Housing inflation is raging at five times the national average before President Biden took office, Ways and Means Republican Leader Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) said in remarks before a full committee hearing. These policies are crushing the American dream for families, on top of all the other ways American families are struggling in President Biden’s cruel economy.
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Rep. Brady’s full remarks as prepared for delivery appear below.
Thank you, Chairman Neal, for holding this hearing, and to our witnesses for being here today.
As you know, American families and workers are finding that Joe Biden’s economy is a cruel economy.
And they just got hit with more bad news – inflation today is raging at over 9%…and getting worse.
Working women haven’t had it this bad in decades. The dangerous baby formula shortage, rising crime, and inflation, and now housing they can barely afford to live in. Just as with crushing gas prices, Democrats in Washington are blaming everyone under the sun for the cruel rise in housing costs: builders, local investors and developers who make the construction of new homes and neighborhoods a reality.
Republicans have held our ground against more inflationary spending and higher taxes that turn into higher prices for consumers. Democrats blame us too.
The White House and their allies are desperately doing anything they can not to look in the mirror. They know the real culprit of higher prices: themselves. They run the House, the Senate and the White House – the American people know exactly who’s at fault because the inflation crisis is one of their own making.
Everyone from the San Francisco Federal Reserve to former top Obama-Biden economic advisers have made clear that Democrats’ $2 trillion so-called COVID stimulus fueled inflation, worsened the labor shortage, and sabotaged our economic recovery.
It hit housing especially hard.
By shoveling trillions of federal dollars into the economy they distorted demand for housing (in addition to demand for consumer goods).
Now we have too many dollars chasing too few homes and housing inflation is raging at five times the national average before President Biden took office.
And this is a shocking point: the average home price has gone up $100,000 since President Biden took office! Who can afford that?
Back in my home district in Texas, home prices are up another 20 percent in Walker County, costing families almost $150 more a month than the previous year.
Just looking at the price increases, these are hitting the homes on the lower end of the price scale hardest, meaning working families are the ones struggling the most.
Add surging mortgage rates due to the White House and the Federal Reserve ignoring inflation and the worker shortage all last year, plus the surge in material prices – and housing affordability is near the low of 15 years ago, and 30 years ago as well.
Even those who have opted for a longer commute to try to find a more affordable home are suffering with higher gas prices eating into their budget in a big way.
These policies are crushing the American dream for families.
And that’s on top of all the other ways American families are struggling in this cruel economy. There’s hardly an area in Americans’ daily lives that isn’t impacted by Biden-Flation.
New reports show 26 million Americans, many of them low income, have wiped out their savings trying to keep up with prices. An average family has taken a massive paycut, and will spend $5,500 more this year just to buy the same things they did last year.
They’re skipping meals, eliminating meat, and using their credit cards for the daily essentials.
This is disheartening: a quarter of Americans report they are now being forced to delay their retirement because they can’t make ends meet under Joe Biden’s economy.
Rather than change course, Democrats in Congress continue to push for tax hikes that hit families, small businesses, homebuilders, developers, and skilled trades businesses the hardest.
Contrast today with results in the two years after Republican tax cuts: Then, low inflation, strong real wage growth, and high housing affordability.
Those who received the biggest boosts in wages were the lowest earners fighting to work their way up the economic ladder – ensuring they had more money in their pocket – not less – to purchase that home and live the American dream.
Under President Trump paychecks were rising at record levels, especially for people of color, for women, the disabled, and they were going up twice as fast as inflation. Americans were getting a raise every month, not a pay cut.
Today, President Biden turned that around on a dime: They have a paycut every month.
Mr. Chairman, when this committee marked up the Build Back Better bill, I and my Republican colleagues expressed our deep-seated concerns that the White House was spending so much to kill so many American jobs.
We warned that under that bill, inflation would spin out of control, and would raise taxes on the middle class and small businesses.
Now, we hear rumors of a “slimmed-down” version of this bill and we still see over a trillion dollars of tax increases that will drive prices higher.
Chairman Neal, we have both seen what this committee can do when it works together to improve the lives of all Americans. I believe we can fight for a stronger economy, for less inflation, and to lift people out of poverty the right way – but only if we work together.
I hope that day comes soon. I appreciate very much your leadership and your willingness to hold this hearing today. I yield back.