Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), the Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, released the following statement on the Federal Reserve’s decision to cut interest rates by half a percentage point in response to concern that the coronavirus may hurt the U.S. economy.

“I welcome the Fed’s timely and aggressive action. It’s critical for the President to be equally aggressive in his efforts to protect public health, turning from complacency and denial to a coordinated, full-bore response. The Fed’s actions alone won’t calm markets and stabilize the economy – it will require presidential leadership and a level of competence that the administration has thus far failed to demonstrate.

“So far, the President’s failure to respond effectively to the coronavirus has put us at greater risk.

"Just yesterday, the CDC removed from its website the number of people who have been tested for the virus. When lives are at stake, the public needs more information from government – not less – that’s accurate, and not pseudoscience from the President.

“The President’s lack of leadership on the coronavirus won’t just hurt our health, it’s very likely that it will hurt our economy. The stock market already has suffered the worst weekly drop since the financial crisis. Businesses are at risk because their supply chains are interrupted – including the supplies of key medicines and medical supplies. In addition, markets for American exports are affected, as are imports from Asia at U.S. ports. Economists predict that the outbreak could have a substantial impact on GDP.

“Ironically, our public health and our economy are at risk in part because of our country’s failure to provide quality, affordable health coverage and paid sick leave to everyone. People without paid sick leave will go to work when, from a public health standpoint, they should stay home. This puts others at risk, multiplying the rate of infection. It’s time for us to realize that family-friendly policies, both quality, affordable health coverage and paid sick leave, are essential to maintaining public health and for safeguarding our economy.

“Instead of a president who plays politics when it comes to the human and economic impact of the virus – as the President did last week during his press conference – we need one who will actually lead. The coronavirus doesn’t care about the President’s pride or poll numbers.

“Ultimately, the lack of leadership coming from the President could make a bad situation worse, which would result in even more lives at stake. But it’s hard to be surprised by his ignorance and inaction since this is a president who wants to put Americans’ health at risk by cutting the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control budgets by billions.”

Washington, D.C.— Today, at a Joint Economic Committee (JEC) hearing on improving family stability, U.S. Congressman and JEC Vice Chair Don Beyer (D-VA) probed witnesses about the economic challenges facing families and what can be done at the federal level to support them.

“Some say that the stability of American families is just a matter of marriage and morals, but economic challenges are an overwhelming factor. We’re not returning to a ‘Leave-It-To-Beaver’ America, so it’s best that we focus on supporting families in whatever form they take,” Beyer said.  

“Family-friendly policies such as affordable childcare, paid family and medical leave and the earned income tax credit are essential for families to survive and thrive,” Beyer continued. “We need to strengthen and streamline these policies so they better reflect the reality of families.”

Read Beyer’s written opening statement here. Excerpts from the statement are below.

Fact 1: Teen pregnancy is at a record low.

  • “Between 1991 and 2015, the teen birth rate dropped by almost two-thirds, thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act.”

Fact 2: Declining marriage rates largely are a result of economic challenges.

  • “If you’re struggling financially, your wages haven’t gone up or you’ve lost your job—getting married is neither feasible nor practical.”

Fact 3: Americans want to get their economic footing before marriage.

  • “Young Americans today want to get their economic footing before they get married. They correctly understand that they must get an education or training to achieve financial success. If they wait longer to get married, it’s not because they are anti-marriage. It’s because they are pragmatic.”

Fact 4: Traditional family structures are not the only path to success.

  • “It’s true, that as people delay marriage, there are more babies born to unmarried parents. That holds across demographic groups and race. And it’s true in the United States and elsewhere.”
  • “It’s also true that fathers today spend significantly more time caring for their children than in previous generations—in fact, three times the amount as in 1965.”

Fact 5: Real challenges facing families are economic.

  • “Forty-four percent of workers earn just $18,000. And many are working two and three jobs.”

Fact 6: We should invest in proven programs.

  • “Increase the minimum wage. Expand the EITC. Provide affordable, quality child care. Protect nutritional supports. Ensure workers have real bargaining power—to negotiate wage increases, predictable hours and better working conditions.” 

Fact 7: We need “family-friendly” policies like paid leave

  • “I’m pleased and encouraged that federal workers will be able to take 12 weeks paid leave to care for a newborn or adopted child. We should expand that same policy to workers in the private sector.”

Fact 8: Government policies need to catch up to the way Americans live.

  • Finally, part of the challenge for families is that our government hasn’t kept pace with the way people are living their lives. For example, the share of multigenerational households is growing, but our policies haven’t changed.”

Congressman Beyer is currently serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital. In addition to his role as Vice Chair of the JEC, Beyer serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. He represents the largest number of federal employees of any member of the House.

Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement after the White House released its 2020 Economic Report of the President.

“Like the Administration’s recently released budget, this report rests on a shaky foundation of rosy growth forecasts that are far higher than those from CBO, the Federal Reserve and private forecasters.

“In other important ways, it appears disconnected from reality. It does not mention climate change once in 435 pages. Nor does it devote even a paragraph to the huge budget deficits and massive long-term debt which are the result of the Republican tax giveaway to large corporations and the wealthy.

“The report also minimizes the negative impacts of rising market concentration on workers’ bargaining power and their wages. Many economists, including work from the Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration, have shown that wage growth has been constrained by a small number of large companies dominating key sectors of the economy. Yet, this administration appears determined to come down on the side of large corporations and the wealthy, no matter what the data tell us.

“Ironically, Acting CEA Chair Tomas Philipson undercuts the President’s ludicrous claim that China bears 100 percent of the cost of his trade war. Philipson acknowledged today that the Administration’s trade policies have created uncertainty and slowed investment and growth. Perhaps this was simply an effort to explain away the modest 2.3 percent GDP growth in 2019.

“Now, the administration needs to change its policies that are harming Americans.”

Congressman Beyer is currently serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital. In addition to his role as Vice Chair of the JEC, Beyer serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. He represents the largest number of federal employees of any member of the House.

WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, today released a new report examining recent economic progress and remaining challenges facing the Black community in America.

“The data captured in this report show significant changes affecting African Americans which include both progress and areas where significant disparities remain,” said Beyer. “In the latter category, the unemployment rate for Blacks is almost twice what it is for Whites, which is unacceptable. Closing persistent, and in some cases, growing gaps between the economic experiences of White Americans and Black Americans is vital to helping our society overcome its history of racial discrimination.”

The report shows that Black Americans have made substantial progress, for example:

  • Black college graduation rates more than doubled from 1990 to 2018.
  • By 2017, the share of Black women enrolled in college exceeded the share of White men enrolled.
  • Incarceration rates for Black Americans fell by nearly one-third between 2007 and 2017.
  • The gap in life expectancy between non-Hispanic Blacks and Whites decreased between 2006-2010, though progress since has stalled.

Yet glaring inequities persist:

  • The Black unemployment rate remains twice as high as the White unemployment rate (6.0 percent vs 3.1 percent in January 2020).
  • The median net worth for White families is nearly 10 times greater than for Black families.
  • Black households earned just 59 cents for every dollar White households earned in 2018.
  • Fewer than half of Black families own their home compared to nearly three-fourths of White families.

Congressman Beyer is currently serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital. In addition to his role as Vice Chair of the JEC, Beyer serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nonfarm payroll employment grew by 225,000 in January and the unemployment rate was 3.6 percent.

 “I’m happy to see the economy continued to add jobs at a healthy rate in January, thanks to the dynamism of American businesses. More people are returning to the workforce and that’s another positive.  

“But, there are storm clouds on the horizon, including slowing global growth and uncertainty surrounding the economic impacts of the coronavirus. The president’s ill-conceived trade war has hurt the global economy and helped push American manufacturing into recession. Even with the strong overall employment gains in the past few months, manufacturing job growth has stalled, with the sector adding no jobs over the past four months and just 6,000 over the past half a year.

“The president claimed in his State of the Union speech that we are experiencing the “best” economy in American history. However, job growth has slowed dramatically under President Trump. In the first three years of his administration, 1.5 million fewer jobs, or 42,000 per month, have been added than in the last three years of the Obama presidency. This inconvenient fact was omitted from the president’s address.

“Many people, even those working, are being left behind. The Republican tax cuts have ballooned the budget deficit, making it harder to invest in America’s future and exacerbating inequality.”

Congressman Beyer is currently serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital. In addition to his role as Vice Chair of the JEC, Beyer serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. He represents the largest number of federal employees of any member of the House.

Press contact
Harry Gural
(202) 224-2675

WASHINGTON—Congressman Don. Beyer (VA-08), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement after the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its initial estimate of fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP), showing that GDP grew at annual rate of 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019, the same rate as in the previous quarter. Overall, real GDP increased 2.3 percent in 2019, compared to a 2.9 percent increase in 2018.

“The president and his team promised that his tax cuts would lead to GDP growth of three to six percent. It’s now clear that they haven’t come close. We’ve now had three straight quarters of modest economic growth. Three straight quarters where business investment has fallen. Manufacturing has contracted for three of the last four quarters. Whatever short-term boost to the economy resulted from the tax cuts has worn off.

“The Republican tax law added nearly $2 trillion to the national debt but delivered little sustained benefit. Our country faces pressing economic challenges and instead of addressing those challenges, the president and Republicans in Congress chose to give very large tax cuts to those who didn’t need them and run up the deficit. We should have invested in roads and bridges and in education to prepare the next generation to compete in today’s global economy.

“While the Republican tax law did little to boost growth, the administration’s trade policies are actually slowing growth and costing consumers money. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s latest forecast, the administration’s tariffs will reduce real GDP by 0.5 percent this year and reduce average household income by nearly $1,300. It’s time for the administration to face this reality and change policy.”

Beyer is currently serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital. In addition to his role as Vice Chair of the JEC, Beyer serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. He represents the largest number of federal employees of any member of the House.

 

Press contact
Harry Gural

(202) 224-2675

Congressman Don Beyer (VA-08), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) today released its “Budget and Economic Outlook: 2020 to 2030.”

“Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin just said he still thinks the GOP tax cuts will pay for themselves. What began as a wildly unrealistic political promise has now turned into economic gaslighting. CBO’s new forecast shows just how little growth we got for the Republican tax cuts, and confirms that our children will be paying for these tax breaks for the wealthy for years to come.”

CBO forecasts a deficit of $1 trillion in 2020 and average annual deficits of $1.3 trillion between 2021 and 2030. Real GDP growth will average just 1.7 percent per year between 2021 and 2030. Deficits are projected to reach 5.4 percent of GDP by 2030. Federal debt held by the public is forecast to climb to 98 percent of GDP in 2030, up from 79 percent in 2019.

Press contact
Harry Gural
Harry_Gural@jec.senate.gov
(202) 224-2675

WASHINGTON—Congressman Don Beyer (VA-8) has been elected Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC) by the Committee’s members.

“I thank my colleagues from both parties and chambers for confirming me to this position. I look forward to working with all of them and Chairman Lee in 2020 to tackle the enormous challenges facing the U.S. economy,” Congressman Beyer said.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi recommended Congressman Beyer for the post. He replaces Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who stepped down as Vice Chair to chair the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Congressman Beyer represents Virginia’s 8th District, which encompasses Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and parts of Fairfax County. He serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. He was the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia from 1990 to 1998, and Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein under President Obama.

The JEC is a joint House-Senate committee that holds hearings and issues reports to help inform Congress’ actions on economic issues. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is Chairman of the committee in the 116th Congress. Senator Lee and Representative Beyer are joined by nine Republican and nine Democratic members.

Democratic members are Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Rep. Beyer, Rep. Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA), Rep. David Trone (D-MD), Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) and Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL).

Republican members are Sen. Lee, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL), Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX) and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA). 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi today recommended Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) to serve as the Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee. If confirmed to the position, Beyer would succeed Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, following her election as Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Beyer issued the following statement:

“I thank Speaker Pelosi for her trust and the confidence she has shown by recommending me to lead Democrats on the Joint Economic Committee. Stewardship of the U.S. economy is one of the most important challenges facing Congress, and I will approach this responsibility with the gravity it deserves.

“As someone who built a small family-owned business, I understand the challenges facing the American economy. Through my career in public service from Richmond to the Obama Administration, and today as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, I have continued to believe that government can be a force for good in helping to support American workers.

“I will bring these perspectives and my progressive values with me in the fight to address the major economic challenges of our time, including growing inequality, wage stagnation, the climate crisis, and the cost of healthcare. I look forward to working with Chairman Mike Lee and all of my colleagues on the Joint Economic Committee in 2020 and beyond.”

The Speaker’s recommendation must be confirmed by a vote of the full committee to take effect. If confirmed, Beyer, who has the most seniority of the House Democrats on the committee after outgoing Vice Chair Carolyn Maloney, will serve as the top Democrat on the panel. Leadership of the Joint Economic Committee alternates between the Senate and House each Congress, and the committee is currently chaired by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT).

The Joint Economic Committee (JEC) was established by Congress in 1946 as part of the Employment Act, which also created the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. The JEC is charged with reviewing and reporting on economic conditions, and with making policy recommendations to boost the economy. In this capacity it holds annual hearings with the chairs of the Federal Reserve and the Council of Economic Advisers, in addition to hearings on other topics affecting the American economy.

Beyer is currently serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital. He serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

Beyer is co-chair of the Safe Climate Caucus, co-chair of the New Democrat Coalition Climate Change Task Force, and founder and co-chair of the bipartisan House Suicide Prevention Task Force. He is a Member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the New Democrat Coalition, the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, and the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition. He represents the largest number of federal employees of any member of the House.

Beyer directed the Obama Administration’s transition at the Department of Commerce and then served as U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Lichtenstein for four years. He served two terms as Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor from 1990-1998, and previously owned and ran a successful family business for over 40 years.

WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement after the JEC’s Democratic staff published the study, “Two Years of Evidence Shows 2017 Tax Cuts Failed to Deliver Promised Economic Boost.” The publication coincides with the two-year anniversary of the Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

“With the two-year anniversary of the Republican tax cuts upon us, we now have enough economic data to say definitively that they failed to deliver for American workers and families. President Trump had boasted the tax cuts would boost GDP growth to as high as 6 percent, increase annual income for families by $4,000 and help pay down the national debt. The facts show that these claims are fantastical.”

“The report shows that the 2017 tax law didn’t provide a sustained boost to GDP growth, nor did it significantly increase business investment and result in huge gains in household income. Americans would be right to feel cheated.”

“Inequality was already at an all-time high when the legislation was passed—it made things much worse. And it isn’t on track—as the administration had claimed—to “pay for itself;” instead, it will add almost $2 trillion to the national debt. That will make it harder for policymakers to fight the next recession and has already prompted Republicans to consider cuts to Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.”

“Many economists agree that enacting tax cuts for the poor and middle class rather than the wealthy would have provided a solid boost to the economy. And the tax cuts had a higher price tag than many of the investments that would pay this country dividends for generations. For example, the tax cuts will cost more than twice as much as repairing our nation’s crumbling highway system. And just think what we could have done to improve childhood education with nearly $2 trillion. It’s now all too clear the tax cuts were a missed opportunity of massive proportions.”