Beyer, Blumenauer Release New Report on Why More Relief for Restaurants and Restaurant Workers Is Needed

One-fourth of the 10 million U.S. jobs lost since the beginning of the pandemic have been restaurant jobs.

Jan 15 2021

Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee during the 116th Congress, and Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), sponsor of key restaurant relief legislation, released a new report on the impact of the coronavirus on the restaurant industry—one of the industries hardest hit by the pandemic—and why more relief for restaurants and restaurant workers is needed.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, one in four (2.5 million) of the 10 million U.S. jobs lost have been restaurant jobs, including 372,000 jobs lost last month alone. In addition, one in six restaurants (more than 110,000) have closed permanently or long term. The economic impact disproportionally has hit owners of small independently owned restaurants, especially immigrants, as well as Latino and female workers, who are overrepresented in restaurant industry jobs.

The reason the restaurant industry is struggling is simple: Americans fear the coronavirus and indoor dining is one of the easiest ways to contract it. Consequently, there has been a drastic decline in demand for indoor dining, as well as orders by state and local governments to limit or even ban it. Many restaurants, nearly two-thirds of which are small businesses, lack the cash reserves and credit access needed to survive this type of months-long loss of revenue.

From Congressman Beyer:

“Congress needs to provide robust relief to the restaurant industry and its workers until the pandemic is over. Without it, tens of thousands of restaurants, many of them small family-owned businesses, will have to close, and hundreds of thousands of restaurant workers, many of them women and people of color, will not be able to make ends meet. This is why I am a proud co-sponsor of Congressman Blumenauer’s RESTAURANTS Act. If Congress wants to ensure that the coronavirus does not lead to the collapse of the restaurant industry—neighborhood delis, pizzerias and cafes in particular, it should pass this legislation. As President-elect Biden said last night during a speech about his economic relief plan, in order to fully rebuild and recover, relief has to target Main Street—not Wall Street.”

From Congressman Blumenauer:

“Time is running out for local, independent restaurants. The Paycheck Protection Program was a short-term lifeline for millions of businesses, but it wasn’t designed for restaurants, who need a tailored long-term solution like the direct cash grants outlined in my RESTAURANTS Act. For these half a million restaurants, diners, coffee shops, and bars to have any fighting chance of staying in business, we need to immediately take up my legislation with the new Congress and the Biden administration.”

While Congress has passed billions of dollars in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) relief for businesses, many small businesses, particularly small independently owned restaurants, struggled to access these funds. One of the reasons for this is that the financial institutions that administered PPP favored lending to larger businesses that would make them more money in fees, as well as businesses with whom they had preexisting relationships.

If passed, the RESTAURANTS Act would create a $120 billion fund administered by the U.S. Treasury to support small independently owned restaurants (those with 20 or fewer locations). Under the legislation, grants provided to restaurants would be equal to the shortfall in revenue between 2019 and 2020 and could be used to cover payroll, benefits, mortgage, rent, utilities, food, debt obligations to suppliers, and more.

This legislation and other policy solutions—extending unemployment benefits, increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit and investing in Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions—are discussed in the report.

January 14, 2021 (Washington, DC) – Today Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), incoming Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, and New Democrat Coalition (NDC) Chair Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and NDC Chair-Emeritus Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), expressed their delight at President-elect Biden’s game-changing support for automatic stabilizers, tying unemployment benefits to pandemic and economic conditions.

In the summer of 2020, Beyer and New Democrat Coalition leaders put forth a legislative proposal to automatically trigger continued and adjusted enhanced unemployment benefits through the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis. Over 100 House Democrats signed onto a letter asking House leaders to consider the proposal.

The New Dem Leaders said:

“The incoming Biden-Harris Administration’s economic plan is a bold vision that will take aggressive steps to end the pandemic and save the American economy. We support the President-elect’s proposal to tie enhanced federal unemployment benefits to health and economic conditions. Twice in 2020 these benefits lapsed because of political fights, and millions of Americans were cut off of aid they desperately needed. We have long argued for automatic triggers to prevent these harmful lapses and make sure people get the assistance they need for as long as they need it. The incoming Administration’s support is critical – having an ally in the White House will make an enormous difference as we make the argument for this policy to our colleagues. We look forward to a renewed push to build support for automatic triggers, which are already popular across the political spectrum, in Congress.”

President-elect Biden’s American Rescue Plan proposes “to extend these emergency unemployment insurance programs through September 2021,” after which Biden says he “will work with Congress on ways to automatically adjust the length and amount of relief depending on health and economic conditions so future legislative delay doesn’t undermine the recovery and families’ access to benefits they need.” Beyer and New Democrat Coalition leaders, along with Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Michael Bennet (D-CO), initially introduced their framework for automatic stabilizer legislation, the Worker Relief and Security Act, last May, and followed up with a full bill in July. Some of the economists and policy thinkers who helped their legislative push with advice and advocacy have since been named to prominent economic posts by the President-elect. 

Washington, DC—Today, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) released the following statement in response to President-elect Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan, a plan that will help the country recover and rebuild from the pandemic.

"Watching Joe Biden speak last night about his robust relief plan was a breath of fresh air.

"Soon we will have a president in the White House, and Democratic leaders controlling Congress, who understand what economists have told us from the beginning—that in order to recover and rebuild from this pandemic you must first control the coronavirus and that rent and food are not going to trickle down to millions of unemployed Americans.

"Republicans who say the plan is too costly are the same Republicans who have spent the past year trying to penny-pinch the American people during a pandemic. We need to vaccinate every person in the country, get all school-age children back in school, get millions of unemployed workers back to work, and help restaurants, bars, movie theaters, gyms, shopping centers and other businesses reopen, among other monumental missions. You cannot do any of this on the cheap, and, if you care about the country, you should not want to.

“President-elect Biden’s plan is a bold blueprint for building back better; it is also comprehensive and smart and will ensure we are able to address the health and economic challenges before us. It accelerates our testing and vaccination efforts, supports workers and families who have borne the brunt of the economic hits during the pandemic, and puts our economy on a path to recovery. I look forward to working with my colleagues to turn this plan into law."

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) released the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that nonfarm payroll employment declined by 140,000 in December and the unemployment rate remained at 6.7%. The unemployment rate was 9.9% for Black workers and 9.3% for Hispanic workers. 

The number of long-term unemployed, who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more, reached almost 4.0 million and now accounts for more than 37 percent of unemployed workers. The American economy has 9.8 million fewer jobs than it had in February. When President Trump leaves office this month, he will become the first president since World War II to leave office with fewer American jobs than when his administration started.

“The recovery has run out of gas in large part because Republicans in Congress waited too long to provide more fuel. We lost ground last month. The relief package passed in December will help, but today’s report makes clear that Congress will need to do much more to support the millions of workers who have lost their jobs and incomes through no fault of their own. As Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has said, the risk is not doing too much, it is doing too little.

“I am confident that the Democratic House and Senate, working with the Biden administration, will give new hope to American workers and their families. I look forward to working with the new administration and my colleagues to provide additional relief that gets us through this challenging period and lays the groundwork for strong, sustainable growth.”

About Congressman Beyer 

Congressman Don Beyer is currently serving his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital. Beyer was Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee in 2020 and is expected to serve as Chairman in the 117th Congress. Beyer also serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Previously, Beyer served as the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia and Ambassador to Switzerland, and built a successful family business over the course of four decades.

December 20, 2020 (Washington, D.C.) – Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), who is expected to chair Congress’ Joint Economic Committee in the next session of Congress, issued the following statement today on the three-year anniversary of the passage of the 2017 Republican tax bill:

“In negotiating pandemic relief legislation, Senate Republicans argued it would be too expensive to send Americans even one more round of $1,200 checks. Three years ago today they passed tax cuts for large corporations they claimed would ‘pay for themselves,’ a claim they knew to be false.

“Senate Republicans have reportedly cut the enhanced federal benefits in half from CARES Act levels, and halved the duration of those benefits compared to House-passed legislation. Three years ago they passed an extraordinarily regressive tax bill that gave most benefits to the very wealthy.

“Today Senate Republicans are fighting to limit or reduce food and rental assistance to needy families on the edge of disaster. Three years ago these same Senate Republicans passed legislation with a provision that exclusively benefitted households worth over $22 million.

“Three years ago the economy was still riding the wave of the Obama recovery, and Senate Republicans shrugged off long term fiscal concerns as they cut taxes for millionaires. Today, as Senate Republicans penny-pinch working people, American families are racked with fear and uncertainty, many are suffering some of the worst economic misery they have ever seen. The contrast is utterly appalling.”

Washington, D.C.— Today, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), the incoming Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), released the Democratic response to the 2020 Economic Report of the President (Report), published by the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). This year's Democratic response is an unsparing analysis of President Trump's economic record, finding that it was unspectacular before the coronavirus hit the U.S. and unspeakable after—making it one of the worst among all U.S. presidents.

Most importantly, the response tells the truth about the many untruths President Trump told about his economic record over the last four years—that his tax cuts would be “one of the great Christmas gifts to middle-income people,” that his trade war with China was being won “very big” and that the manufacturing industry was experiencing a “blue-collar boom.”

The truth, as the response explains, is that President Trump inherited a strong economy from President Obama (steady GDP growth, 4.7% unemployment and 76 consecutive months of job growth) and weakened that economy with his tax cuts and trade wars, and then made a bad situation worse by refusing to take the coronavirus seriously.

The combined Democratic and Republican response is here. Read Vice Chair Beyer’s introduction to the Democratic response here.

Vice Chair Beyer:

“When President Trump’s term ends in January, he will become the first president since World War II to leave office with fewer American jobs than when his administration started—and he only has himself to blame. Even before the coronavirus, he failed to pursue policies that would sustain and strengthen the strong economy he inherited from President Obama.

“His tax cuts were ‘one of the great Christmas gifts’ to high-income people, not middle-income people like he said they would be. He said we were ‘winning’ his trade war with China ‘very big’ when we were losing it very big—especially American farmers, many of whom were bankrupted by it and had to be bailed out by the federal government in the tens of billions. His ‘blue-collar boom’ was a blue-collar bust that drove the manufacturing sector into a recession even before coronavirus hit.

“Now, American businesses and workers are struggling to survive because President Trump refused to listen to advice from public health experts and economists about the best way to handle the coronavirus. In fact, his handling of the coronavirus will hurt the economy for years to come. That is President Trump’s economic legacy—one of the worst among all U.S. presidents.”

The JEC is required by law to submit written findings and recommendations in response to the Report, which is prepared and released each year by the CEA. This year’s Report was released by the CEA in February shortly before President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus created the worst public health crisis in more than a century and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. As a result, the Democratic response looks both at President Trump’s economic record in the years before publication of the Report and the tragic months afterward.

The Democratic response to the Report includes four chapters:

  • Chapter 1: President Trump’s Record on the Economy
    • Focusing on President Trump pre- and post-COVID record on the economy.
  • Chapter 2: The Administration’s Failure to Support Recovery
    • Detailing how President Trump’s and congressional Republicans’ response to the coronavirus has hurt America’s ability to recover from the recession.
  • Chapter 3: Race, Class and the Coronavirus
    • Highlighting how President Trump’s and congressional Republicans’ response to the coronavirus disproportionately has hurt the working poor, immigrants, Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans.
  • Chapter 4: Missed Opportunities to Support Workers and Families
    • Focusing on President Trump’s and congressional Republicans’ multiple missed opportunities to support workers and families in the wake of the coronavirus, specifically opportunities related to paid sick leave, child care and mental health.

About Congressman Beyer

Congressman Don 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. Previously, Beyer served as the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia and Ambassador to Switzerland, and built a successful family business over the course of four decades.

About the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee

The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee is Congress’s bicameral economic think tank. It was created when Congress passed the Employment Act of 1946. Under this Act, Congress established two advisory panels: the President's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) and the JEC. Their primary tasks are to review economic conditions and to recommend improvements in economic policy. Chairmanship of the JEC alternates between the Senate and House every Congress. Currently, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is the Chair. Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) will be Chair in the 117th Congress.

“These numbers are deeply disappointing—and, in the context of unemployment benefits expiring for millions on Christmas Eve, they are also deeply disturbing.

“The Chair of the Federal Reserve and economists across the political spectrum agree that robust relief is needed. It is long past time that Republicans listen to them. Millions of workers should not be worried about how to put food on the table or keep a roof over their heads, but they are because Republicans want to penny-pinch the American people during a pandemic.

“If Republicans refusing to extend unemployment benefits and other forms of relief are not convinced by the most recent unemployment numbers—19 million drawing unemployment benefits, 3.9 million long-term unemployed, 38 straight weeks of weekly unemployment claims greater than the worst week of the Great Recession—then nothing will convince them.

“The nation’s health and economy are going backwards, not forwards, because Republicans and the leader of their party have spent months doing the very opposite of what is needed to contain the coronavirus and responsibly rebuild and recover from this recession.”

About Congressman Beyer

Congressman Don 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. Previously, Beyer served as the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia and Ambassador to Switzerland, and built a successful family business over the course of four decades.

About the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee

 The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee is Congress’s bicameral economic think tank. It was created when Congress passed the Employment Act of 1946. Under this Act, Congress established two advisory panels: the President's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) and the JEC. Their primary tasks are to review economic conditions and to recommend improvements in economic policy. Chairmanship of the JEC alternates between the Senate and House every Congress. Currently, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is the Chair. Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) will be Chair in the 117th Congress.

Beyer Introduces First-Of-Its-Kind Legislation To Address The Cost Of Police Misconduct To Municipal Governments

Each year, cities and counties spend hundreds of millions of dollars on police misconduct judgements and settlements.

Dec 09 2020

Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), the incoming Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), introduced the Cost of Police Misconduct Act—legislation that would require federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to report to the Department of Justice how much they spend on judgements and settlements related to police misconduct. The first-of-its-kind legislation would increase transparency and accountability, saving taxpayer dollars and potentially lives.

Vice Chair Beyer:

“Most Americans have no idea how much the cities and counties they live in spend on police misconduct. You cannot manage what you do not measure. The purpose of this legislation is to measure the problem as much as possible so we can manage it in a way that not only saves lives—the most important goal—but also taxpayer dollars, which would be better spent on programs and policies that are proven to prevent crime.”

Every year cities and counties across the country spend hundreds of millions of dollars on judgments and settlements related to police misconduct—the costliest of which in many cases are civil rights violations (e.g. use of force) that result in the physical injury or death of residents.
Cities and counties typically pay for such judgements and settlements through liability insurance (typical of smaller cities), or from a general or dedicated municipal fund (typical of larger cities), or from issuing bonds. Bonds are particularly common for large judgements or settlements, which exceed insurer liabilities or the capacity of general or dedicated municipal funds, and often result in taxpayers paying nearly double the cost of the judgement or settlement because the city or county must pay fees to financial institutions and interest to investors.

One recent study found that from 2008-2017, residents of Chicago, Ill.(2010-2017), Cleveland, Ohio, Lake County, Ind., Los Angles, Calif., and Milwaukee, Wis., paid an estimated combined total of $1.73 billion in bonds ($837.8 million) and interest payments ($891 million) related to police misconduct. According to a recent NPR report, residents of Chicago alone have paid about a half billion dollars for police misconduct over the past decade. The Cost of Police Misconduct Act would create a source of comprehensive data on the size and nature of such payments to help policymakers, stakeholders, and the public understand the scope of the problem and the need for reform.

Mr. Hilary O Shelton, the Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau and the Senior Vice President for Policy and Advocacy:

“For too long, law enforcement agencies have paid out millions upon millions of dollars in taxpayer monies to compensate for misconduct charges against mistreated Americans. This payout comes without having to officially alert the taxpayers of our Nation of the damages, liabilities, harm or in some cases even unintentional, unreasonable and reckless use of force. In too many cases these deeply disturbing actions even result in permanent disability or even death. That stops with this legislation. By requiring police officers and units to report to the public the amount of money that is being spent defending and settling misconduct and liability charges, we will be incentivizing law enforcement agents to better serve and protect the American public in a manner befitting their uniform, as well as providing the people of our nation with a more transparent understanding of how their tax money is being misspent.”

Katherine Hawkins, Senior Legal Analyst with The Constitution Project at the Project On Government Oversight (POGO):

“Though the negative impact of police misconduct and racial injustice has been evident for a long time, recent tragedies like those involving George Floyd and Breonna Taylor have poignantly highlighted how much work we still have to do. Among a wide range of other reforms, it is critical that Congress enact policies that would result in a higher quantity and quality of data around how often instances of police misconduct occur and what the true costs are of that misconduct. It will be exceedingly difficult for us to ever make evidence-based decisions around policing reform without good data. It is important to remember that police misconduct, beyond the loss of life and of trust, can result in costly legal settlements that effectively defund other vital government services at a time when municipal budgets are under huge strain."

In general, the Cost of Police Misconduct Act would require:

  1. federal law enforcement agencies, and state and local law enforcement agencies that receive federal funds under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG), to report on a monthly basis allegations of misconduct by law enforcement officers and judgements or settlements related to such misconduct, and, for each allegation and judgement or settlement reported:
    • the race, ethnicity, sex, and age of each officer and civilian involved;
    • the year in which the alleged misconduct took place;
    • the year in which the alleged misconduct was reported;
    • the type of misconduct alleged, which may include a body camera violation (whether a failure to wear or record), use of force (including type of force), a collision, racial profiling, negligence, property damage, sexual harassment or assault, false testimony, wrongful death, and wrongful imprisonment;
    • any personnel action taken by the officer involved, which may include resignation or retirement;
    • any personnel action taken by the law enforcement agency involved, which may include termination, demotion or relocation of the officer;
    • the amount paid pursuant to a judgement or settlement (and related court fees) with respect to such allegation;
    • the source of money used (e.g. general operating budget, law enforcement agency budget, bond) to pay a judgement or settlement (and related court fees); and
    • the total amount spent on all such judgements and settlements (and related court fees).
  2. the Attorney General to create and maintain an online searchable database of the information reported. 
  3. the Comptroller General to conduct a study of the information reported to determine the leading cause of such judgements and settlements and what can be done to prevent them.
  4. the Attorney General to submit a report about the aforementioned study to Congress.
  5. the Attorney General to determine the number of federal agencies that have law enforcement authority and make this information publicly available, as well as update it when needed. (As a recent DOJ IG report explains, the federal government does not know the exact number of agencies that have law enforcement authority. In order to determine if these agencies are in compliance with this law and others, the federal government needs to know how many of them exist.)

 About Congressman Beyer

Congressman Don 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. Previously, Beyer served as the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia and Ambassador to Switzerland, and built a successful family business over the course of four decades.

About the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee

The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee is Congress’s bicameral economic think tank. It was created when Congress passed the Employment Act of 1946. Under this Act, Congress established two advisory panels: the President's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) and the JEC. Their primary tasks are to review economic conditions and to recommend improvements in economic policy. Chairmanship of the JEC alternates between the Senate and House every Congress. Currently, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is the Chair. Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) will be Chair in the 117th Congress.

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), the incoming Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), released the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that nonfarm payroll employment increased by 245,000 in November and the unemployment rate dropped to 6.7%. The unemployment rate was 10.3% for Black workers and 8.4% for Hispanic workers.

The number of long-term unemployed, who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more, increased by 385,000 to 3.9 million. For many of these workers, their unemployment benefits have expired or will expire at the end of the year. Yet, since May, Senate Republicans have refused to pass a relief bill extending these benefits and others.

Currently, the American economy has 9.8 million fewer jobs than it had in February. When President Trump’s term ends in January, he will become the first president since World War II to leave office with fewer American jobs than when his administration started.

“Job growth slowed again last month and our economy is still unhealthy. In fact, with coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths reaching record numbers across the country, we are heading into a situation that may be even worse than the spring. President Trump and Senate Republicans should be ashamed.

“Christmas is in three weeks, rent was due a few days ago and millions of Americans are on the verge of hunger and homelessness. However, instead of passing a relief bill that the Federal Reserve Chair and economists say is sorely needed, Senate Republicans have been confirming judge after judge—filling the federal bench while Americans fill hospitals across the country.

“The leader of their party has been doing even less than they have—sulking and seeking revenge for an election he lost definitively, while Americans pay with their lives and livelihoods.

“Workers and their families, as well as businesses and state and local governments, need relief now—especially as many federal relief programs are set to expire at the end of the year. They do not have time to wait for President Trump and Senate Republicans to do what anyone with a heart would do—protect people during a pandemic.”

About Congressman Beyer

Congressman Don 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. Previously, Beyer served as the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia and Ambassador to Switzerland, and built a successful family business over the course of four decades.

About the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee

The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee is Congress’s bicameral economic think tank. It was created when Congress passed the Employment Act of 1946. Under this Act, Congress established two advisory panels: the President's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) and the JEC. Their primary tasks are to review economic conditions and to recommend improvements in economic policy. Chairmanship of the JEC alternates between the Senate and House every Congress. Currently, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is the Chair and Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) is Vice Chair.

Washington, DC — Today, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), who is set to take over as Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC) in January, released the following statement in response to President-elect Joe Biden’s selections for top economic posts:

“The women and men President-elect Biden has selected are among the best and brightest in the country, and most importantly they have the experience and expertise needed to build our economy back better. Every member of this team is battle-tested by past crises, and with these leaders in place our economy will soon be back in competent, capable hands.

“Janet Yellen is among the most accomplished economic leaders of our time, and will break ground as the first woman to serve as Treasury Secretary. Dr. Yellen brings unique experience to bear as former chair of both the Fed and the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. I consulted Dr. Yellen about unemployment policy while drafting automatic stabilizer legislation early in the pandemic, and know her to be a person of impressive acumen who is deeply committed to helping extend economic opportunity to all Americans. Along with Adewale Adeyemo, who will become the highest-ranking Black official in the history of the Treasury Department if confirmed, this team will provide historic, dependable leadership at Treasury.

“Cecilia Rouse is likewise highly accomplished, having previously served on the Council of Economic Advisers where she helped develop President Obama’s response to the Great Recession. Dr. Rouse will be the first Black woman to lead CEA, and I look forward to hearing her testimony before the Joint Economic Committee. Dr. Rouse will be joined by Heather Boushey and Jared Bernstein, who I know well as champions in the fight against inequality. Dr. Boushey and Dr. Bernstein both testified before the Joint Economic Committee earlier this year and their commitment to restoring full employment is appropriate and admirable.

“In Neera Tanden, the President-elect’s team gets another deeply experienced and historic nomination. Tanden would be the first woman of color to lead the Office of Management and Budget, and her policy experience and devotion to strengthening the middle class are beyond question.

“This economic team has the depth of knowledge and breadth of experience our country needs, and they know that our recovery must include people of color, women, low-wage workers, front line workers, the unemployed, young people, retirees and others who have felt the worst effects of this pandemic. Where required, they deserve and should receive a prompt and fair confirmation process.”

In July, Boushey and Bernstein testified at a Joint Economic Committee hearing led by Vice Chair Beyer, “Reducing Uncertainty and Restoring Confidence during the Coronavirus Recession.” Since March, Vice Chair Beyer has hosted nearly 40 hour-long calls with economists and other experts focused on the economic impact of the coronavirus, including Boushey. Some of those calls inspired his ambitious legislation to tie enhanced unemployment benefits to automatic stabilizers, which was developed in discussion with Yellen and other economists and policy leaders.

Beyer is expected to become Chair of Congress’ Joint Economic Committee, which advises Congress on the state of the economy and suggests policy solutions to economic problems, in January. The Joint Economic Committee holds separate annual hearings on the U.S. economy with the Chair of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and the Chair of the Federal Reserve.