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.