In 19 months, President Biden and Democrats in Congress have decimated what should have otherwise been a strong economic recovery from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead, their liberal policies have created the worst inflation crisis in 40 years, destroyed American energy independence, wasted trillions of taxpayer dollars on so-called Build Back Better and Green New Deal priorities, and emboldened China to threaten our status as the strongest economic powerhouse in the world.
Since his first day in office, the foundation of President Biden’s economic policy boils down to two words: wasteful spending. From forcing his $2 trillion American “Rescue” Plan through Congress last December without a single Republican vote to paying able-bodied people to stay home and collect unemployment, President Biden believes the prescription to any problem is funneling taxpayer dollars to unaccountable bureaucrats and big cities – with no oversight whatsoever.
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Because of the Democrats’ wanton disregard for fiscal responsibility, the consumer price index – an economic measurement of a wide-ranging basket of goods and services – rose 9.1% in June from a year ago, marking the highest inflation surge in more than four decades. A few months ago, U.S. GDP – a comprehensive measure of American economic activity – fell by 1.4%, which is the worst decline in two years. It comes as no surprise to Republicans that passing trillions of dollars in wasteful, government spending is fueling inflation and making every American’s paycheck worth less. This is the exact outcome we warned against for months, falling on deaf ears across the aisle.
On top of record inflation, Americans are also facing the highest gas prices in decades – thanks again to the Biden agenda. Instead of producing the cleanest and most abundant energy supply right here in America, Democrats have begged our enemies to pump more oil and halted construction on the Keystone XL pipeline, eliminating good-paying jobs and outsourcing energy production to Russia, China, and the Middle East.
Even worse, the Biden Administration has completely ignored the role that biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel can play in securing our energy independence. Iowa farmers can power our country’s energy needs, but Democrats’ disastrous Green New Deal intentionally leaves them behind, opting instead for electric vehicle mandates and a complete green-energy transformation.
Unfortunately, the Biden Administration’s harmful policies extend well beyond their green agenda. As part of his so-called Build Back Better Act, President Biden proposed massive tax hikes on family farmers who feed and fuel our country and the world. Alarmed by this proposal, I sent a letter to the President with more than 80 of my Republican colleagues demanding that he abandon his plans to cap like-kind exchanges, which would raise taxes on our farmers and producers, disincentivize economic investment in rural America, and force thousands of family farms to shut down for good.
I have also fought to protect stepped-up basis whose elimination would be catastrophic for families and farmers in rural communities. According to a study from Texas A&M University’s Agriculture and Food Policy Center, a complete stepped-up basis repeal would harm 98% of family farms and saddle Midwestern farms with roughly one million dollars in additional taxes.
The Biden Administration has further failed to secure fair trade deals with the outside world and support our agricultural sector. More than three months ago, I urged President Biden to nominate two qualified individuals to serve as Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs and Chief Agriculture Negotiator to represent the voices and concerns of our farmers and producers at the highest levels of the federal government. He only recently announced these critical nominations – a year and a half behind schedule.
With a record $183.5 billion expected in agricultural exports this year alone, we must ensure that our rural communities have a seat at the table when negotiating trade deals to open foreign markets and sell their quality product to the world. China and other foreign countries are actively noting the lack of leadership in this administration as they continue to take advantage of our trade policies and our farmers.
Contrary to President Biden and the Democrats’ tax-and-spend agenda, Republicans have a better, stronger economic vision and more prosperous plan to offer to the country. We are committed to lowering taxes on working families and small businesses, investing in our thriving biofuels industry across the Midwest, making our country energy independent again, protecting our rural communities, and holding foreign countries like China accountable for their unfair trade practices.
While there is much to do to rebuild our economy, repeal burdensome tax increases, make America energy independent again, and respond to the crises that this administration has created, I will continue working with my colleagues to offer conservative solutions to the economic pain Democrats have caused Americans everywhere. Our families and communities cannot afford the Biden Administration’s wasteful agenda any longer.
Congressman Randy Feenstra represents Iowa’s 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives and serves on the House Budget Committee, Agriculture Committee, and Science, Space, and Technology Committee.