McHenry: Democrats’ Policies Are Stalling Our Recovery
May 12, 2021 -
Read Republican Leader Patrick McHenry’s opening remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you, Madam Chair.
“’April’s expected hiring boom goes bust.’
“’U.S. economy added just 266,000 jobs last month, vs. estimates for 1 million or higher.’
“And ‘Major disappointment: America added way fewer jobs than expected in April.’
“These are just a few of the headlines since last week’s shocking jobs report. To be clear, the shock is warranted, but let’s get past the headlines and dig deeper into the data.
“The fact is the economy created 597,000 new jobs in March. But we could only fill 266,000 of them in April.
“The NFIB reported that 42% of business owners had job openings that could not be filled, a record high.
“Yesterday, the BLS reported the job openings level reached a series high of 8.1 million. That is positive, but why can’t we fill these jobs?
“We know vaccines are widely available and businesses are lifting capacity restrictions and safely reopening. This should be a recipe for a hiring rebound.
“So why does the reality not reflect the data? The truth is, there’s something else at play even if the Biden Administration won’t say it.
“It’s Democrats’ policies that are stalling our recovery. President Biden’s $2 trillion so-called COVID relief package has made it more appealing for Americans to stay home instead of going back to work.
“Consider this, the job-filling rate is at an all-time low. In fact, there were fewer hires per job opening in March than any time since 2001.
“This can’t be blamed solely on COVID. Over the last 20 years our country has faced a financial crisis and Great Recession, and we still had better hires per job opening bounce-backs than we’re seeing now.
“We also have a devastating number of parents not returning to the workforce because our schools are not fully reopened, despite the science that says this should have been done months ago.
“We’re also seeing lows in the retail and service sector, which should be booming as the industry rapidly reopens. Instead, we see we see a sluggish recovery directly caused by Democrats’ policies.
“So, maybe before we consider additional progressive priorities, we should address the issues caused by the first set of Democrat proposals.
“Regardless of the facts, today, we’ll markup six Democrat bills that are focused on more government. More regulations and disclosures. More of the same old policy solutions that we’ve come to expect.
“Not one bill on the agenda today will help small businesses access capital, help investors save for retirement, their child’s college education, or build a better life. Not one bill will create jobs, help a family buy a home, or contribute to our economic recovery.
“Just look at H.R. 1188, the so called “Greater Accountability in Pay Act.” What my colleagues don’t tell you is Dodd-Frank already requires public companies to disclose the ratio of its CEO compensation to the median compensation of its employees.
“Yet, apparently this mandatory disclosure isn’t enough. Now, they want companies to disclose the pay raise percentage of its executives and the pay raise percentage of its median employee over the past year and compare each to the rate of inflation. They also want public companies to disclose the ratio between the two pay raise percentages.
“Never mind a company’s pay ratio is a unique calculation based on that company’s custom methodology and unique composition and structure. Never mind this ratio is meaningless as a comparative metric. The intent is clear – let’s name-and-shame public companies.
“I could go on about the rest of the bills on this markup agenda today. But, I can summarize them in one sentence. More government, more regulations, more bad policy that will yield bad outcomes.
“I yield back.”
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