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.