WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson was “disappointed” with President Joe Biden’s speech to the nation Wednesday, but nevertheless thought parts of his new spending proposals are ripe for bipartisan compromise.
The 1st District Republican said during a call with reporters that she thought the new $1.8 trillion American Families Plan proposal, on top of a $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan infrastructure bill unveiled last month, was adding to the “blank checkbook” of taxpayer money.
“Ultimately, I was disappointed in the policies he laid out in his speech,” Hinson said Thursday afternoon. “It would massively expand the government’s involvement in our lives at the expense of small businesses and rural America.”
Along with the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, Hinson bemoaned the $6 trillion price tag of Biden’s proposals, saying the debt would be passed on to the next generation. Biden plans to pay for the infrastructure plan primarily by increasing the corporate tax rate.
“All this spending combined with government regulations will hold our economy back,” Hinson said. “I’ve heard from a lot of people. They’re fearful of what’s to come.”
Hinson suggested an alternate infrastructure bill proposed by a group of 10 Senate Republicans estimated to cost $568 billion. The GOP’s version defines infrastructure as mostly transportation-related, with additional money for broadband, water and pipelines. The GOP would pay for its bill through funding offsets, primarily by repurposing existing funds approved by Congress.
“(Biden's infrastructure bill) spends more on electric vehicle subsidies than it does on locks and dams and broadband combined,” Hinson said.
Biden’s plan would allocate $174 billion to help build a network of electric vehicle chargers across the country by 2030, retool U.S. factories to build electric vehicles and provide tax incentives to electric vehicle buyers. By contrast, $17 billion was proposed for ports and waterways, including locks and dams, and $100 billion to connect every American to high-speed internet, which an estimated 30 million people lack.
The Republican infrastructure bill would also invest the same $17 billion for ports and waterways, but just $65 billion on broadband infrastructure and nothing to spur electric vehicle development, according to West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, who helped draft the plan.
“I think there are opportunities for us to work together,” Hinson said, including “a bigger conversation on what is infrastructure and what should be included in this package.” Regarding Biden’s families plan, Hinson agreed that child care expansion and tax credits for families are a good idea, but prefers increases to federal Pell Grants over the free community college proposed.
“I don’t believe the government, aka the taxpayers in Iowa, should be paying for free community college,” she said.