Nov 30 2020
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.