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McHenry: Our Economic System Has Brought Us the Best Results for Americans Across the Board

McHenry: Our Economic System Has Brought Us the Best Results for Americans Across the Board

March 10, 2021 

Today, the House Financial Services Committee is holding a hearing on fair access to housing and financial services, where Republicans will emphasize that economic freedom, full employment, and rising wages are the most effective ways to lift up all communities, including communities of color. 

Watch Republican Leader Patrick McHenry’s (NC-10) opening remarks here.

Read Republican Leader McHenry’s opening remarks as prepared for delivery:

“I thank the Chair for yielding. I would also like to thank the witnesses for being here.

“I’ll start by saying, racism is real. 

“We all know that the only way to fix a problem is to acknowledge it, understand it, and address it.

“So that’s what we’re going to try to do today, within our Committee’s jurisdiction. 

“Let’s start with the facts: 

“Over the last several decades, we have seen Congress act to make credit and housing discrimination on the basis of race illegal. That’s a good start.

“And in recent years, our economic system has brought us the best results for Americans across the board. 

“In September 2019, African American unemployment reached a record low of 5.5 percent, Hispanic unemployment dropped to a record 3.9 percent, and Asian American unemployment dropped to 2.5 percent.

“We saw average income on the rise. We finally saw median income for every race rise. 

“This isn’t theoretical, this is real, tangible improvement.

“Let me be clear, this does not mean that every family benefited from these improvements, but the pre-pandemic data shows there was significant improvement for communities of color. 

“Now, a once in a lifetime pandemic has erased many of those gains for people of color and has exacerbated challenges for those that had not benefited. 

“The question, is how do we help those most in need? 

“In the short term, it’s getting Americans safely back to work, kids back in classrooms, and targeted COVID relief to the families that need it.

“It is not helicopter money, like we’re pushing out in the Biden stimulus package, only 9 percent of which will go toward defeating the virus. And now Democrats are already working on their next multi-trillion dollar package. 

“If we’re going to address the problem, we need to first understand it.

“As we begin to exit this pandemic, we should look for long-term solutions that return even more Americans to the prosperity felt before COVID.

“It wasn’t unlimited stimulus that brought us the best economy of our lifetimes.

“It was full employment. It was rising wages. It was freedom to choose what was best for your family. And it was our economic system. The same system that so many Democrats say is irredeemable. 

“You don’t get rid of your car when the check engine light comes on. You work to fix the problem. Similarly, I believe we can work together to address the issues that we see. 

“To start, racism of any kind is unacceptable and should be rooted out anywhere it occurs.

“Next, we must make it our mission to ensure all students have access to an education that will set them up for success. During our recent committee markup, Republicans offered amendments to give money to schools that actually had a plan to reopen. But Democrats blocked those efforts.

“We should also eliminate the barriers that keep lower income Americans from saving for and investing in their future.

“Unfortunately, the bills Democrats attached to today’s hearing resemble a grab-bag of long-held priorities, rather than targeted solutions to address the problem.

“I hope today we can do more listening than speaking. A lot can be learned when we’re open to hearing it.

“I look forward to this conversation.”


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