Posted On October 4, 2022

The Treasury Department announced the formation of the Treasury Advisory Committee on Racial Equity (TACRE) Tuesday morning, serving to advise the Biden administration on racial economic disparities in the U.S.

The committee has been charged to “identify, monitor, and review” the ways in which economic policies and practices in the U.S. “resulted in unfavorable conditions for communities of color,” according to the Treasury Department. The 25-member committee will be chaired by former Democratic Mayor of Philadelphia Michael Nutter, who the Treasury credits for guiding Philadelphia to an improved credit rating and increased high school graduation rates, and will be composed of a variety of businesspeople, academics and community leaders, the overwhelming majority coming from a minority background.

“A critical piece of executing on our racial equity goals is bringing a wide set of outside perspectives and lived experiences to the decision-making table,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in the Department’s press release. “The Treasury Advisory Committee on Racial Equity, made up of members with wide-ranging backgrounds and expertise, will provide important insight and advice to leadership across the department to bolster and inform our equity efforts.”

Vice President Kamala Harris additionally announced a series of programs and initiatives to promote small businesses in “underserved communities,” including a target of 12% of government investment to go to “small, disadvantaged businesses” (SDBs) and expanding the number of lenders and access to technical assistance for underserved small businesses.

Harris claimed that insufficient capital was being allocated to underserved communities, particularly minority and rural communities, during her speech at the Freedman’s Bank, which was founded following the Civil War to provide banking services to freed slaves. She claimed that this lack of capital has stifled economic growth and opportunities for small business owners and members of these communities.

“So let’s deal with that disconnect — which we also refer to as disparities, because we see that people in our country are having an experience that is not equal,” said Harris.  “And that’s why we talk about equity, because we recognize not everybody starts out on the same base.  They don’t start out in the same place, even though they have the same God-given capacity.”

The Economic Opportunity Coalition, launched by Harris and comprised of 29 major banks, technology firms and other businesses, has committed to $1 billion in investments targeted at providing capital to underserved communities since July 28, 2022, according to the White House. Harris stressed the importance of collaboration with the private sector Tuesday, both in her Freedman’s Bank speech and in the White House’s press release.

“[O]ne of the aspects of the success we have seen so far is the benefit and the incredible power of public-private partnership — the public and the private sector joining together,” Harris said.

The White House did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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