March 02, 2021

Brown Urges Senate Colleagues to Confirm Dr. Rouse

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – took to the Senate Floor to urge his colleagues to confirm Dr. Cecilia Rouse as chair of the Council Economic Advisors (CEA). Rouse has broad bipartisan support and if confirmed, she will help direct our nation’s economic policy to put Americans back to work, at better jobs with higher wages.

Brown’s remarks on the Senate Floor, as prepared for delivery, are below:

Mr./Mdme. President,

A month after Janet Yellen made history as the first woman to serve as Secretary of the Treasury, today we confirmed another woman to step into a leading role in our economy, Cecilia Rouse.

When she came before the Banking and Housing Committee, Dr. Rouse’s knowledge of our economy and her passion for service, and her commitment to the people who make this country work were obvious to all of us, Republicans and Democrats, alike.

And after a year when Black Americans have endured so many painful reminders of the yawning gap between the promise of our founding ideals, it’s meaningful that our Committee’s first nomination’s hearing considered the nominations of two Black women who will take leading roles in our economic recovery – Dr. Rouse, and my congresswoman, Marcia Fudge.                                             

This matters on so many levels. It’s important for our future that little girls, including Black and brown girls, see themselves in our leaders, from the Vice President to our economic leaders.

And it matters because of the perspectives and the life experiences these two women – these two Black women – bring to these jobs.

Dr. Rouse also has family ties to my state, with roots deep into the Mahoning Valley and Youngstown, and a real understanding of the people who make this country work – all people.

The Council of Economic Advisors will also play a key role both in helping our economy recover, and in building a better economic system out of this pandemic. And Dr. Rouse is exactly who we need at the helm.

She will help direct our nation’s economic policy to put Americans back to work, at better jobs with higher wages.

Millions of people are still out of work, and those job losses have disproportionately fallen on low-wage workers, Black and brown workers, and women. Three million women have been forced out of the paid labor force.

At the same time, essential workers are risking their health to go to work, while corporations still refuse to pay them a living wage.

The minimum wage hasn’t been raised in 14 years – year after year, Republicans in this Senate and in the White House, who profess to care about the real working people in the heartland of this country, refuse to give them a raise, while they funneled tax cuts to CEOs.

It’s all part of the same corporate elite mindset, that treats American workers as expendable, instead of as essential to our country’s success.

And we’ve seen the results: The stock market goes up, corporate profits soar, and executive compensation explodes…and wages stagnate and the middle class shrinks.

Building Back Better means taking on that system. It means creating an economy where hard work pays off for everyone, no matter who you are or what kind of work you do, with a growing middle class that everyone has the chance to join.

This won’t be the first time Dr. Rouse has helped us weather a crisis – she served on the Council of Economic Advisors in 2009, during the Great Recession.

Dr. Rouse has spent her career focusing on workers, and ensuring that this economy works for everyone.

Her expertise and leadership will guide this Administration and Congress, as we get to work not only to recover from this pandemic, but to build a better economy for the future.

For too long, American workers haven’t had anyone on their side in the White House.

That ends now.

We saw that on Sunday night, with the strongest statement in support of union organizing that we’ve seen from a sitting president in my lifetime.

And we see it in President Biden’s choice of Dr. Rouse to help guide our economy.

Cecilia Rouse understands that we have the power to change how the economy works, so it rewards work instead of wealth.

We can create more jobs at middle class wages.

We can expand economic security and opportunity for everyone.

And we can create a better system that honors the dignity of all workers.