The two Republicans from Iowa who serve in the U.S. Senate say President Biden hasn’t followed up on his campaign pledge to pursue bipartisan solutions.
Senator Chuck Grassley said the Biden presidency is only 100 days old, so there’s plenty of time for Biden to be more like the “bipartisan dealmaker” Grassley worked with when Biden was in the U.S. Senate.
“I liked Senator Biden,” Grassley said. “I don’t quite see President Biden operating like the Senator Biden did.”
Grassley said he’d like to collaborate with Biden on criminal justice reform and on lowering prescription drug prices.
“I agree with him on some of his policy, but he wants to spend too much money,” Grassley told KVFD Radio.
Senator Joni Ernst is also criticizing Biden’s spending plans.
“President Biden is blowing up a traditionally bipartisan issue, infrastructure, and is looking to pass a partisan, over $2 trillion package,” Ernst said.
Ashley Hinson, the Republican from Marion who is Iowa’s first district congresswoman, was among the small audience in the House for President Biden’s speech Wednesday night. The speech was filled with “free stuff and a lot of fluff,” according to Hinson.
“I think it’s unfortunate that he chose instead of trying to bring our party together and bring our country together, he chose to continue with more of the same,” Hinson said, “which is reckless spending, ignoring rural America, and ignoring the crisis at our border.”
Hinson said she opposes the big government solutions Biden is proposing.
“I keep hearing ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching,” Hinson told KGRN Radio. “These plans sound really expensive and we haven’t been brought to the table to have many discussions on these issues.”
Second district Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks, a
Republican from Ottumwa, also was on the House floor and talked briefly with Biden after the speech. Miller-Meeks said the president’s remarks were “well-toned,” but Miller-Meeks said she’s discouraged by some of Biden’s proposals and hasn’t seen much of the bipartisanship Biden promised in his inaugural address. Fourth District Congressman Randy Feenstra of Hull, the other Republican in Iowa’s delegation, said the Biden Administration has been “highly-partisan” and its policies will send the country into “a debt-spiral.”
Third district Congresswoman Cindy Axne of West Des Moines, the only Democrat in Iowa’s DC delegation, said Biden has delivered “vital relief funds” and over 200 million vaccinations in his first 100 days in office and Axne said the president’s infrastructure package will bring “new jobs…and revitalize the economy.”
(Rob Jones, KVFD, Fort Dodge & Tim Dill, KGRN, Grinnell contributed to this story.)