WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) quarterly report on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act:
“The Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) quarterly report on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act shows that the Recovery Act is working as intended to lift our country out of recession, by contributing to the growth of our economy and significantly decreasing unemployment. According to the CEA, America had 1 million more jobs last month than it would have had if Congress and the Administration had done nothing.
“However, significant challenges stand in the way of the economic security of millions of Americans. It has become clear that the economy was in even worse shape than economists realized when President Obama took office in January. According to the Census Report released today, in 2008, the median household income dropped, more Americans did not have health insurance, and the number of Americans in poverty grew to its highest rate since 1997. Those numbers indicate why turning the economy around is a long process.
“The Recovery Act worked first to stop the economic freefall, and is now rebuilding our economy. Virtually all economists have said that the economy would have continued to decline rapidly had it not been for the fiscal stimulus enacted by Congress and President Obama. In fact, the monthly Blue Chip economic survey just confirmed that 81% of leading economists believe that the recession has ended.
“As we work to rebuild the economy, we remain focused on unemployment, as well as on the more than 15% of Americans who lack health insurance. The failure to cover the uninsured imposes a costly ‘hidden tax’ on those of us with insurance, whose high premiums subsidize their treatment. For the sake of all Americans, both with insurance and without, it is essential that Congress pass health care reform.”