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Chairman Smith Announces Hearing on the State of the American Economy: The Heartland

March 02, 2023

House Committee on Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith (MO-08) announced this week that the Committee will hold its second field hearing on the State of the American Economy: The Heartland. The hearing will take place on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, in Yukon, Oklahoma. 

“During our first official hearing of the 118th Congress, the Ways and Means Committee heard from small business owners, workers, and families in Appalachia about the state of the American economy. Their testimony highlighted the divide between the rosy picture the White House paints and the grim reality on the ground for millions of working Americans and families who are struggling to make ends meet and provide for their loved ones. This Committee will next visit the Heartland in Oklahoma, to hear from farmers, small business owners, workers, and those in the U.S. energy sector about the challenges facing working-class Americans and how they think Congress can help. Over the next two years, this Committee will partner with the American people to develop solutions that will reverse the course of the Biden economy and deliver results that will improve their livelihoods.”

WHAT:                 Field hearing on the State of the American Economy: The Heartland

DATE:                    Tuesday, March 7, 2023 

TIME:                    8:00 AM CT 

LOCATION:         Express Clydesdales, 12701 W. Wilshire Blvd., Yukon, OK 73099

PRESS RSVP:      Due to limited seating capacity, press who wish to attend in-person should RSVP to JP Freire and Tim Foster.

Members will be joined by the following witnesses:

  • Bryan Jackson, Co-Founder, Route 66 Processing
  • Chuck Mills, Owner and President, Mills Machine Company, Inc.
  • Kelli Payne, former President of the Oklahoma National Stockyards
  • Joe Brevetti, Founder and Managing Member, Charter Oak Production Co., LLC.

Additional witnesses may be announced prior to the hearing.

How to Watch the Hearing:

Members of the press who wish to attend in-person should RSVP with the Committee staff listed above. Those who are unable to attend in-person can access a livestream on the Ways and Means Committee YouTube channel. NOTE: The livestream will not be available until the hearing starts.

Background Preview: Members of the press will be invited to an off-the-record call previewing the hearing. (Details forthcoming.)

About the Hearing:

  • The House Committee on Ways and Means is amplifying the voices and views of Americans living and working in communities across the country. A key part of that effort is a strong emphasis on field hearings that take important conversations about the future of the country beyond the Beltway.
  • Ways and Means Republicans are taking the conversation outside of Washington so the views of Americans on the front lines of today’s economy – workers, small businesses, farmers, and families – are informing the policies coming out of this Committee and Congress.
  • These conversations will focus on the impacts of the Biden economy including record-high inflation, increased input costs, labor shortages, combatting China, and challenges facing supply chains of critical importance. They will also focus on discussing tax reform policies and how Congress can utilize both tax and trade policies to strengthen the economy, and benefit small businesses, farmers, and families.
  • The State of the American Economy: The Heartland field hearing will take place in Yukon, Oklahoma, with more field hearings in other locations to follow.
  • At the hearing, witnesses – drawn from the local community – will share their own experiences and be given a platform to discuss the challenges they face in today’s economy.
    • The Congressional Budget Office has found that inflation in rural communities is 130 percent that of urban communities, which has resulted in 25 percent slower real wage growth for rural areas compared to urban areas.
    • Overall, real wages for American workers are down 3.9 percent since President Biden took office.
    • Today’s labor force participation rate of 62.4 percent remains below pre-pandemic levels.
    • Food prices have risen 10 percent over the last year.

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