Congressman Dusty Johnson’s Weekly Column: 100 Days and $6,000,000,000,000

100 Days and $6,000,000,000,000
By Rep. Dusty Johnson
April 30, 2021

Nearly 100 days ago, President Biden stood before America and promised unity and a path forward. He told us that path forward would include Republicans – it hasn’t yet. I’m an optimist though, and during my first two years in Washington, when faced with a global pandemic, Congress stepped up to the plate and passed bipartisan legislation to help all Americans. I believe we can get back to that place.

This week during his first joint address to Congress, he offered similar sentiments of unity. He said, “We can’t be so busy competing with one another that we forget the competition we have with the rest of the world.” But for the next hour, the president went on to introduce proposals that will cost the American taxpayer trillions.

His first bill to pass the Democrat-controlled House and Senate cost $2 trillion. His other agendas will cost $4 trillion. $2 + $4 =$6 trillion. To give you some context, the federal budget Congress passed for fiscal year 2021, which includes all discretionary and defense spending, was $1.4 trillion. His plans don’t include standard budget spending to provide for our national defense, Social Security, and other yearly functions of government. That’s a lot of money.

Investment in our children & infrastructure doesn’t need to be partisan. As a fiscal conservative, I believe America can continue to be a superpower without spending ourselves into oblivion. We do need infrastructure investments throughout America, but not to the tune of $2 trillion.

Republicans have introduced more modest proposals in the $300-500 billion range. I was invited to the White House recently along with a few other members of the Problem Solvers Caucus to meet with the president’s chief of staff regarding infrastructure. His team seemed genuine, but we are on vastly different pages.

There have been some glimmers of hope over the past 100 days – as the US has surpassed 200 million administered COVID-19 vaccine doses. The president and his team deserve a lot of credit for that as does Operation Warp Speed and the CARES Act. Because of the vaccine, confidence in the American economy is back, and the light at the end of the tunnel is nearing.

If President Biden is serious about working together and passing bipartisan legislation, his proposals can’t all start with a “T.” Let’s get serious on prescription drug pricing, infrastructure investment, and job creation.

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