Boyle Opening Statement at Hearing on CBO Baseline

Feb 14, 2024

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Pennsylvania Congressman Brendan F. Boyle, Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, delivered opening remarks at a Budget Committee hearing on the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) Budget and Economic Outlook. CBO Director Phillip Swagel testified at the hearing.


Ranking Member Boyle’s remarks as delivered:


Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Welcome back, Dr. Swagel. There is no debate, none whatsoever. America's economy is the strongest in the world and the envy of other developed nations. No economy on earth has recovered more quickly and more strongly than that of the American economy. Here are the facts to back that up.


There have been just under 15 million jobs created since President Biden took office. In fact, we may very well hit the 15 million mark next month as more jobs have been created in this presidential term than any other previous term in history. The three month average job growth is 289, 000 jobs a month. The unemployment rate at 3.7 percent has now been under 4 percent for the last two years. Historic.


This economy now has, to those who spread the false claim that we're just regaining the jobs lost during COVID, consider this fact. The economy today has 5. 4 million more jobs than before COVID. In 2023, GDP growth was 2. 5 percent year over year.


And on inflation, which has ravaged every single economy on Earth as we came back from COVID, inflation here in the United States has fallen from the peak of 9 percent last summer to now only 3 percent. And finally, consumer confidence, which was one area that was until recently lagging, consumer confidence has turned around and now hit a two year high.


None of this was achieved by accident. It happened because when our nation was struggling, Democrats and this administration worked together to take action to rescue our economy, invest in working families, rebuild our infrastructure and bring manufacturing back to America. So let's make sure as we move forward, we don't do anything that risks these historic economic gains.


Transitioning Dr. Swagel to what we will hear from you in terms of next year's projection and perhaps longer term than next year, we do, of course, in the long term have our challenges. Every single nation in western civilization is having to deal with the fact that our population, or I should say the percentage of those who are older, is increasing. And that does put certain fiscal demands on our entitlement programs.


But I remind people, who sometimes forget, when we say entitlements, these are earned benefits. Social Security, Medicare, these are programs that workers paid into over a lifetime of work. As we are looking to address in the long term, the challenges we have with both trust funds, we must do nothing whatsoever that would imperil those programs or push through devastating cuts that are absolutely unwarranted and unjustified.


So Dr. Swagel,  I have many more things I could say on this topic. But I will pause there and I look forward to hearing from your testimony. Thank you.


Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.