Pelosi announces creation of select committee on economic inequality

Greg Nash

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Wednesday announced the creation of a new select committee to study and recommend proposals to combat wealth inequality.

“As House Speaker, I am proud to announce the creation of the new, bipartisan Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth, which will be an essential force in Congressional Democrats’ action to combat the crisis of income and wealth disparity in America,” Pelosi said in a statement.

The announcement of the committee, which will be formed in the 117th Congress that starts this weekend, comes amid concerns from economists of a “K-shaped” recovery from the coronavirus-related economic downturn in which higher-income people recover faster than lower-income people.

“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 during a news conference on Wednesday.

Pelosi said the committee is modeled after a committee that President Franklin Roosevelt and Congress created after the Great Depression. She said the panel will not be a legislative committee but will make recommendations and work with other committees on issues such as economic fairness, access to education and workforce development.

Earlier this year, Pelosi created a Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, which is led by House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.). Pelosi announced earlier this week that that panel will continue to work in the new Congress.

Tal Axelrod contributed. 

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