Today, at the semiannual Humphrey-Hawkins hearing on monetary policy and the state of the economy with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services, gave the following opening statement:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and welcome Chairman Powell.
Mr. Chairman, I am very concerned about the impact of the reckless economic policies of Donald Trump on hardworking Americans, vulnerable families, and our nation’s economy.
This President has started a trade war that is already harming American consumers and companies. For example, Whirlpool, based in Michigan, has seen its share price drop over 15 percent as a result of Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum. Washing machines and dryer prices have increased 20 percent. According to the Wall Street Journal, the mayor of Clyde, Ohio, where Whirlpool has a plant, commented on the tariffs saying, “People’s anxiety level is higher because nobody knows what’s going on.”
The tax scam that the Congressional Republicans and President Trump pushed through explodes the deficit and raises taxes on 86 million American families to help out big corporations and very wealthy individuals. But most of these corporations are not using the windfall to pay better wages to their employees. Instead they are buying back their own stock to boost share prices and enrich their CEOs. And in the end, this massive, misguided giveaway will be paid for by future generations of taxpayers.
In addition, the Trump Administration’s latest budget proposal makes deep cuts to important health care, nutritional assistance, housing and community development programs, and would be detrimental to families, veterans, seniors and persons with disabilities.
In all, the Trump Administration’s policies are deeply harmful and threaten the hard-earned economic gains put in motion during the Obama Administration. As a result of Democratic policies and the policies of the Federal Reserve, we are now experiencing the longest stretch of private sector job growth on record. But with these harmful economic policies, Trump is putting all of that progress at risk.
So, I am very interested in Chairman Powell’s views on these matters, especially the long-term effect of Trump’s damaging economic policies, and what tools, if any, the Federal Reserve has to prevent a possible recession that could be triggered by the policies of this administration.