Border lawmakers split on Biden priorities, spending plan

Border Report

Republicans disappointed at too much spending, no concrete immigration solutions; Democrat proud of president's jobs and vaccinations record

President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of Congress, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Three United States representatives who serve the border region had very different takes on President Biden’s address to Congress last night.

“Jobs. Shots in arms. Money in pockets. Children in schools. People in jobs,” U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, said on social media.

She also tweeted a photo of Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi bumping elbows prior to sitting behind the president. “This is ‘herstory,’” the El Paso Democrat wrote.

But Republicans who represent areas just east and west of her district had a much different take on a speech in which Biden outlined a broad spending and tax agenda and spent only a few minutes addressing an immigration surge with numbers not seen in 20 years.

Biden talked about his $1.8 trillion spending plan to expand preschool, create a national family and medical leave program, distribute child care subsidies and others. That’s on top of his proposal for $2.3 trillion in spending to rebuild roads and bridges, expand broadband access and other infrastructure projects.

“We heard a lot of lofty proposals from President Biden […] However, he failed to mention how he plans to cross the aisle and accomplish his agenda for our country with both parties,” said U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas. “I’m willing to work with the Biden Administration on issues where we can find agreement for Texas but up to this point, the president has been more focused on advancing big government proposals rather than bipartisan solutions.”

Gonzales said he was “disappointed” that Biden did not propose a new solution to the border immigration challenge and pointed out that neither the president nor the vice president have “come down to see the border crisis first-hand.” He represents a large stretch of border from far east El Paso to the other side of Eagle Pass, Texas.

Another Republican who represents the border challenged Democratic colleagues’ positive spin on Biden’s first 100 days in office.

U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-New Mexico

“In just 100 days, President Biden and his allies in Congress have pushed to infringe on our Second Amendment rights, raise our taxes, defund the police, pack the courts, and promote abortion at home and abroad,” said U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell, R-New Mexico.

She also questioned the sincerity of Biden’s calls for unity.

“For someone who calls for unity and bipartisanship, President Biden has completely caved to the radicals and socialists in the Democratic Party,” said Herrell, whose district includes the entire Mexico-New Mexico border.

She warned she’ll be opposing the “spending spree” outlined by Biden and progressive Democrats.

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