The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Chairman Sanders Announces Senate Budget Hearing on the Income and Wealth Inequality Crisis in America

Worker from Amazon warehouse in bessemer to testify, Bezos invited to appear.


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today announced that on Wednesday, March 17, the Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing on income and wealth inequality in America.

Millions of Americans are unemployed, underemployed or have given up looking for work, while hunger in the country is at the highest level in decades. During the coronavirus pandemic, 63 percent of workers are living paycheck to paycheck, including millions of essential workers who put their lives on the line every day.

Meanwhile, the wealthiest people in the country are becoming much richer, and income and wealth inequality are soaring. Incredibly, during the pandemic, 664 billionaires in America have increased their wealth by $1.3 trillion. Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world, owns more wealth than the bottom 39% of Americans combined.

Mr. Bezos, who was invited by Chairman Sanders to appear at Wednesday's hearing, is currently engaged in an aggressive union-busting campaign against Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama to stop them from collectively bargaining for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. Jennifer Bates, an Amazon worker at the fulfillment center in Alabama, will provide testimony during the hearing.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, along with other experts, will also speak to the committee.

The hearing, entitled "The Income and Wealth Inequality Crisis in America," will be livestreamed on the Budget Committee's website and Sanders' social media pages.

What: Hearing of the Committee on the Budget to consider "The Income and Wealth Inequality Crisis in America"
When: Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 11:00 AM
Where: Room SH-216.
Jennifer Bates, Amazon worker at the Bessemer, Alabama fulfillment center
Robert Reich, Carmel P. Friesen's Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley
Sarah Anderson, Director, Global Economy Project at the Institute for Policy Studies.
Scott Winship, Director of Poverty Studies, American Enterprise Institute
Additional witnesses to be determined.

By order of Chairman Bernie Sanders.

United States Senator for Vermont

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