Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the advance estimate of GDP for the first quarter of 2014:
“With our economy growing at a far slower pace than expected in the first quarter of the year, Congress must take stock of missed opportunities to boost growth in order to put more Americans back to work. Winter storms may have played a significant role in slowing growth last quarter, but ongoing political gridlock shares in the blame, as businesses continue to confront a climate of uncertainty created by Congress. Over the last quarter, consumer spending took a hit with more than 2.5 million Americans cut off from emergency unemployment insurance, and Republicans have continued to block an increase in the minimum wage that will put more money in the pockets of millions of American workers struggling to make ends meet. At the same time, businesses invested less, reflecting continued uncertainty surrounding budget and tax policies.
“Congress must make economic growth and job creation its top priority, and this ought to begin with investing in our competitiveness through Make It In America legislation and working in a bipartisan way to promote fiscal sustainability. Both will provide certainty to businesses and help boost our economy immediately and over the long-term. I urge House Republicans to stop wasting time on partisan messaging bills and instead work with Democrats to pass Make It In America jobs bills, raise the minimum wage, renew emergency unemployment insurance, and provide certainty for the private sector.”