WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), and First Vice Chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) released the following statement after the Joint Economic Committee’s held a hearing with extremist Charles Murray yesterday morning. Murray is most famous for his controversial book The Bell Curve, which argues that individuals of certain races are genetically predisposed to lower intelligence levels. The book draws on a number of questionable sources including Mankind Quarterly, a journal which has been repeatedly discredited by numerous social scientists for its commitment to racist pseudo-science and close ties to the Nazi regime.

“We are deeply disappointed that the Republican Members of the Joint Economic Committee invited Charles Murray to testify at yesterday’s hearing on Social Capital. It is unacceptable that Republicans on the Committee are providing a platform to Charles Murray rather than more reputable sources. It is especially worrisome that they are elevating Murray’s voice while white nationalists such as Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka serve in prominent roles at the White House.”

“The Joint Economic Committee is tasked with reviewing America’s economic conditions and recommending effective public policies for all its people.The decisions and recommendations of the Committee have wide-ranging impacts, and it is imperative that policy makers reject information from discredited sources tainted by bigotry and racism. While we recognize Mr. Murray’s right to express his ideas, it is shameful that the Joint Economic Committee is considering such baseless and destructive information when framing our social policies. We strongly urge our Republican colleagues to reconsider providing a congressional platform to Mr. Charles Murray in the future and other prospective witnesses who express racist sentiments or whose expertise is discredited.”


The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is the largest caucus within the House Democratic Caucus, with over 70 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and promote civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, a $15 national minimum wage, fair trade, gun violence reform, debt-free college, and making the federal government a Model Employer.

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