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Kansas lawmakers urge Biden to reduce government spending ahead of joint session speech

Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 10:24 AM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - With COVID-19 restrictions in place, several members of Congress won’t be in Washington for the President’s long-awaited joint address to Congress, but members of the Kansas delegation say they’ll still be tuning in.

Present Joe Biden is set to deliver his first speech to a joint session of Congress tonight. He’ll likely focus his remarks around COVID-19 relief efforts and his plan to build back the economy while working to gain support for his multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure plan.

As it stands, the President’s infrastructure proposal would rebuild aging roads and bridges in Kansas. It also includes funding for clean energy, in-home health care, and housing.

“The President is going to try to explain to us, why even though our economy is recovering, and we just borrowed $2 trillion from our grandchildren, why we need to borrow another $2 trillion,” said Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) “He’s going to describe the legislation he wants to be passed as an infrastructure bill, when less than 5 percent is going toward roads and bridges.”

The White House says it’s time to “reimagine” infrastructure in the U.S and to mobilize and “meet the challenges of our time.”

“I would like to see him talk about how to reduce the budget, the overall debt we’ve got, and how we do things that are positive for agriculture and our conservative Kansas values,” said Rep. Tracey Mann (R-Kan).

Both Rep. Mann and Rep. Ron Estes (R-Kan.) say they want to hear the President talk about compromising on the cost and what’s included in his future economic relief proposals.

“I’d like to see him really seriously talk about how to work together and come up with some bipartisan solutions for the country,” said Rep. Estes.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki says President Biden will also talk about his next major policy announcement, the American Families Plan. That’s the next phase of the administration’s infrastructure reinvestment program -- a $1.8 trillion spending plan for child care, health care, and education.

Psaki says the president will also tackle police reform and the work being done to get the pandemic under control.

The speech comes just before President Biden’s 100th day in office.

The setting will look much different from previous speeches because of COVID protocols. Not every member was invited. Only about 200 people will be inside the House chamber, and there will be no outside guests.

South Carolina’s Sen. Tim Scott will be delivering the GOP response.

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