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Press Release Published: Mar 17, 2021

Hearing Wrap Up: Opening the Economy Key to Economic Recovery

WASHINGTON—Today, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis held a hearing on the post-pandemic economy. During the hearing, Republicans and minority witness Larry Kudlow emphasized the importance of reopening the economy and getting shots in Americans’ arms to ensure economic recovery and prosperity. Republicans and Kudlow also warned against continuing lockdowns, cancelling energy projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, and increasing regulations, underscoring these actions kill American jobs and hurt the most vulnerable American workers.

Republican Whip and Select Subcommittee Ranking Member Steve Scalise (R-La.) opened the hearing by calling out Democrats for not holding any hearings during some of the most critical months of the COVID-19 pandemic, only to return from their hiatus just to try to sell Speaker Pelosi’s Payoff to Progressives Act.

“The Subcommittee has not held a hearing since October 2nd, which strikes us as extraordinary. Speaker Pelosi stood this up to deal with a pandemic, yet we have gone five months without a single hearing – during some of the most impactful months of the pandemic. Five months without investigating vaccine rollout; school re-openings; the mental health and drug addiction crisis; China and the World Health Organization; nursing homes; and COVID and border security.

“Instead, the Select Subcommittee went silent. Today, it reopens for the sole purpose of serving as Speaker Pelosi’s PR machine to tout the Payoff to Progressives boondoggle bill that passed on a strictly party line vote last week.”

During his testimony, Larry Kudlow discussed how the Trump Administration’s pursuit of lowering tax rates and reducing regulation increased wages and led to a Blue-Collar Boom.

“We had a broad-based, inclusive economic growth rate. A resurgence and renaissance of the economy, which middle- and lower-income folks did better than upper-income folks by a significant degree. And minority groups and those with no high school degrees did significantly better … I called it a Blue-Collar Boom.”

Kudlow warned against moving to an over-regulated economy, increasing taxes, and expanding the welfare state. 

“The recent stimulus bill expanded the welfare state probably by the largest amount since the LBJ Great Society. I want to express my worry and concern that this expansion left work requirements out … This goes against what Clinton and Gingrich did and I fear it will create more poverty and unemployment.”

Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) questioned Kudlow about the importance of lowering taxes and reducing regulations for all Americans, noting these actions create jobs for all Americans. 

Jordan: Low taxes and less regulation works, doesn’t it?

Kudlow: Sure does.

Jordan: It worked under Reagan, it worked under Clinton, it worked under Trump. Is that right?

Kudlow: That is correct.

Jordan: It doesn’t matter if Democrats or Republicans cut taxes and reduce regulations. It works for everyone in our economy.

During Jordan’s questioning, Kudlow went on to say, “The key here is unlocking and unleashing the economy and getting these vaccines out. That’s the best stimulus we have. We are looking at an economic boom if we leave taxes and regulations low and stop destroying the fossil fuel business.”

Representative Mark Green (R-Tenn.) discussed the harmful impacts of school closures and emphasizes the science clearly shows students can return to the classroom safely. He also blasts Democrats’ recent so-called stimulus bill that incentivizes school closures. 

“The so-called stimulus passed by the Democrats rewards lockdowns and states and teachers unions pressing to keep their schools shuttered … It incentivizes closures and harms children.”

Representative Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) questioned Kudlow about the Democrats’ state bailout for locked down states and its provision preventing states from lowering taxes.

Kudlow: I never understood the perverse incentives that money would be generated … to states on the basis of their higher unemployment rates. That’s an incentive to keep the economies locked down. We’ve got to open up the economy and open up the schools. We’ve created grave consequences for children, parents, the workforce, women, minority groups. We need to end the lockdowns. 

Scalise pointed out that cancelling the Keystone Pipeline will kill American jobs.

Scalise: Will cancelling the Keystone Pipeline lead to energy job losses?

Kudlow: We are going to wind up losing millions of jobs, losing energy, increase the cost of energy, and it will affect every household, particularly middle- and lower-income people … This is a huge mistake. 

Kudlow also emphasized the importance of opening schools and the economy, as well as getting shots in Americans’ arms, as key to the economic recovery. 

Scalise: Shouldn’t we be focused on reopening schools?

Kudlow: Reopening schools, reopening businesses, ending unnecessary lockdowns are key … The best stimulus is the vaccine, which started under Operation Warp Speed under the Trump Administration. That is going to open up the entire economy.