Speech ● Convening of the 116th Congress
For Immediate Release: 
April 11, 2019
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks tonight to introduce Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at the House Democrats’ "100 Days In: Fighting For The People" Issues Conference in Leesburg, Virginia. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Good evening. Tomorrow, we will mark 100 days of our Democratic Majority. We have shown the American people what Democrats stand for and what we will fight for throughout the 116th Congress.

“Renewing faith in government; raising wages; protecting those with pre-existing conditions; addressing gun violence; standing with Dreamers; rejecting discrimination and hate; and holding this Administration accountable.

“Over the next 100 days, the American people are looking to us to deliver when it comes to ensuring that economic opportunity is available to workers and their families. Stable, consistent economic growth and access to opportunities like homeownership and retirement savings are key to ensuring that workers and their families can secure a place in our middle class. That’s why it is so important that we hear from tonight’s keynote speaker.

“It is, admittedly, a little unusual for a nonpartisan figure to be the keynote speaker at our Democratic Issues Conference.  However, as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jay Powell has made it unambiguously clear that he views his role, rightfully, as nonpartisan.

“Since his confirmation on a bipartisan 84-13 vote in January 2018, Chairman Powell has made ensuring the independence of the Federal Reserve a centerpiece of his leadership. That is a view we share.

“From time to time in its 103 years, the Federal Reserve has stood up to challenges to its independence from political considerations and the influence of either the President or Congress. That’s a good thing, and it’s a fundamental principle that both the President and Congress ought to uphold for the sake of economic stability.

“Tonight, we have invited Chairman Powell because we wish to benefit from his perspective and his insights.  I sat down with Chairman Powell in the Autumn and found his analysis about the short-term and long-term outlook for our economy to be thoughtful and illuminating.

“I am eager, as I am sure you are, to hear him speak about what we might expect from our economy in 2019 and beyond, particularly as it relates to our efforts to make that economy work for every American. At the same time, I hope he will address another major challenge that Congress and the Federal Reserve face together, and that is the debt ceiling.

“In 2011, when Chairman Powell was a visiting scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center, his analysis – informed by first-hand knowledge of managing the debt while at the Treasury Department – helped inform all of us of the dire consequences of default.

“Yet, here we are facing a debt ceiling deadline once more, with the Treasury set to run out of so-called ‘extraordinary measures’ sometime in the Fall. We must act before that happens in order to ensure America pays its bills on time.  And I hope Chairman Powell will speak to us this evening about the impact on our economy in 2019, were that to occur.

“Prior to becoming Chairman, Jay Powell spent six years as a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, having been appointed by President Obama in 2012 and reappointed in 2014.

“As I mentioned, he earlier was a visiting scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and from 1997-2005 he was a partner at the Carlyle Group. During the George H. W. Bush Administration, he served as Assistant Secretary and Undersecretary of the Treasury with policy responsibility over financial institutions and the Treasury Debt Market.

“A native of Washington, DC, I am proud to add that he is a fellow alumnus of Georgetown Law School.  Please join me in welcoming our 2019 keynote speaker, Chairman Jay Powell of the Federal Reserve.”