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COMPARATIVE STATEMENT OF POSITIONS FOR 1986 AND 1987 AND ESTIMATES FOR 1988—Continued
(Excludes Senate items and items under Architect of the Capitol for the Senate)
+51 Title 11-Other agencies
Technical sasistant, Office of Attending Physician". L.B.J. interns and Former Speakers' staffs and "Miscellaneous Items" were consolidated under "Other authorized employees" effective in fiscal year 1983.
I am pleased to submit the following justification for the budget request of the Joint Economic Committee for Fiscal Year 1988.
As you know, I will not be the Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee during the 100th Congress. This justification is based on the request made by the Committee last September for inclusion in the President's Fiscal 1988 budget and represents the best estimate I had at the time of the resources that a new Chairman would need to effectively meet the responsibilities which the Committee faces. That request would basically provide the committee with the same level of resources which were requested for Fiscal Year 1987.
As you may recall, the Committee requested five additional staff positions for Fiscal 1987. Despite the severe budgetary restraints under which your subcommittee was operating, it was able to recommend three of the five requested new staff positions in the Fiscal 1987 Legislative Branch Appropriation. That recommendation was agreed to by the full House and by the Senate. It marked the first staff increase provided to the Joint Economic Committee in 10 years. This year's request simply asks for inclusion of the two additional positions which could not be funded in Fiscal Year 1987.
There is also a significant adjustment in the "agency contribution" portion of the Joint Economic Committee budget. This item represents the employer contributions to the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS). This increase is necessary because the Office of Management and Budget now estimates that the cost of this program to federal agencies and the Congress
As a member of the Subcommittee, I realize that the coming year will be no easier than any we have faced in the last several sessions of Congress. While the total resources we have to allocate will be quite limited, there is no place in my judgement that the Congress or the federal government needs to place a greater effort than in developing a more complete understanding of the underlying economic forces that are reshaping our globe and the economic status of the American families. Our failure to do so may mean that legislation which we develop altering our trade laws, our system of banking, our support of local schools or contributing to International Financial institutions may fall far short of the long-term overall reforms that are necessary to protect and improve the living standards of American families.
During the past fiscal year, the Joint Economic Committee made strong headway in probing the underlying problems facing the American Economy. In FY 1986, more than 58 hearings were held and testimoy was taken from more than 350 witnesses. The Committee released more than 30 major studies conducted either by Committee staff or outside experts. Much of this work was concentrated in four rajor areas. The committee became a focal point of work on American family income. A series of reports documented a decline in median family income in the U.S. beginning in the early 1970's and becoming more severe after 1979, the peak of the last recovery. This trend has been particularly pronounced for young families with children and has occurred despite the fact that more mothers were entering the work force.
The Committee has also received considerable notice for the work it has done on specific aspects of the U.S. trade deficit. An in-depth analysis by the JEC staff on the impact of the Latin American Debt Crisis on u.s. industry, agriculture and banking has become a standard reference in the current trade debate. of equal importance were JEC studies documenting the impact of the trade deficit on U.S. economic growth and analyzing the decline of the U.S. in world trade of high tech merchandise.
The Committee has continued its role as the international focal point for the study of non-market economies. Last spring for instance, the Committee released a two-volume study on the Chinese economy containing selected papers from more than 50 of the top experts in the world on that subject. The China papers come at a time when thousands of American businesses are looking to China as a source of new markets and increased competition in the export of manufactured goods. Understanding the U.S. trade potential with The People's Republic of China and problems which we face in maximizing that potential may significantly affect the number of good-paying jobs Americans will hold in the year 2000.