A hearing before the Joint Economic Committee, “Making It More Affordable to Raise a Family,” will take place Tuesday, September 10, 2019, at 2:30 p.m., in 216 Hart Senate Office Building. A live stream of the hearing will be available on the Committee website: https://www.jec.senate.gov/.

Witnesses:

Mr. Lyman Stone, Adjunct Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Research Fellow, Institute for Family Studies
Wilmore, KY

Mr. Ryan Bourne, R. Evan Scharf Chair for the Public Understanding of Economics
Cato Institute
Washington, DC

Dr. Jane Waldfogel, Compton Foundation Centennial Professor for the Prevention of Children’s and Youth Problems
Columbia University School of Social Work
New York, NY

Ms. Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, CEO/Executive Director and Co-Founder
MomsRising
Kirkland, WA

Committee Chairman Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) will preside. Vice Chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) invited two of the witnesses, Dr. Waldfogel and Dr. Rowe-Finkbeiner. Individuals with disabilities who require an auxiliary aid or service should contact Amalia Halikias at (202) 577-9447 or hearing@jec.senate.gov.

Background:

The witnesses invited by Vice Chair Maloney will focus on public policies that can help American families overcome economic insecurity and counter child poverty. The testimony occurs as many Americans still struggle to make ends meet amid rising costs and relatively stagnant wage growth. For example, nearly 40 percent of adults report they or their families have trouble paying for at least one basic need like food, housing or health care. And four in 10 Americans say that if they were faced with an unexpected $400 expense, they would be forced to borrow or sell something, or would not be able to pay for it at all, according to a recent Federal Reserve report. Dr. Waldfogel argues that public policies haven’t kept pace with new demographic realities and ignore the challenges that programs like paid family leave would address. And through her grassroots organization, Ms. Rowe-Finkbeiner leads campaigns to support workplace and maternal justice, including gender pay equality, affordable early care and nutrition programs including SNAP.

Press Contact (Democrats): Randy Woods; Randy_Woods@jec.senate.gov; 202-503-5943

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nonfarm payroll employment grew by 130,000 in August and the unemployment rate was 3.7 percent. Average hourly earnings increased 3.2 percent from the prior year.

“Today’s job numbers are somewhat disappointing, especially considering temporary Census jobs padded the numbers by 25,000. It’s becoming clear the Trump Administration’s erratic trade policies are hurting businesses and consumers, while the $1.9 trillion Republican tax cut did more to reward the wealthy than provide a lasting boost to workers. I’m concerned that we may see more lackluster jobs numbers in coming quarters, as independent economists and organizations including the Federal Reserve and Congressional Budget Office all forecast economic growth will slow this year and next.”

“And in light of today’s figures, it’s important to remember the millions of Americans left behind. Poor and many middle-class families are still struggling. Black and Hispanic unemployment rates remain above jobless rates for whites and Asians. And the share of women working or seeking work hasn’t fully recovered from the last downturn, as many face discrimination in the workplace or cannot afford to place their children in day care.”

“There’s a lot Congress can do to address these problems. I urge the Senate to pass legislation already approved in the House that would allow federal workers to care for a child or sick family member without facing financial hardship. And it’s important for Congress to approve a bill that would require the Bureau of Economic Analysis to report economic growth by income decile and the top 1 percent. That would help us measure inequality and implement programs and policies to ensure that everyone in this country can enjoy the benefits of economic growth.”

Congresswoman Maloney, author of the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act (H.R. 1534), introduced the bill as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in June along with Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA). The legislation, which passed the House in July, would provide 12 weeks of paid leave to federal employees to care for themselves and family members. Congresswoman Maloney also introduced the Measuring Real Income Growth Act (H.R. 707) this Congress and in the 115th Congress. The legislation would require the Bureau of Economic Analysis to publish distributional analyses of gross domestic product.

Press contact: Randy Woods; Randy_Woods@jec.senate.gov; (202) 224-2599

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement after the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its second estimate of second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP). The report showed that GDP expanded at an annual rate of 2.0 percent in the second three months of 2019, a downward revision from the initial estimate of 2.1 percent growth.

 “It wasn’t long ago that the President was boasting—wrongly—that he had created the best economy of all time. Now it seems that his wrong-headed policies are throwing sand in the gears of economic growth.”

 “The President knows his tax cuts have given the economy no more than a sugar high, so he has floated the idea of more tax cuts, including another giveaway to the wealthy in the form of tax reductions for investors. That would make income inequality even worse, especially after the 2017 tax cuts favored the fortunate few. On top of all that, Trump’s erratic policies including an escalating trade war with China and attempts to politicize the Fed have hurt business confidence.”

 “Today’s report shows that gains in consumer spending are offsetting declines in investments, which were supposed to soar under the new tax cuts. Meanwhile manufacturing is showing signs of weakness as Trump’s trade wars raise the cost of imports and undermine American exports. In light of the growing risks to our economy, we should focus on rebuilding our dilapidated infrastructure, better educating our children and improving health care services.”

Congresswoman Maloney is Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee and a senior member of both the House Financial Services Committee (where she is Chair of the Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets) and the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

Press contact
Randy Woods
Randy_Woods@jec.senate.gov
(202) 224-2599

Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement to accompany publication of Retirement Insecurity, a report written at her request by the Democratic staff of the committee. The release of the report coincides with the 84th anniversary of the Social Security Act.

“Since President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the legislation into law on this day in 1935, Social Security has prevented millions of Americans from falling into poverty and has become a pillar of retirement security in our country.”

“Despite Social Security’s success, the other two major components of our nation’s retirement system – private savings and pensions – are failing hardworking Americans. As a result, roughly half of Americans are at risk of losing their current standard of living in retirement.”

“Americans find it increasingly hard to save for retirement amid stagnant wages and the rising cost of housing, health care and college. Meanwhile the share of workers who receive pensions has almost fallen in half since the late 1980s. And only about half of middle-income workers and less than 10 percent of the poorest Americans have defined-contribution accounts like 401(k)s.”

“These problems are particularly acute for women, minorities and people with low earnings or less education. Women, African Americans and Hispanics on average have less saved for retirement and less retirement income. Women, in particular African American and Hispanic women, are at greater risk of outliving their retirement savings.”

“As a result, it is particularly important to protect and strengthen Social Security, while recognizing that the rest of our retirement system is in crisis.”

Press contact:
Randy Woods
Randy_Woods@jec.senate.gov
(202) 224-2599