Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), the Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, released the following statement in response to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report that nonfarm payroll employment grew by 273,000 in February and the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent.

“It’s difficult to celebrate given the coming impact of the coronavirus, which may soon make this report irrelevant. The outbreak will pose a substantial threat to both public health and the economy if the administration is not able to contain it. We need to focus on the immense challenges ahead.

“The President’s ineffective response to the coronavirus has shaken the economy. The stock market is extremely volatile and to many people frightening, after suffering the worst weekly drop since the financial crisis. Businesses have more questions than answers right now because the President only offers obfuscation.

“The Fed took surprising action by cutting interest rates before its March meeting, and Congress passed an emergency supplemental bill that includes provisions that help small businesses—but we don’t know yet whether that will be enough to stabilize the economy. In the end, neither the Fed nor Congress will be able to overcome the President’s misinformation and missteps.

“In the manufacturing industry, which is in a recession, we’ve lost 5,000 jobs since the beginning of the year. Add to that the impact that the coronavirus and the trade wars are having on supply chains and we’re likely to see job growth in manufacturing that’s even more disappointing.

“In addition, although the President talked about a ‘blue-collar boom’ in the State of the Union, in recent months it’s been more like a bust. But by now we should know that the fact that the President says something doesn’t make it so. Wage growth has been slower than expected, and was again modest in February, and if it wasn’t for states that have increased the minimum wage, as a result of pressure from Democrats, many workers would be making even less.

“Americans are having to do more with less—and many work more than one job to make ends meet. Their wages aren’t keeping up with the costs of housing, health care and child care. In addition, too many Americans have yet to see anything trickle down from the President’s tax cuts for corporations and the rich, which will add $1.9 trillion to the national debt.”

Congressman 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. 

Washington, D.C.—Today, in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), the Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, demanded the immediate release of what the Trump cabinet official said were “internal projections” supporting his claim that the Trump tax cuts will pay for themselves.

Although Mnuchin testified at a hearing of the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government of the U.S. House of Representatives House Appropriations Committee that “this is just math,” estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office show that the 2017 tax cuts will add $1.9 trillion to the national debt.

“As Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, I request that you release these important internal projections immediately,” Beyer wrote. “They are at odds with every reputable study about the effect of Public Law 115-97 on the economy and, if your calculations are correct, they could reshape our understanding of the relationship between taxes and economic growth. It is critical that Congress have access to this potentially revolutionary research.”

Full text of letter is below and here.

March 4, 2020

The Honorable Steven T. Mnuchin
Secretary of the Treasury
U.S. Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20220

On Wednesday, March 4th you testified to the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government of the U.S. House of Representatives House Appropriations Committee that “internal projections” showed that Public Law 115-97 (previously known at the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”) is boosting economic growth to such a degree that new federal tax revenues will exceed the revenues lost as a result of the tax cuts – that the tax cuts would pay for themselves. You said that this was “just math.”

As Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, I request that you release these important internal projections immediately. They are at odds with every reputable study about the effect of Public Law 115-97 on the economy and, if your calculations are correct, they could reshape our understanding of the relationship between taxes and economic growth. It is critical that Congress have access to this potentially revolutionary research.

As you know, several non-partisan organizations have estimated the effect of the 2017 tax cuts on economic growth and tax revenue. These estimates take into account the various channels by which tax cuts could, in theory, boost economic growth such as increasing labor supply by reducing marginal tax rates on labor or increasing productivity reducing the marginal tax rate on investment.

Important examples of this research include:

  • The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated in December 2017 that Public Law 115-97 would cost $1.5 trillion over 10 years without incorporating macroeconomic feedback and $1.1 trillion after incorporating macroeconomic feedback.
  • The Congressional Budget Office in April 2018 estimated that the tax cuts would cost $1.9 trillion both without incorporating macroeconomic feedback and after incorporating macroeconomic feedback along with debt service costs.
  • Private-sector forecasters such as Moody's and Goldman Sachs estimated that Public Law 115-97 would only increase GDP at the end of the ten-year budget window by less than a percentage point--well short of the amount needed for the tax cuts to pay for themselves. 

Data available since passage of the Public Law 115-97 further undermine the case that it will pay for itself. Total federal revenue in 2018 was $275 billion (7.6 percent) below pre-Public Law 115-97 projections. If the law were already producing economic growth sufficient to pay for itself, then revenue would have stayed at least constant.

Proving the research of these institutions wrong would be real news and it would reshape every aspect of federal spending and tax policy. Given the far reaching implications of Treasury’s internal projections, it is vital that they be released to Congress and the public immediately.

Sincerely,

DON BEYER
Vice Chair, Joint Economic Committee

Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), the Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, released the following statement on the Federal Reserve’s decision to cut interest rates by half a percentage point in response to concern that the coronavirus may hurt the U.S. economy.

“I welcome the Fed’s timely and aggressive action. It’s critical for the President to be equally aggressive in his efforts to protect public health, turning from complacency and denial to a coordinated, full-bore response. The Fed’s actions alone won’t calm markets and stabilize the economy – it will require presidential leadership and a level of competence that the administration has thus far failed to demonstrate.

“So far, the President’s failure to respond effectively to the coronavirus has put us at greater risk.

"Just yesterday, the CDC removed from its website the number of people who have been tested for the virus. When lives are at stake, the public needs more information from government – not less – that’s accurate, and not pseudoscience from the President.

“The President’s lack of leadership on the coronavirus won’t just hurt our health, it’s very likely that it will hurt our economy. The stock market already has suffered the worst weekly drop since the financial crisis. Businesses are at risk because their supply chains are interrupted – including the supplies of key medicines and medical supplies. In addition, markets for American exports are affected, as are imports from Asia at U.S. ports. Economists predict that the outbreak could have a substantial impact on GDP.

“Ironically, our public health and our economy are at risk in part because of our country’s failure to provide quality, affordable health coverage and paid sick leave to everyone. People without paid sick leave will go to work when, from a public health standpoint, they should stay home. This puts others at risk, multiplying the rate of infection. It’s time for us to realize that family-friendly policies, both quality, affordable health coverage and paid sick leave, are essential to maintaining public health and for safeguarding our economy.

“Instead of a president who plays politics when it comes to the human and economic impact of the virus – as the President did last week during his press conference – we need one who will actually lead. The coronavirus doesn’t care about the President’s pride or poll numbers.

“Ultimately, the lack of leadership coming from the President could make a bad situation worse, which would result in even more lives at stake. But it’s hard to be surprised by his ignorance and inaction since this is a president who wants to put Americans’ health at risk by cutting the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control budgets by billions.”

Washington, D.C.— Today, at a Joint Economic Committee (JEC) hearing on improving family stability, U.S. Congressman and JEC Vice Chair Don Beyer (D-VA) probed witnesses about the economic challenges facing families and what can be done at the federal level to support them.

“Some say that the stability of American families is just a matter of marriage and morals, but economic challenges are an overwhelming factor. We’re not returning to a ‘Leave-It-To-Beaver’ America, so it’s best that we focus on supporting families in whatever form they take,” Beyer said.  

“Family-friendly policies such as affordable childcare, paid family and medical leave and the earned income tax credit are essential for families to survive and thrive,” Beyer continued. “We need to strengthen and streamline these policies so they better reflect the reality of families.”

Read Beyer’s written opening statement here. Excerpts from the statement are below.

Fact 1: Teen pregnancy is at a record low.

  • “Between 1991 and 2015, the teen birth rate dropped by almost two-thirds, thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act.”

Fact 2: Declining marriage rates largely are a result of economic challenges.

  • “If you’re struggling financially, your wages haven’t gone up or you’ve lost your job—getting married is neither feasible nor practical.”

Fact 3: Americans want to get their economic footing before marriage.

  • “Young Americans today want to get their economic footing before they get married. They correctly understand that they must get an education or training to achieve financial success. If they wait longer to get married, it’s not because they are anti-marriage. It’s because they are pragmatic.”

Fact 4: Traditional family structures are not the only path to success.

  • “It’s true, that as people delay marriage, there are more babies born to unmarried parents. That holds across demographic groups and race. And it’s true in the United States and elsewhere.”
  • “It’s also true that fathers today spend significantly more time caring for their children than in previous generations—in fact, three times the amount as in 1965.”

Fact 5: Real challenges facing families are economic.

  • “Forty-four percent of workers earn just $18,000. And many are working two and three jobs.”

Fact 6: We should invest in proven programs.

  • “Increase the minimum wage. Expand the EITC. Provide affordable, quality child care. Protect nutritional supports. Ensure workers have real bargaining power—to negotiate wage increases, predictable hours and better working conditions.” 

Fact 7: We need “family-friendly” policies like paid leave

  • “I’m pleased and encouraged that federal workers will be able to take 12 weeks paid leave to care for a newborn or adopted child. We should expand that same policy to workers in the private sector.”

Fact 8: Government policies need to catch up to the way Americans live.

  • Finally, part of the challenge for families is that our government hasn’t kept pace with the way people are living their lives. For example, the share of multigenerational households is growing, but our policies haven’t changed.”

Congressman 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. He represents the largest number of federal employees of any member of the House.

Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement after the White House released its 2020 Economic Report of the President.

“Like the Administration’s recently released budget, this report rests on a shaky foundation of rosy growth forecasts that are far higher than those from CBO, the Federal Reserve and private forecasters.

“In other important ways, it appears disconnected from reality. It does not mention climate change once in 435 pages. Nor does it devote even a paragraph to the huge budget deficits and massive long-term debt which are the result of the Republican tax giveaway to large corporations and the wealthy.

“The report also minimizes the negative impacts of rising market concentration on workers’ bargaining power and their wages. Many economists, including work from the Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration, have shown that wage growth has been constrained by a small number of large companies dominating key sectors of the economy. Yet, this administration appears determined to come down on the side of large corporations and the wealthy, no matter what the data tell us.

“Ironically, Acting CEA Chair Tomas Philipson undercuts the President’s ludicrous claim that China bears 100 percent of the cost of his trade war. Philipson acknowledged today that the Administration’s trade policies have created uncertainty and slowed investment and growth. Perhaps this was simply an effort to explain away the modest 2.3 percent GDP growth in 2019.

“Now, the administration needs to change its policies that are harming Americans.”

Congressman 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. He represents the largest number of federal employees of any member of the House.

WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, today released a new report examining recent economic progress and remaining challenges facing the Black community in America.

“The data captured in this report show significant changes affecting African Americans which include both progress and areas where significant disparities remain,” said Beyer. “In the latter category, the unemployment rate for Blacks is almost twice what it is for Whites, which is unacceptable. Closing persistent, and in some cases, growing gaps between the economic experiences of White Americans and Black Americans is vital to helping our society overcome its history of racial discrimination.”

The report shows that Black Americans have made substantial progress, for example:

  • Black college graduation rates more than doubled from 1990 to 2018.
  • By 2017, the share of Black women enrolled in college exceeded the share of White men enrolled.
  • Incarceration rates for Black Americans fell by nearly one-third between 2007 and 2017.
  • The gap in life expectancy between non-Hispanic Blacks and Whites decreased between 2006-2010, though progress since has stalled.

Yet glaring inequities persist:

  • The Black unemployment rate remains twice as high as the White unemployment rate (6.0 percent vs 3.1 percent in January 2020).
  • The median net worth for White families is nearly 10 times greater than for Black families.
  • Black households earned just 59 cents for every dollar White households earned in 2018.
  • Fewer than half of Black families own their home compared to nearly three-fourths of White families.

Congressman 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.

Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nonfarm payroll employment grew by 225,000 in January and the unemployment rate was 3.6 percent.

 “I’m happy to see the economy continued to add jobs at a healthy rate in January, thanks to the dynamism of American businesses. More people are returning to the workforce and that’s another positive.  

“But, there are storm clouds on the horizon, including slowing global growth and uncertainty surrounding the economic impacts of the coronavirus. The president’s ill-conceived trade war has hurt the global economy and helped push American manufacturing into recession. Even with the strong overall employment gains in the past few months, manufacturing job growth has stalled, with the sector adding no jobs over the past four months and just 6,000 over the past half a year.

“The president claimed in his State of the Union speech that we are experiencing the “best” economy in American history. However, job growth has slowed dramatically under President Trump. In the first three years of his administration, 1.5 million fewer jobs, or 42,000 per month, have been added than in the last three years of the Obama presidency. This inconvenient fact was omitted from the president’s address.

“Many people, even those working, are being left behind. The Republican tax cuts have ballooned the budget deficit, making it harder to invest in America’s future and exacerbating inequality.”

Congressman 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. He represents the largest number of federal employees of any member of the House.

Press contact
Harry Gural
(202) 224-2675

WASHINGTON—Congressman Don. Beyer (VA-08), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement after the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its initial estimate of fourth quarter gross domestic product (GDP), showing that GDP grew at annual rate of 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019, the same rate as in the previous quarter. Overall, real GDP increased 2.3 percent in 2019, compared to a 2.9 percent increase in 2018.

“The president and his team promised that his tax cuts would lead to GDP growth of three to six percent. It’s now clear that they haven’t come close. We’ve now had three straight quarters of modest economic growth. Three straight quarters where business investment has fallen. Manufacturing has contracted for three of the last four quarters. Whatever short-term boost to the economy resulted from the tax cuts has worn off.

“The Republican tax law added nearly $2 trillion to the national debt but delivered little sustained benefit. Our country faces pressing economic challenges and instead of addressing those challenges, the president and Republicans in Congress chose to give very large tax cuts to those who didn’t need them and run up the deficit. We should have invested in roads and bridges and in education to prepare the next generation to compete in today’s global economy.

“While the Republican tax law did little to boost growth, the administration’s trade policies are actually slowing growth and costing consumers money. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s latest forecast, the administration’s tariffs will reduce real GDP by 0.5 percent this year and reduce average household income by nearly $1,300. It’s time for the administration to face this reality and change policy.”

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. He represents the largest number of federal employees of any member of the House.

 

Press contact
Harry Gural

(202) 224-2675

Congressman Don Beyer (VA-08), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) today released its “Budget and Economic Outlook: 2020 to 2030.”

“Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin just said he still thinks the GOP tax cuts will pay for themselves. What began as a wildly unrealistic political promise has now turned into economic gaslighting. CBO’s new forecast shows just how little growth we got for the Republican tax cuts, and confirms that our children will be paying for these tax breaks for the wealthy for years to come.”

CBO forecasts a deficit of $1 trillion in 2020 and average annual deficits of $1.3 trillion between 2021 and 2030. Real GDP growth will average just 1.7 percent per year between 2021 and 2030. Deficits are projected to reach 5.4 percent of GDP by 2030. Federal debt held by the public is forecast to climb to 98 percent of GDP in 2030, up from 79 percent in 2019.

Press contact
Harry Gural
Harry_Gural@jec.senate.gov
(202) 224-2675

WASHINGTON—Congressman Don Beyer (VA-8) has been elected Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC) by the Committee’s members.

“I thank my colleagues from both parties and chambers for confirming me to this position. I look forward to working with all of them and Chairman Lee in 2020 to tackle the enormous challenges facing the U.S. economy,” Congressman Beyer said.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi recommended Congressman Beyer for the post. He replaces Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who stepped down as Vice Chair to chair the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Congressman Beyer represents Virginia’s 8th District, which encompasses Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and parts of Fairfax County. He serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. He was the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia from 1990 to 1998, and Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein under President Obama.

The JEC is a joint House-Senate committee that holds hearings and issues reports to help inform Congress’ actions on economic issues. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is Chairman of the committee in the 116th Congress. Senator Lee and Representative Beyer are joined by nine Republican and nine Democratic members.

Democratic members are Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Rep. Beyer, Rep. Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA), Rep. David Trone (D-MD), Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) and Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL).

Republican members are Sen. Lee, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL), Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX) and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA).