Congressman Smith Capitol Report: Biden’s Priorities

Jason Smith

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi once said that a budget is a statement of your party’s values. What does it say about the Democrat majority that in the 800+ days since they came to power they have yet to pass a real budget?

We are nearly three months into this administration. President Biden has found time so far to issue 62 executive orders; sign into law a massive bailout bill that spent $1.9 trillion to reward his friends, donors and allies; and propose a second $2.3 trillion boondoggle that includes a down payment on the largest tax increase in American history. However, until last week, he had failed to fulfill one of the Executive Branch’s most basic responsibilities: to lay out his administration’s budget priorities to Congress.

It took the Biden Administration nearly 70 days, longer than any other Administration in the modern budget era, to produce what is essentially a back-of-the-envelope bookkeeping exercise combined with a series of talking points and a troubling lack of transparency. While Democrats might call it a budget, I will call it what it is: another massive spending package that opens the door for Washington Democrats’ progressive wish list items and Green New Deal policies at the expense of the working class and Main Street America.

The 58-page spending package is short on details, and President Biden’s priorities are clear. For instance, the word “climate” comes up 146 times, while “border security” is only mentioned three times. Last month alone, there was a 71% increase in border crossings, but the president didn’t see fit to increase by one dollar the Department of Homeland Security’s budget, but he did find the space to increase non-national security departments by an average 16%. Many of those same agencies just received funding from the Biden Bailout Bill and other COVID packages in the past few months alone.

A budget like this is particularly infuriating when you consider that the crisis on our southern border continues to worsen while Washington Democrats pretend not to notice. In March, 172,000 migrants were taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. That’s more people who have crossed our border illegally than all of the people who live in Springfield, Missouri. And yet the President continues to act like it’s not an issue.  

The lack of transparency is even worse given that since taking back the majority in the House of Representatives in 2018, Democrats have presided over an increase of roughly $9 trillion to the national debt. Think about this: House Democrats have racked up more debt in 27 months than House Republicans added in the combined 72 years they were the controlling party in the House.

The President’s proposal shows that the Administration is less interested in ensuring the safety and security of the American people -- the primary responsibility of the federal government -- and instead is looking to further Washington’s control over their day to day lives. We need to leave citizens free to lead their own lives, work together as a community, and make decisions for their families absent of Washington oversight.

Given how much President Biden loves to talk about unity, his latest spending package shows that he’s only interested in uniting his party and putting the interest of his political allies first before anything else. From everything we have seen and heard, President Biden’s policies will only grow Washington’s power and coercive influence over every aspect of our lives.

Congressman Jason Smith, R-MO, represents Rolla in Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District.