This week, I attended President Biden's Joint Address to Congress. It was an honor to be invited and attend, and I went into the speech with an open mind.
I didn't expect to agree with the President on everything. However, I was hopeful he would lay out a clear plan to rein in wasteful spending to respect taxpayers, secure our border to keep Iowa families safe, and prioritize the needs of rural Iowans through a targeted infrastructure package.
I was ultimately disappointed in the policies laid out in his speech. President Biden outlined a vision that would massively expand the government’s involvement in our lives at the expense of small businesses, workers, families, and rural America. I don’t believe in government being the answer to everything, I believe people are the answer.
The Biden Administration has already spent trillions of dollars we don’t have and continues to propose spending packages with trillion dollar price tags. In his speech, he called for $4 trillion dollars in new spending—he talked a lot about fluff and a lot of free stuff without explaining how we would pay for it. The Biden Administration keeps acting like the government has a blank checkbook, but ultimately taxpayers will foot the bill and the next generation will be saddled with our debt. I’m worried about what the Biden Administration’s big spending, big government policies will do to our economy when we most need growth.
I was also disheartened that he did not lay out solutions to the crisis at our Southern Border, or even acknowledge the worsening situation. Iowans are concerned about this crisis, and not to acknowledge it was unacceptable. The out of sight, out of mind approach to the border crisis is wrong—the President can’t just ignore the influx of illegal immigration that is overwhelming our facilities and agents and the 233% increase in fentanyl seizures, and hope it all just goes away. Americans deserved to hear a plan to secure our border.
The President also made it clear that his Administration would be doubling down on an infrastructure proposal that doesn’t invest in real infrastructure. Rural Iowans and Americans need investments in roads and bridges, locks and dams, and broadband. The President knows there would be bipartisan support for that type of infrastructure investment, and I wish he would have taken the opportunity to reverse course on his initial proposal and commit to the bipartisan, targeted infrastructure plan we need.
Although I disagreed with the President's vision for our country overall, I am glad he called on Americans to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. I believe that is the key for us to return to normalcy and I will continue to encourage Iowans to get vaccinated. I also appreciated his passionate comments on eradicating cancer and am looking forward to reviewing more details on how we can harness the ingenuity of the American medical community to help do so.
My friend, Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), gave the Republican response to the address and I was extremely impressed and inspired by what he had to say. Senator Scott said common sense makes common ground and I couldn’t agree more with that philosophy. While we didn’t hear a lot of common sense, actionable policy from the President, I am committed to finding common ground where I can for Iowans and will continue to look for opportunities to do so.