DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa’s Republican members of Congress responded to President Joe Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress.
U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, who represents Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, criticized Biden’s first 100 days in office.
“President Biden’s first 100 days in office have been disappointing to me and to the Iowans I represent. Tonight, he had a chance to chart a new path forward, but he did not do so.
“The government has spent trillions of taxpayer dollars we don’t have to fund policies Iowans don’t want. Our border is in crisis and Iowans are less safe because of it. It is absolutely unacceptable that President Biden declined to lay out a plan to secure our border tonight.
“His Administration is continuing to overlook the unique needs of our rural communities by sacrificing physical infrastructure investment for policies like subsidizing electric vehicles.
“I never expected to agree with the President on everything. But I did hope he would lay out solutions to the challenges Iowa’s small business owners, farmers, families, and workers face each day.
“Instead of offering a path forward we can all get behind, tonight the President showed he would continue on a path that is wrong for Iowa and wrong for America.“
U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who represents Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, said she wants to see more bipartisan compromise.
“Last night, President Biden reiterated some of the same topics he touched on in his Inaugural Address. The President was well-received by Members of Congress, and his speech was well-toned and well-delivered. He spoke on unity, bipartisanship, and coming together as a nation. Unfortunately, I do not believe we have seen much of this in the first 100 days of his Administration.
I am discouraged over the President’s plan to raise taxes, which I believe will inevitably harm hard-working taxpayers. I appreciated President Biden’s rhetoric on bringing jobs back to America and I look forward to working with the Administration to do so. But, in the first 100 days, the Biden Administration killed the Keystone XL Pipeline, eliminating thousands of jobs, and giving more power to foreign energy producers. The President also talked about taking on China, yet the masks we were given last night were made in China.
I welcomed the President’s support for vaccinations, and I believe that his Administration has done “admirable” work encouraging Americans to get vaccinated. I also believe that there needs to be more credit given to former President Trump and his Administration for developing Operation Warp Speed, which miraculously gave us three safe and effective vaccines in just nine months.
I was disappointed to see that President Biden did not address the ongoing crisis at our southern border. Since coming to Congress in January, I have traveled to the border twice, and I can assure you that it is a crisis that must be addressed. Our border agents are overwhelmed, underfunded, and they need our help now. The President and Vice President, who was put in charge of the border, need to see the crisis for themselves as soon as possible.
It is my sincere hope that these are not just empty words and that we will start to see real bipartisan compromise to improve the lives of all Americans.”
U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra, who represents Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, also chided Biden for his partisanship.
“When President Biden was sworn-in, he pledged to work in a bipartisan manner to heal and unite America. Then, he immediately turned around and issued highly partisan and polarizing executive orders, including efforts that will harm America’s energy independence, restrict Second Amendment rights, and allow tax dollars to be spent on abortions around the world.
“The Biden-Harris administration has also proposed an unprecedented $6 trillion in spending, using three different bills with flashy titles as one massive trojan horse for their far-Left agenda. That is why only nine percent of the $1.9 trillion ‘COVID relief’ bill went towards pandemic-related measures, and less than six percent of the $2.1 trillion ‘infrastructure’ bill contains funding for roads and bridges.
“While I believe we must work towards solutions on things like broadband expansion, affordable child care, and repairing roads and bridges, I do not believe the best way to address these issues is to spend $6 trillion on unrelated measures and drastically raise taxes on businesses to redistribute wealth. These policies will create more inflation and could force businesses to relocate overseas, drive down wages, and destroy up to one million jobs. Not to mention, interest payments on the $28 trillion national debt will skyrocket, sending this country into a never-ending debt spiral. That is what socialism does to an economy.
“I was also disappointed that Biden once again failed to adequately lay out a plan to address the border crisis. The Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) has seen a 233% increase in fentanyl seizures and a 400% increase in the number of unlawful border crossings compared to March 2020 — reaching the highest level in 15 years. Over 20,000 of these crossings have been unaccompanied minors. Through open border policies, Biden has clearly created a humanitarian crisis at the southern border. Now, he is refusing to fix it — putting both Americans and migrants at risk.
“In his first 100 days, Biden has not practiced what he preached. He pledged bipartisanship but has governed as a hardline coastal liberal. Unfortunately, tonight’s speech proved this will not change in the coming months. All Americans should be concerned that Democrats’ massive tax-and-spend proposals are sending us down an economically and fiscally perilous path, and I will continue standing up against their reckless agenda.”
U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, Iowa’s junior U.S. Senator, responded in a video release criticizing Biden’s first 100 days and praising U.S. Senator Tim Scott’s response on behalf of the Republican Party.
“It’s been nearly 100 days since President Biden delivered his Inaugural Address, promising our nation bipartisanship and unity.
“But folks, the reality is, those words ring hollow.
“In 100 days President Biden has completely abandoned bipartisanship and has taken a very sharp Left turn down a path that solely prioritizes Democratic special interests over the American people.
“In his first day in office, the president signed a flurry of executive actions that have created a new migrant crisis at our southern border; targeted Iowa-grown biofuels by attempting to transition to electric vehicles; and killed thousands of American jobs by canceling the Keystone XL pipeline.
“Instead of working with Republicans to pass a COVID relief bill, President Biden ignored efforts by Senate Republicans to seek a bipartisan solution and fast-tracked trillions of dollars in non-COVID spending in a strictly partisan fashion.
“And now, President Biden is blowing up a traditionally bipartisan issue—infrastructure—and is looking to pass a partisan, over 2 trillion dollar package that spends less on roads and bridges than it does on elements of the Green New Deal and other progressive priorities.
“The Biden Administration has made many reckless foreign policy decisions—from immediately reviving negotiations with Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism who continues to inch closer to a nuclear weapon, to potentially destabilizing the Middle East with a non-conditions based draw down of troops in Afghanistan.
“On top of it all, President Biden has refused to fully condemn calls from members of his own party to fundamentally change our democratic process by abolishing the filibuster and packing the Supreme Court.
“Iowans are tired of the partisan bickering in Washington and the radical ideas of the liberal left. They want Congress to work together on real issues that will improve the lives of all Americans.
“That’s why I was so proud of and thrilled to hear the inspiring message from my dear friend and fellow Senator Tim Scott.
“Senator Scott has lived the American dream and has continued to be a tireless advocate for underserved people and communities throughout the country.
“Senator Scott laid out a better vision for America: one of opportunity and freedom, and of growth and prosperity.
“Just like Senator Scott, I’m an eternal optimist and I believe in America. I sincerely hope that my Democratic colleagues and President Biden will change course and truly work with us in a bipartisan way to support the hardworking men and women across this great nation.”
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, Iowa’s senior U.S. Senator responded to Biden’s address.
“President Biden campaigned on unifying a divided nation. Part of that means working with a Congress divided right down the middle. Thus far he’s done very little to back up his words from the campaign trail, and he’s stood by while others in his party use divisive rhetoric that only serves to further inflame discord in our nation.
“We didn’t hear enough about how President Biden plans to address the worst border crisis in recent memory. This is a crisis fomented by the White House’s policy pronouncements, and fixing the issue requires leadership that we have yet to see from this administration.
“Republicans in Congress are willing to work with the administration, but bipartisanship takes commitment from both sides. Cutting Republicans out of the process, like he did on the COVID package and may do on infrastructure, is no way to unite the country.
“My Republican colleagues have put forward a bold proposal that’s actually focused on infrastructure. The administration’s plan is unfocused, expensive and sounds more like a product of the Sanders campaign than the Biden White House. And the preoccupation with raising taxes is counterproductive.
“The pre-COVID economy was the best our country has seen in decades. We saw record-low unemployment across demographics, historic wage growth and a renewal of American manufacturing. All of that was possible because of the 2017 Republican tax bill and Trump administration policies. The quickest way to slow our post-pandemic economic recovery is to hike taxes.
“Even though Senate Democrats filibustered police reform last summer, the bipartisan appetite for change still exists today. The path forward, as on other policies, requires compromise. Here again, Republicans have a plan that includes policies supported by both sides.
“President Biden is only 100 days in, so there’s plenty of time for him to turn things around and make good on his campaign promise to unite the country. I’d still like to work with the president and his administration to lower prescription drug prices and further reform the criminal justice system. I know from his time in the Senate that he’s capable of being a bipartisan dealmaker. The question is will his left-wing base let him?”