Neal Opening Statement on President Biden’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2024 Budget with Treasury Secretary Yellen

Mar 10, 2023
Press Release

(As prepared for delivery)

Welcome to the Committee on Ways and Means, Secretary Yellen. It’s an honor to have you here with us today.

Secretary Yellen is one of the brightest, most accomplished policymakers I have known in my time in government. She is the first person in American history to have led the White House Council of Economic Advisors, the Federal Reserve, and the Treasury Department. I have sought out her advice many times, and her leadership has contributed to our historic round of lawmaking.

President Biden’s economic plan is working. The economy is growing at a solid clip. We’ve created nearly 13 million new jobs, including half a million in January and 311,000 announced just this morning.

This is how you rebuild an economy from the bottom up and the middle out. And with the President’s budget released yesterday, we now have the blueprint for how to supercharge these efforts.

Many have heard me say this, but our strong recovery was never a guarantee. Never bet against the American worker or underestimate the dignity and security of a paycheck. 

And how did we get here? We invested directly in workers and their families. With the expanded Child Tax Credit, we cut the child poverty rate in half. No policy has done more to reduce child poverty than the CTC.

We sustained millions of low- and middle-income families with the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Child and Dependent Care Credit.

The American Rescue Plan permanently increased the federal child care investment, a critical first step in expanding child care and enabling workers to re-enter the workforce.

And our work to encourage clean energy development is also spurring growth for small businesses, and for workers and their families across the country. When coupled with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and tax credits championed by Ways and Means Democrats in the Inflation Reduction Act, the clean energy economy is accelerating, and millions of green jobs are on the horizon.

I look forward to working with the Administration to implement the IRA text as Congress intended. This was a monumental achievement. While free trade agreements are the purview of Congress, I stand ready to partner to create durable and enforceable policies that fulfill the objectives of the IRA.

Our multiyear investment in the Internal Revenue Service is making great headway in ushering in a new era of service for taxpayers. As you know, IRS has been severely underfunded at the hands of Republican budget cuts for over a decade, and with the infusion of Democratic support, 99.7% of returns have been processed and more Americans are getting the service they deserve. It’s a relief to have Commissioner Werfel in place.

The contrast between our achievements and Republican extremism couldn’t be clearer. Just yesterday, this Committee marked up legislation signaling their intent to default. You know better than anyone that prioritizing our debts is not an option.

We have yet to see any budget plans from their side, and not to mention, the Republicans' first bill of the Congress not only protected wealthy tax cheats but also added $114B to the deficit. They’ve doubled down on abolishing the IRS in favor of a 30 percent national sales tax all while calling to extend their unfunded tax cuts for the wealthy and well-connected.

Madam Secretary, you of all people are equipped to set the record straight on the transformational accomplishments of the Biden Administration.

Thank you for being here today, and look forward to working together to implement the historic laws.