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Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler addresses a crowd at her in-person town hall, in January, 2017.  

Southwest Washington’s U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler fell in line with fellow Republicans in her criticism of President Joe Biden’s televised address to Congress this week. 

In a statement, the sixth-term representative said many of Biden’s goals — including roads, internet and child care — are commendable and align with her own efforts in the House. But she condemned the expansive social spending plan that Biden laid out to lawmakers in his Wednesday prime-time speech. 

“As the President proposes another massive new increase in federal spending, we have to be honest about the consequences,” Herrera Buetler wrote. 

In his speech, Biden unveiled a $1.8 trillion plan to expand access to child care, health care, universal pre-kindergarten and community college for all, describing it, along with his infrastructure plan, as a “once-in-a-generation investment in America itself.” 

In doing so, the president asked the American people to envision a more active role of the federal government.

The plan, Biden has repeated, would largely be funded by increased taxes or tax enforcement on the wealthiest of Americans.

“It’s time for corporate America and the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans to pay their fair share. Just pay their fair share,” Biden said in his speech. 

Despite his insistence that the United States can afford it, the plan elicited sharp rebuttals from the Republican Party. 

In her own response, Herrera Beutler once again chronicled the major COVID-19 packages Congress has already passed during the pandemic. That includes a $2 trillion package passed last March followed by a $900 billion package in December and the recent $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan,” which garnered no support from congressional Republicans.

“Since then, Biden unveiled an infrastructure package with a $2.3 trillion price tag. And tonight, he unveiled a new child care bill that includes tax hikes and costs $1.8 trillion,” she wrote. “That’s roughly $9.3 trillion in new spending on top of the roughly $4.8 trillion the federal government already shells out, all in a little more than a year.”

In warning of stifled economic growth and a potential depression, the Battle Ground Republican said “politicians have to slow down their spending spree before they do major damage to our jobs and our kids’ futures.”

The Republican Party’s full rebuke to the speech — delivered by the Senate’s only Black Republican, South Carolina’s Tim Scott — also lambasted Biden’s spending plans as radical and antithetical to Biden’s promise to unite the American people. 

“Our best future won’t come from Washington schemes or socialist dreams. It will come from you, the American people,” Scott said.

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