Pelosi Announces Creation of Select Committee on Economic Disparity

December 31, 2020 Updated: December 31, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has announced the creation of a committee that will take action in the next Congress to combat what she calls the “crisis of income and wealth disparity in America” and supporting the Democrat agenda for “economic justice.”

The New Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth will be made up of both Democrats and Republicans.

“Clearly, the disparities in income and equity in our country are vast. We’ve known that. They’ve only gotten worse, and the pandemic, again, puts it in sharper focus,” Pelosi said at a press briefing Wednesday morning.

One of the Democrats that Pelosi names as leading the work in this area is Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who was elected Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus earlier this month.

The committee will be based on a previous administration’s model called the Temporary National Economic Committee, which President Franklin D. Roosevelt formed in 1938 to study the ongoing effects of the Great Depression.

Pelosi criticized the “financial fortunes” of corporate CEOs and wage stagnation of workers.

“The reverence of those who amass profits by stagnating wages has seriously undermined the lives and livelihoods of many Americans while slowing economic growth in our country,” Pelosi said.

The Speaker said the committee will focus its work on economic fairness and access to education and workforce development.

Pelosi added that the committee will be working with “the Committees of Jurisdiction, the Select Committee will study and recommend proposals to make our economy work for everyone, powering American economic growth while ensuring that no one is left out or left behind in the 21st Century Economy.”

Prior to creating this new committee, Democrats were calling for “economic justice” and in July Senate Democrats announced a broad legislative proposal to invest $350 billion in communities of color.

According to a summary of the 2020 legislation, “The first objective of the proposal is to immediately help communities of color respond to the pandemic through a $135 billion investment in child care, mental health and primary care, and jobs. The second objective of the proposal is building long-lasting wealth and health in these communities over the next five years by investing $215 billion for infrastructure, a homeowner down payment tax credit, Medicaid expansion, and more.”

In a dear colleague letter Wednesday to the 116th outgoing Congress, Speaker Pelosi’s looks to a Democrat administration to support the economic vision of her party.

“We must join in the Biden-Harris Administration’s Build Back Better initiative for job creation and economic opportunity, including its protections of our planet.”