Meuser calls Biden's agenda extreme; Casey says 'time to keep going'
Pennsylvania’s federal lawmakers have weighed in on President Joe Biden’s first address to Congress with one Republican calling Biden’s list of agenda items “extreme,” representing “left-wing fantasies.”
Sen. Pat Toomey and Reps. Fred Keller and Dan Meuser, all Republicans, said Biden’s speech represents a shift way from bipartisan governing he promised during his inauguration three months ago. Democratic Sen. Bob Casey said the president “has laid a foundation for change” in his first 100 days in office.
Toomey said Biden’s call for national unity has “rung hollow.”
“The Biden White House has focused most of its energy on forcing through aspects of the left-wing wish list, either by executive order or partisan legislation while stonewalling most Republican ideas and input,” he said. “(The) announcement of a new, dramatic, and costly expansion of the welfare state — paid for by massive tax increases — is yet another example of this hyper-partisan approach that the Biden administration has deployed since January.
“I do not expect to agree with President Biden on most policy issues. But there are areas we can work together, including rebuilding our roads and bridges, expanding firearm background checks, and forging new free trade agreements. I have made this clear to the president and his team and I hope he will take me and other Republicans who have done the same up on our offers.”
Biden’s lack of bipartisanship and his lack of listening to ideas from Republicans both drew ire from the Valley’s two U.S. Representatives.
“President Biden laid out an extreme, left-wing policy wish list that will raise taxes, stifle economic growth, and increase Americans dependence on the government,” Meuser said. “He promised his administration would govern with unity and bipartisanship. However, in its first 100 days, the Biden administration has done everything but that, instead choosing a go-it-alone, my way or the highway approach to everything from the so-called ‘Rescue Plan’ which was not focused on defeating the virus or economic recovery, to the crisis at our southern border, to his recent multi-trillion-dollar spending proposals.”
“In his first 100 days as president, Joe Biden has demonstrated he cares more about appeasing the far left than working to benefit and unite our country,” Keller said. “President Biden and the Democrats have spent trillions of taxpayer dollars, eliminated good-paying energy jobs, and created a crisis at our southern border — opening it to human traffickers and illegal drugs. His latest multi-trillion-dollar spending plan, announced tonight, would bankrupt our kids, our families, and our nation’s economic future.
“The Republican vision for America is predicated on the idea that Americans should keep more of their own money and make more of their own choices. What our nation needs now more than ever is a government willing to get out of the way and allow its people to reclaim control of their lives.”
Casey said the president has made strides in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and highlighted Biden’s push to help families and children.
“President Biden and Vice President Harris have worked to get the COVID-19 public health emergency under control, pass historic rescue legislation to provide relief for working families and lay out a vision for what ‘building back better’ is all about,” he said. “President Biden demonstrated that he and Democrats in Congress aren’t done making progress for working families and children. Congress has an obligation to pass the American Jobs Plan in order to rebuild our roads and bridges, invest in high-speed broadband for all Americans and ensure that seniors, individuals with disabilities and workers benefit from a historic investment in home- and community-based services, especially to help the more than 16,000 Pennsylvanians on a waiting list.
“In just 100 days, the Biden-Harris administration and Democrats in Congress have laid a foundation for change that will transform the lives of our families and children. It’s time to keep going.”
Meuser remained critical of the president’s spending plans, including the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which he said less than 10 percent of which was focused on COVID relief.
“At a time when our nation and economy is in recovery, the idea of significant tax increases to pay for left-wing fantasies is an upside-down policy that will certainly not attract businesses, but only export American jobs. We should unite to revitalize our communities, expand broadband, fix our roads, bridges, highways, airports, and other gateways to growth and innovation, not exploit this opportunity to pass a $4 trillion one party wish list that will raise taxes, impose Green New Deal mandates, and add trillions to our national debt.”