federal Housing Enterprise Oversite) and calling Franklin Raines' "leadership" of Fannie Mae "outstanding".[citation needed]


Born August 15, 1938 in St. Louis, Missouri, Waters attended Los Angeles State College (now California State University, Los Angeles). Prior to her entry into politics, she was a teacher and a volunteer coordinator in the Head Start program. Waters entered the California State Assembly in 1976.

Upon the retirement of Augustus F. Hawkins in 1990, Waters was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for the 29th Congressional District. (The district was renumbered the 35th District in 1992 after California gained 7 additional seats in the House after the 1990 U.S. census.)

2006 elections

In 2006, Libertarian Paul T. Ireland announced his intention to challenge Waters in her November 2006 bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [1] Waters retained her seat.

2008 elections

This information was gathered by volunteer researchers as part of the Superdelegate Transparency Project on the superdelegates for the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. For more info see the California superdelegate tracker or visit the STP homepage.

Before Hillary Clinton conceded the race, Maxine Waters, as a superdelegate, had endorsed her for President.

On 3 June 2008, Waters switched her endorsement to Barack Obama, saying "Senator Hillary Clinton has run a superb campaign and has proven to be a hard worker while gaining the support of many key constituencies that will be essential for Democratic success in Novemeber. Despite that, Senator Obama's delegate numbers more than describe the enthusiasm for his candidacy and I believe that by the end of the day, he will have the necessary numbers to become the Democratic Party nominee for President."

Positions and Views

Prior to the election of "superstar" Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois), Waters was considered the United States' most prominent African-American legislator. She is considered by some to be an outspoken champion for the underprivileged and underrepresented. Her no-nonsense left-wing rhetoric makes her a favorite quote for reporters, as well as a frequent target for the wrath of right-wing pundits. As a first-term representative, she gained fame by walking into the Oval Office and telling then-President George H.W. Bush that "[his] time was up." Waters co-chaired the 1992 presidential campaign of Bill Clinton.


  • "This could become worse than a trade war." (April 2005, about sticking to the deadline for US Visa Waiver Program countries to make their passports compliant with US standards)
  • "The objection is in writing, and I don't care that it isn't signed by a member of the Senate." (December 2000, on her objection to the results of the Presidential Election in 2000), to which Al Gore responded "The chair would advise that the rules do care".
  • "The future of this community depends on our ability to stop the monster in its tracks." (At an anti-Wal-Mart protest).
  • "George W Bush, go to hell! And while you're at it, we want you to take Ashcroft with you. And don't forget Rumsfeld. And please carry along Condi Rice. . . I have to march because my mother could not have an abortion." (at the televised March for Women's Lives march, Washington D.C., April 24, 2005) [2]

Money in Politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. For specific controversies, see this article's record and controversies section.

Top Contributors to during the 2008 Election Cycle
DonorAmount (US Dollars)
Votesane PAC$ 41,000
American Express$ 11,000
UBS AG$ 11,000
Avenue Ventures$ 10,400
L&L Energy$ 10,400
AFLAC Inc$ 10,000
Boeing Co$ 10,000
Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers$ 10,000
Deloitte LLP$ 10,000
Herbalife International$ 10,000
Source: The Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Note: Contributions are not from the organizations themselves, but are rather from
the organization's PAC, employees or owners. Totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.
Links to more campaign contribution information for Maxine Waters
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2008 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2008 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committees in the 110th Congress (2007-2008)

  • House Committee on Financial Services
    • Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy, Trade, and Technology
    • Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit
    • Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
    • Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity -Chair
  • House Committee on the Judiciary
    • Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security
    • Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security, and Claims

Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

  • House Committee on Financial Services
    • Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit
    • Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity - Ranking Minority Member
    • Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy Trade and Technology
  • House Committee on the Judiciary
    • Subcommittee on Task Force on Antitrust
    • Subcommittee on Courts the Internet and Intellectual Property
    • Subcommittee on Crime Terrorism and Homeland Security
    • Subcommittee on Immigration Border Security and Claims

Coalitions and Caucuses

  • Chair, Congressional Black Caucus, 1997-1998
  • Congressional Children's Working Group
  • Congressional Progressive Caucus
  • Chair, Democratic Caucus
  • Chair, Democratic Caucus Special Committee on Election Refom
  • Democratic National Committee
  • Co Chair, Democratic Steering Committee
  • National Committee for Economic Conversion and Disarmament

Boards and other Affiliations

  • Bhopal Justice Campaign
  • Co Founder, Black Women's Forum
  • California Peer Counseling Association
  • Center for the Study of Sport in Society
  • Founder, Community Build
  • Founder, Los Angeles, Free South Africa Movement
  • Los Angeles Women's Foundation
  • Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center
  • National Development and Voting Rights Institute
  • Founder, Project Build

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Maxine Waters. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


DC office
  • 2344 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515
    Ph: 202-225-2201 Fax: 202-225-7854
    Webform email
District offices
  • 10124 South Broadway, Suite 1, Los Angeles, CA 90003
    Ph: 323-757-8900 Fax: (none entered)
On the Web
Campaign office
  • No campaign website entered.
  • No campaign webform email entered.
  • No campaign office information entered.

Articles and resources



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Semantic data (Edit data)