Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, participated in a JEC hearing today that explored policies to help families who find themselves squeezed by rising costs and relatively stagnant wages.

Here are key excerpts from the hearing, which included two witnesses invited by Congresswoman Maloney: Dr. Jane Waldfogel, Compton Foundation Centennial Professor for the Prevention of Children’s and Youth Problems at the Columbia University School of Social Work, and Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, CEO and Co-Founder of MomsRising:

“Everyone in this room agrees that it’s more expensive than ever to raise a family. But we may disagree about the causes, and we may disagree about the solutions. I welcome the robust discussion that this committee provides,” Congresswoman Maloney said in her opening statement. “The entrance of women in the workforce is not a problem. We may hear that Americans got married less frequently or later in life as women took on careers, and that this hurt fertility rates. But women have become key drivers of our economic success.”

“Some would say that the solution is for the federal government to do nothing. I disagree. It has a key role to play,” she said later in her statement. “Let’s start by lifting the minimum wage. The House has passed legislation to lift the minimum wage to $15 by 2025 and give 33 million Americans a raise.  It’s time for the Senate to follow suit. We should expand programs and initiatives that we know work—like the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.”

“So what can we do to better support American families? We need to start by recognizing that in the majority of American families, it is no longer commonplace for there to be a stay-at-home caregiver,” Dr. Waldfogel said in opening remarks. “Our public policies have not kept pace with this new demographic reality.”

“Experts in this room, and around the nation, agree: It’s getting more and more expensive to raise a family and that fact has dire consequences,” Ms. Rowe-Finkbeiner said in her opening statement. “It doesn’t have to be this way. This crisis is born of policies that are outdated and that fail to address the realities of today’s economy and the struggles working families face. In good news, this crisis is solvable.”

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 Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

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

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