Scott Confronts Sec. Yellen for Troubling Comments at Banking Hearing

WASHINGTON – In today’s Senate Banking Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) confronted Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about troubling comments she made during the hearing as well as the administration’s approach to combating inflation. Sen. Scott also provided closing remarks, in which he underscored how pro-growth policies enacted under Republican leadership fostered economic opportunity and created a more inclusive economy.


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On Sec. Yellen’s troubling comments … “Secretary Yellen, thank you for being here this morning. Some of your comments in response to [Sen. Menendez] question I found troubling. And just from clarity’s sake, did you say that ending the life of a child is good for the labor force participation rate? … Let me just quote what you said, that ultimately ‘increasing access to abortion and reproductive health care allows for our labor force participation rate to continue to increase,’ that ‘denying women access to abortion increases their odds of living in poverty or a need for public assistance.’

“I’ll just simply say that as a guy raised by a Black woman in abject poverty, I’m thankful to be here as United States senator, first. Second thing I’d say is that we can, at the same time, have a real conversation about increasing child tax credits that are refundable. We can, at the same time, have a conversation about the opportunity to have a more robust system around the issue of child care, of early childhood education. We could have a conversation about financial literacy. There’s a lot of ways for us to address the issue about the child that is here. So that, just to me, was unusually piercing comments that you made.”

On the administration’s approach to combating inflation … “In [the] face of persistent inflation … slowing growth caused by a backlog pipeline driven by too much demand with too little supply, [and] a lagging labor force participation rate, people aren’t coming back to work, so we have millions of jobs that are open. The atrophying of the muscle for work seems to be endemic in this current Biden administration’s approach, coupled with government debt that is now well over $30 trillion and growing very fast.”

Sen. Scott also provided closing remarks at the hearing.


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Remarks as delivered:

“I know that Senator Cortez Masto said why should I impose my circumstances on others? Well, I think because my circumstances [are] like so many others, millions and millions of kids being raised in poverty by single parent households who happen to be Black. Telling Black teenage moms that there’s only one alternative for them is a depressing and challenging message.

“So sitting through and listening to so many folks stereotype the necessity of making a life altering decision as if it’s the option to me is not right. … Even during tough financial times in households like the one I was raised [in], there is still hope. …

“I think about the reasons why we should be hopeful and send a message of optimism and opportunity to single moms around this country challenged with too much month at the end of the money.

“It’s the policies where Senator Cortez Masto talked about the tax reform. Well, the tax reform of 2017 cut a single moms taxes by 70 percent on the federal level, led to 4,000 more dollars in the average pocket of the average household in this nation. We created 7 million jobs [with] two thirds of those jobs going to African-Americans, Hispanics, and women. … And so what I’m suggesting is that, yes, people on the left and people on the right can work together to bring about positive policy changes that can transform the lives of those living in poverty. …

“When we’re going to have a conversation about improving the outcome of this nation’s poorest Americans, I think we should have that conversation. I am frankly willing to have the debate with anyone, anywhere, at any time on my lived experience versus anyone else’s, because I believe that America is the solution, not the problem. …

“I’m simply saying that the experience of so many of us, millions of us [who grew up] in poverty, I conclude is a reason to be hopeful about what’s possible, even for those incredibly powerful, positive women making really hard choices.”