Will study and recommend proposals to end economic inequality and make America’s economy finally work for everyone
WASHINGTON — Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced today that she is appointing U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) as a Member of Congress’ new Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth. The eight-Member committee will study and recommend proposals to make the nation’s economy work for everyone, powering American economic growth while ensuring that no one is left out or left behind. The Committee is modeled after the mission of the Temporary National Economic Committee, which was established by President Roosevelt and Congress.
“I am honored to serve as a Member of the Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth as I continue fighting for policies that lift up working people, put them first, and ensure they can not only survive but thrive,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “As we recover from a deadly pandemic and a devastating economic crisis, we must champion policies that promote opportunity, tackle inequality, invest in our communities, and deliver working people better wages and a brighter future.”
“We must end the health, economic, and environmental injustice that affects people’s lives, and it must be done soon,” said Speaker Pelosi. “The priority of addressing wealth and financial disparity is a broad one, encompassing many concerns and constituencies. That is why I am proud to name Members to the Committee who reflect the array of these challenges. With this Committee, we can Build Back Better in a way that ensures liberty, prosperity and opportunity for all.”
As working families struggled to put food on the table during the COVID-19 pandemic, the rich only got richer. Billionaires in the U.S. became $1.3 trillion richer since COVID began and witnessed their wealth jump at least 44 percent since March. However, this level of income inequality is not new. In 2018, income inequality reached its highest level in more than half a century. The richest 130,000 families in America hold nearly as much wealth as the bottom 117 million families combined. This extreme concentration of wealth is not seen in any other leading economy.
The wealth gap is particularly staggering for Black and brown families. White families have an average wealth that is more than 14 times as much as Black families and eight times as much as Latinx families. Additionally, the 400 richest Americans own more wealth than all Black households and a quarter of Latinx households combined.
Representative Jayapal has long championed legislative proposals to address inequality. This includes the Raise the Wage Act to increase the Federal minimum wage to $15, the Housing is a Human Right Act to invest billions of dollars in affordable housing, and the College for All Act to make public colleges and universities free for families making less than $125,000 while making community colleges and trade schools free for everyone. Additionally, she introduced the Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act earlier this year to ensure ultra-millionaires and billionaires finally pay their fair share in taxes. The proposal would generate at least $3 trillion for investments in communities across America. She also recently introduced a resolution to end poverty.
More information about the Select Committee can be found here.