Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., is chair of the centrist New Democrat Coalition in the U.S. House of Representatives.
As voters head to the polls next Tuesday, they’ll look at what Congress has accomplished, and the economy will be top of mind. Republicans often claim their party is better for the economy, but if we look at what Democratic majorities have done in just two short years – including recently passing the Inflation Reduction Act and the CHIPS and Science Act – it’s clear the Democratic party is the one setting our country and economy up for long-term success.
In fact, history has shown that Democratic policies grow our economy at a higher annual average rate, create tens of millions of good jobs, and strengthen our economy overall. Just last week, the GDP quarterly report showed that the U.S. GDP grew 2.6% in the third quarter of 2022 under Democratic leadership. All of this is a direct result of the work Democrats have done in Congress and in the White House.
I’ve seen this work firsthand. As a former business executive, entrepreneur, and in my current role as the chair of the nearly 100-member center-left New Democrat Coalition, I know how hard Democrats are working to grow our economy so every American can succeed in it.
In February, New Dems established an inflation working group and met with industry and economic experts like Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, former Treasury Secretary and economist Larry Summers, Treasury Deputy Secretary Wally Adeyemo, and Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, to find policies to lower costs for Americans.
As a result, we developed a comprehensive action plan to fight inflation that outlined an affordability agenda and actions Congress and the Biden administration can take to cut costs for families. We’ve had one of the most productive Congresses in recent memory and made great progress on the New Dem Action Plan by passing legislation to lower health care and energy costs, secure supply chains, create jobs, fight climate change, and improve our nation’s infrastructure. Republicans had every opportunity to join Democrats in our efforts to strengthen our economy and cut costs for working families, but they nearly unanimously voted against each of these policies.
On top of these legislative accomplishments, Democrats decreased federal spending by $550 billion and reduced the deficit by $1.4 trillion in 2022 – the biggest single year drop in the deficit in American history. Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, the deficit is projected to fall by even more. Republicans promised this for years but failed to accomplish it. In fact, under former President Donald Trump’s leadership, Republicans passed a tax law that the CBO predicted would increase the deficit by $1.9 trillion and the deficit exploded under the last three Republican presidents. Republican attacks on Democrats fall flat when you look at their economic record, which also includes two recessions under recent GOP presidents.
While Democrats are moving America forward, Republicans are working to move our country and economy backward. This is especially clear following the unveiling of the House GOP’s “Commitment to America” agenda, which would strip women of their essential freedoms, gut Social Security and Medicare, and threaten the sanctity of our elections. This isn’t an economic plan. The truth is, Republicans have no plan. While they’re playing the blame game and waging culture wars, we’re keeping our heads in the game, improving our economy and safeguarding Americans’ hard-earned freedoms.
Conventional wisdom says Republicans have the upper hand on the economy, but New Dems are quickly dispelling that myth.
Under President Biden’s leadership, Democrats have grown our economy 3 times faster than when Republicans controlled Congress and the White House. We’ve also created 9.5 million jobs – five times as many jobs than created under the last three Republican Presidents combined – brought unemployment down to a historically low 3.5%, increased wages above historic norms, delivered on long-time goals like protecting our planet and tackled rising costs. Democrats accomplished all of this even with the slimmest of majorities in Congress.
But our work is never done. When Democrats win the majority on Nov. 8, we will continue our work to spur economic growth and improve opportunities for Americans. New Dems are focused on passing legislation on paid family leave and child care to enable more parents to return to the workplace, immigration reform to secure our border and address the labor shortage, an expanded Child Tax Credit to set the next generation up for success, and so much more. This is what a pro-business, pro-worker, pro-economic growth party and economic plan look like. The Democratic party is the only American political party that has repeatedly brought economic growth and will continue to do so in the years to come.
In stark contrast, the GOP agenda contains no real policy plans and will only create an unstable and uncertain economy for hard working families. That’s not what Americans want or need. Republicans no longer deserve the title of the economically responsible party. Democrats do.
While Republicans look to the past, New Dems look to the future – and in about a week, Americans will decide between the two.