Chairman Yarmuth’s Opening Statement at Hearing on The President’s FY23 Budget
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth, Chair of the House Budget Committee, gave the following opening statement at today’s hearing on The President’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget. The House Budget Majority Staff issued a report in advance of the hearing. Remarks as prepared are below:
Good morning. Director Young, I want to thank you for appearing before our committee today to testify on the President’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget. I also want to congratulate you on your historic confirmation. We are honored to have you with us here today, and OMB is very lucky to have you at the helm.
This month marked two years since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Since then, our nation experienced the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Families have lost their homes, their savings, their livelihoods, and their loved ones.
When President Biden took office, the pace of vaccine distribution was dismal. There was no comprehensive plan to get shots into arms. There was an enormous gulf between what families and our economy needed and how the federal government was responding.
That changed with the American Rescue Plan, which this committee was proud to lead. It kickstarted a mass vaccination campaign, reinvigorated our economy, and lifted millions of Americans out of poverty. Since the passage of the American Rescue Plan, the speed and strength of our recovery has blown past economists’ expectations. 2021 was the greatest year of job growth in American history. During President Biden’s first year in office, GDP grew at the fastest rate in nearly four decades. Unemployment has fallen to 3.8 percent — the fastest decline in recorded history. And the resurgence in worker power has led to wage increases across the board, with wages for low-income workers up most.
The President’s budget request for 2023 takes the next steps toward achieving our shared goals. It provides a discretionary topline of nearly $1.6 trillion for annually funded programs, building on the enacted 2022 appropriations and continuing to reverse years of chronic underfunding. Its fiscally responsible and pro-growth investments in education, affordable housing, research and development, health care, and other vital priorities will not only better the lives of Americans today but strengthen our long-term economic outlook as well.
This budget will expand the productive capacity of our economy and put money back in the pockets of the working Americans who power it.
It will lower costs by fixing supply chains and increasing the amount of goods made here in America. It will cut energy costs for families while investing in climate science and innovation so we can tackle the climate crisis and lead in the clean energy economy. It will increase Pell Grants and provide more training and apprenticeships, so all Americans have an opportunity to succeed in a 21st century economy.
The President’s Budget is also a call to action on key areas of bipartisan consensus: tackling the mental health crisis, upholding our sacred obligation to our veterans, fighting the opioid epidemic, and investing in cutting-edge research to end cancer as we know it.
We can afford to invest in the American people. Rather than handing out tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires, the Biden Administration has outlined a new economic vision for America: invest in America; educate the next generation of Americans; grow our workforce; and build the economy from the bottom up and middle out.
This is how we meet the needs of families and communities. This is how we strengthen our recovery and grow our economy so that we build a better, stronger, more secure, and more inclusive nation for generations to come.
And we pay for this new economic vision with long-overdue reforms to make our tax code more equitable. This starts with making sure corporations and the richest Americans pay their fair share in taxes. The Biden Budget raises the corporate tax rate to 28 percent — which, by the way, is still much lower than the 35 percent tax rate we had up until 2017. It’s completely unacceptable that hard working families often pays a higher tax rate than the wealthiest Americans. The President’s Budget fixes this by proposing a 20 percent minimum income tax on the very wealthiest households worth more than $100 million. Together, these proposals will help rebalance our tax code to ensure it rewards work — not wealth.
I am optimistic that we can get this done. As we continue to work with our colleagues in the Senate to deliver a reconciliation bill to the President’s desk, I am eager to get to work on a 2023 budget and appropriations process that will deliver for the American people.
Director Young, I look forward to your testimony today and hearing more from other Administration officials in the coming weeks.
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