Weekly Capitol Report

The First Year

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Washington, January 21, 2022 | comments

One year. This week marked Joe Biden’s first anniversary in the White House. And no matter how rosy of a picture he tries to paint about the state of our nation; no matter how many times he tries to shift blame to Republicans despite his party having unified control of the House, Senate, and White House; no matter how many times he exaggerates or lies about the effects of his agenda; there is one clear, consistent truth - working-class Americans are suffering as a direct result of the path Joe Biden has led us down.

This week, as the Republican Leader of the Budget Committee, I participated in a roundtable to discuss the state of our economy. It’s not a pretty picture. Consumer inflation was 7 percent over the last year, the highest it’s been in 40 years since 1982. The producer price index – which tracks the change in selling prices for domestic producers – had the highest recorded increase ever at 9.7 percent. Inflation isn’t just a statistic for working families. It means it’s harder to put food on the table, gas in their cars, and medicine in their cabinets. Fighting to keep inflation low should be a top priority for every elected official, but economists agree that the agenda President Biden is pursuing would make inflation worse, not better.

The President promised that by passing his $2 Trillion COVID package we would jumpstart economic growth, with his favorite economists at Moody’s predicting 9 percent economic growth in the 3rd quarter of this year. Economic growth sputtered to around 2 percent. The president promised strong job creation, with millions of new jobs created. Instead, we’ve created 1.1 million fewer jobs than he promised, and the economy has not added a single job from the record high we saw under President Trump in 2019.

To show what Missouri families are facing, I had Russ Gant, a small business owner in West Plains join me for the roundtable discussion on the economy and share how Biden’s agenda has been affecting him and his business. Russ told a room full of elected officials from across the country how the Biden supply chain crisis is making it hard to remain competitive because it takes so long to get goods from our ports of entry. People are seeing the impact of the supply chain crisis when they go to the grocery store and see bare shelves. But it’s more than just groceries – it’s everywhere you look.

Russ also highlighted how workers are vanishing in Biden’s America. He’s had trouble hiring the people he needs to keep his businesses operating, and it’s not hard to understand why. Workers were being paid by the government to stay home, whether it was the removal of work requirements from the child tax credit or the expanded unemployment benefits, workers found it more beneficial to sit on the sidelines than show up to a job.

Finally, Russ highlighted how he hasn’t seen any assistance from policies passed by Joe Biden, but instead the only real help he has seen was from legislation Congress passed under President Trump. His observation underscored to me why government needs to focus on helping the people that need help the most, rather than simply writing bills to reward their political friends and political allies.   

And yet, Joe Biden spent the week trying to convince his political allies in Washington to rebrand his inflation-busting Build Back Better tax-and-spending bill. How much more out of touch can someone be? Missourians and frankly all Americans have rejected this bill. Simply put, they don’t want the liberal, Washington Democrat, bureaucratic command-and-control agenda that they’ve been trying to shove down our throats for the past year. They want a job. They want to provide for their families. They want to be able to afford basic necessities. And I am fighting for working-class families and against the president’s agenda because it makes all of those things harder.


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