Washington, D.C. – At today’s Senate Finance Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) discussed why President-elect Biden’s proposed spending package doesn’t help Americans most in need, slows the economic recovery, and makes it harder to come to bipartisan agreement.
When questioning Dr. Janet Yellen, President-elect Biden’s nominee to lead the Treasury Department, Senator Toomey said:
“Dr. Yellen, welcome and thank you for your past service to the country and for your willingness to serve in this capacity.
“I look forward to working with you, but I have to admit that the contours of the stimulus bill proposed by the Biden administration are going to make that difficult. The ink is barely dry on the second-largest stimulus package in American history, nearly a trillion dollars, after nearly three trillion dollars earlier in the year, and we’re looking at another spending blowout. The only organizing principle that I can discern is it seems to spend as much money as possible, seemingly for the sake of spending it.
“An additional $1,400 per person, regardless of the person’s circumstances, guaranteeing that there will be several thousand dollars in payments going to families with six-figure incomes who’ve had no income interruption whatsoever just makes absolutely no sense. Increasing unemployment benefits such that a majority of unemployed workers will make more money unemployed than they make working can only slow the return to a normal, healthy labor market. Sending states more money than they’ve lost in revenue or in additional spending is just not a good idea.
“And I completely agree with Senator Scott. Obviously, an arbitrary government-mandated minimum wage increase is going to cost jobs. If not, then we’d just raise the minimum wage to $20, or $30, or $50 an hour. Obviously, it will result in some job losses. So, these proposals are not targeted at those who really need them, they can’t be justified on the grounds of effectiveness, and it’s going to be hard to get to a bipartisan agreement based on this.
“I will say, I am pleased to hear your testimony that you think that the tax increases, the really massive tax increases that President-elect Biden is proposing, will be delayed. Which, by the way is an implicit acknowledgement of the economic damage that those tax increases will do.
“It’s quite a staggering list.”