WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Ways and Means Committee Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) delivered the following opening statement at a Full Committee Hearing on the Proposed Fiscal Year 2021 Budget with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
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Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
“And thank you, Secretary Mnuchin, for joining us here today.
“If you talk to the Democrats running for president this year, these people are spreading horror stories about the current state of the American economy.
“Sen. Bernie Sanders stated that the ‘average American worker is not making a nickel more in real, inflation-accounted dollars than he or she did 45 years ago.’
“Former Vice President Joe Biden has purported that ‘the wealthy are the only ones doing well.’
“And former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has said that ‘a lot of that growth isn’t getting to most of us.’
“Shy of facts and heavy on politics, Democrats are attempting to lead the public to believe that the economy is not working.
“But, under the leadership of President Trump, yourself, and a Republican Congress, we have put in place an agenda focused on lower taxes, modernized trade, and balanced regulation.
“In fact, the success by this President and Republicans in Congress in growing the economy has put us in a better position to face global headwinds.
“That’s why our economy alone grew strongly while other Group of Seven countries faltered. And that’s why we will be able to sustain the challenges posed by the novel coronavirus.
“And while Democrats here today will try to say our reforms aren’t working, Mr. Secretary, American workers and businesses are seeing past the liberal rhetoric. Today workers are enjoying one of the strongest economies in our nation’s history.
“Trump’s tax reform have changed the trajectory of our economy – and the Congressional Budget Office solidified that recently, showing in their new baseline report that America’s economy is growing and creating jobs while generating greater revenue.
“Economic growth, once again, has beaten expectations made by these nonpartisan scorekeepers two years in a row. And even if the media refuses to report it, revenues are at an all-time high and growing.
“But this is where I agree with Democrats vying for the White House – we shouldn’t just look at the topline numbers. Because what is happening at the microeconomic level is even more historic.
“Income inequality has declined in all measures for the first time in decades, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Population Survey.
“Throughout 2019, wages grew by 5.2 percent for low-income workers in the 90th percentile while wages for those at the top saw a modest increase of 1.9 percent.
“This means on average, a factory worker voting today in California saw $3,550 more in their paychecks last year.
“Nonsupervisory workers are seeing substantially higher wages than their managers. Wage growth for Black workers is outpacing those who are Caucasian. And those with just a bachelor’s degree are seeing faster wage growth than those with advanced degrees.
“Most importantly, it is those who are considered poor that are gaining the most. According to the White House Council of Economic Advisors, wealth for the bottom 50 percent of workers is up nearly 47 percent, while for those at the top it is only up 13 percent.
“This wage growth points to why consumer confidence and financial optimism are so high today.
“Overall, economic confidence clocked by Americans’ is at an 20-year peak. Gallup reported in their poll that ‘rarely in the years that Gallup has tracked public ratings of the economy, since the early 1990s, have Americans had higher confidence in the economy than they do now.’
“The strength of the U.S. economy is due to the foundation of a strong worker. And under the Trump Administration, workers are reaping the benefits of policies that put their needs first.
“And Republicans, and you, Mr. Secretary, continue to elevate policies that will continue this historic streak: a new North American trade pact was just signed into law; an initial trade deal between us and China, the world’s second largest economy, was recently implemented; and we overhauled our nation’s retirement system to make it easier for families to save for the future while equipping small businesses to offer retirement plans.
“This growth can continue. And Americans deserve better than an impeachment-obsessed Congress, and they will see through Democrat hypocrisy on the campaign trail.
“The path forward is not through economic denial, where Democrats and the pundit class continues to cry foul. We must build on the success of the Trump tax cuts, continue to work on modernizing our trade relationships, and continue to help Main Street hire, expand, and invest.
“Mr. Secretary, I look forward to a productive discussion today on how best we can make that happen.
“Thank you, Chairman Neal.”