WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Congressman Don Beyer of Virginia’s 8th congressional district has been elected to lead the U.S. Joint Economic Committee as its vice chair. Speaker Nancy Pelosi recommended Beyer for the position.
“Most of the chairmen in the House committee have been there 20 years longer than I have been, so it’s an inadvertent fast track to leadership, which I really enjoy,” said Beyer.
Beyer has been a member of the committee since he was first elected to Congress in 2014. The congressman calls it a “bipartisan think-tank” with members from the House and the Senate. As vice chair he’ll be in charge of setting the committee’s agenda. The committee holds hearings and issues reports to help inform Congress’ actions on economic issues.
On the top of his list is studying the economic impact of climate change on the U.S. economy. Congressman Beyer also wants the committee to study income inequality. While only 3.5 percent of Americans are unemployed, Beyer says about 44 percent of the workforce is making less than $15 an hour.
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is chairman of the committee. Senator Lee and Representative Beyer are joined by nine Republican and nine Democratic members.