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McHenry: It’s Not Just the Pandemic Posing a Threat to Our Full Recovery, It’s Democrats’ Bad Fiscal Policies

Washington, December 1, 2021 -

Today, the House Financial Services Committee is holding a hearing with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on their pandemic response. Instead of working with Republicans on bipartisan solutions to rebuild the greatest economy of our lifetimes experienced pre-pandemic, Democrats continue to push their far-left agenda that will make rising prices worse, keep workers on the sidelines, and hurt American small businesses.  

Watch Republican Leader Patrick McHenry’s (NC-10) opening remarks here.

Read Republican Leader McHenry’s opening remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Thank you, Madam Chair.

“Chair Powell, I want to congratulate you on your renomination. I’m glad to see President Biden recognized what I’ve said all along: you have earned and deserve another term leading the Federal Reserve.

“Under your leadership, the Fed took decisive and unprecedented action to prevent the COVID-related economic challenges from becoming an even more devastating financial crisis.

“But there’s more work to be done. We need to unwind these firefighting measures and turn our focus to rebuilding the economy, which—thanks to pro-growth Republican policies—was the greatest in our lifetimes prior to the pandemic.

“It’s the Fed’s job to look at and evaluate the full macroeconomic picture. Not respond to each and every variant.

“But it’s not just the pandemic posing a threat to our full recovery, it’s Democrats’ bad fiscal policies.

“Right before Thanksgiving, House Democrats passed another massive multi-trillion-dollar spending bill. Our economy is feeling the full force of that politically motivated decision.

“Look at the job market. In September, the jobs openings and labor turnover survey reported more than 10 million unfilled jobs, remaining near a record high.

“4.4 million people quit their jobs, an all-time high. Labor shortages continue to hold back growth and weaken the backbone of our economy—small businesses.

“Instead of seeking bipartisan solutions to support working parents as we continue to manage COVID, Democrats opted for unworkable mandates.

“The NFIB small business survey for October showed the economic outlook deteriorated to its lowest level since November 2012. Our labor force participation rate has stagnated since June 2020.

“Nearly half of small businesses report they had job openings that they were not able to fill. 58 percent indicated they had few or no qualified applicants.

“Look at consumer prices. From a year ago through October, the headline CPI rose 6.2 percent—the largest annual increase in 30 years. Consumer sentiment for November dropped to its lowest level in a decade.

“In fact, American families just experienced the most expensive Thanksgiving on record.

“Democrats want to blame increased prices on American businesses. It’s their policies. It’s coming from inside the House. It’s coming from inside the Senate. It’s coming from this Administration. They’re driving up costs for the American people.

“In October, the San Francisco Fed released a report showing that Democrat policies are harming our recovery. And what do House Democrats do with the data? They passed another massive spending bill that will only add jet fuel to the inflationary fires.

“Speaking of fuel, just look at gas prices. When you shut off American energy sources, it makes gas more expensive—particularly when you rely on OPEC to provide it. That’s just basic economics 101.

“So as important as it is to hear from you both today—in fact this is the last remnant of the CARES Act, the fact that you two are mandated to come and appear before us on a quarterly basis about programs that have been rescinded, but this is the last remnant of the CARES Act, which, by the way, was a bipartisan bill passed in the House, the Senate, and signed into law by the President last year.

“But we look forward to hearing from you today about this broad economic question that we are all concerned about. As we discuss these policies and what we’re doing to address them, I hope we can talk about solutions, not just the problem.

“I yield back.”


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