Congressman Chris Van Hollen

Representing the 8th District of Maryland

Van Hollen: Let’s Help the Workers, Not Just the CEOs

Jan 6, 2015

Today Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, spoke on the House floor in support of the CEO-Employee Paycheck Fairness Act. Below are highlights of his remarks:

“It’s absolutely astounding that within minutes, minutes of us being sworn in, our Republican colleagues want to pass a rule that will stack the deck in favor of trying to give another big tax cut - not to the middle class, but to millionaires, the folks at the very top. That’s what their budget does. And what’s equally astounding is that this economic theory of trickle-down economics crashed and burned in the real world between 2001 and 2008. … What happened? Sure, the folks who got the tax cuts at the top, they did better. Nobody else did. In fact, real wages went down.”

“What went up? The deficit. And everybody has to pay for that deficit. Now, I heard the Speaker this morning say he wanted to deal with the issue of wage stagnation. That’s what we should be focused on. We shouldn’t be talking about tax cuts for the wealthy and a trickle-down theory. We should try to build this economy from the middle class out and from the bottom up. And I’m glad the Speaker said that, because we’re going to give him an opportunity to vote for something that will address wage stagnation. I’m going to offer a motion at the end of this debate. It’s called the CEO/Employee Paycheck Fairness Act and it addresses this issue.”

“We have a simple proposition… corporations should not be able to deduct the bonuses and compensation for their CEOs and other executives over $1 million unless they’re giving their employees a fair shake… Why should the taxpayers be subsidizing that? So we say… pay yourselves what you want, but if you want the taxpayers to allow you to deduct your bonuses and performance pay, for goodness sakes, you better be giving your employees a fair shake. And over time, that would close that gap [between] productivity and wages and do what the Speaker said he wanted to do this morning, which is deal with wage stagnation. Let’s help the workers, not just the CEOs. Let’s vote for the CEO-Employee Paycheck Fairness Act.”