WASHINGTON, D.C. – Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth, Chair of the House Budget Committee, gave the following opening statement at today’s Members’ Day Hearing. Remarks as prepared and video are below:
Good morning and welcome to the Budget Committee’s Members’ Day hearing. Members’ Day is a longstanding tradition in the Budget Committee. Crafting the budget resolution is not an easy task, so I look forward to this hearing because it gives us the opportunity to directly hear the priorities of our colleagues.
This year’s hearing, while virtual, will provide Members with the same dedicated platform to voice their ideas, concerns, and aims. While we all look forward to returning to pre-pandemic life and serving the American people from our Cannon hearing room, in order to continue to prioritize the health and safety of Members, staff, witnesses, the court reporter, members of the media, House Recording Studio staff, and others, we will continue to conduct official Committee business virtually, until the public health experts advise us otherwise.
Before we get to our witnesses, I want to say that I am beyond proud of the Budget Committee’s central role in enacting President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. Because of our work, relief checks are already being deposited in Americans’ bank accounts, furloughs have already ended for tens of thousands of workers, the unemployment compensation cliff was averted, and our economic future is bright. And now, hopefully, with an end to this pandemic in sight, Congress must keep our focus on addressing the economic fallout that has hurt so many American workers, families, communities, and our economy.
Good governing and smart budgeting require that we be honest about what we face as a nation. That we recognize that low inflation and persistently low interest rates give us the fiscal space needed to make responsible and substantial investments in our country. If we are to best serve the American people, we must start this process by evaluating how we can use this fiscal space to foster a strong, inclusive, and stable recovery from this pandemic and build a better, fairer economy than we had before. How we can use our resources to ensure that every American child is fed, has a home to fall asleep in each night, and the education needed to reach his or her fullest potential. This is about leveraging the predicted explosion in economic growth following the American Rescue Plan to prevent a jobless recovery. It’s about generating new opportunities so hard-working Americans can provide for their families today and long into the future, ensuring that after a lifetime of work, Americans have the safe and secure retirement they’ve been promised.
To build a budget to serve our nation, our committee will get as much input as possible. We will listen to our constituents; review the President’s budget request; review views and estimates from authorizing committees; and hear from outside experts and advocates. At the end of this process, our goal is to construct a budget that reflects American priorities and meets our country’s needs. This hearing is a vital piece of the process.
I am excited about the important work ahead of us, and I look forward to working alongside our Committee members, the Ranking Member, House Leadership, the Biden-Harris Administration, and all of my House colleagues to lead our nation forward.
I would also like to thank Members for taking time out of their busy schedules and appearing before the committee today. With that, I would like to yield to the Ranking Member, Mr. Smith of Missouri, for his opening remarks.
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