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Iowa Congressional lawmakers discuss their expectations ahead of President Biden’s address to Congress

Published: Apr. 28, 2021 at 7:57 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Despite the COVID-19 restrictions in place, most of Iowa’s Congressional delegation will be attending President Joe Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, and some took the time to talk with KCRG-TV9 about their expectations.

All of Iowa’s delegation representing eastern Iowa is Republican. Only Senator Chuck Grassley said he would not attend the joint session, saying he’s seen so many Presidential addresses that he wanted to make sure others had a chance given the limited seating tonight. But all shared similar concerns over the first 100 days of the Biden Administration. Though they’re interested in what the President will say, some are skeptical about what that message will be.

“It is very clear to Iowans and to all Americans that President Biden has taken a hard left turn,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “And he is leaving most of America behind in following a very radical agenda.”

“I’m hoping that this is a speech that goes beyond empty rhetoric and really addresses bringing the country together and unifying us and looking at hardworking taxpayers and what we’re doing in the bills we pass,” said Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks.

“I’ve always said I want to hear something about Agriculture, about the family farmer because we have 2% of the country producing food for the other 98% and the production of food is so important for national security,” said Senator Chuck Grassley.

“The first 100 days have really been about pork-barrel spending that Iowans don’t want, a crisis at the border that hasn’t been solved, and really ignoring the needs of rural Americans,” said Congresswoman Ashley Hinson. “So I’m hopeful that what we hear from the President addresses some of those concerns.”

President Biden is expected to talk about the American Families Plan during his speech. Congresswoman Hinson said she hasn’t seen the plan yet, though she takes issue with the $1.8 trillion price tag.

Another big topic expected to come up: the infrastructure bill. Ernst, Miller-Meeks and Grassley all said they are concerned over the contents of that bill, saying it’s a catch-all for Democrats that doesn’t target traditional infrastructure that needs to be fixed.

4th District Congressman Randy Feenstra said he will not be at the address, as he’s back in northwest Iowa for the week.

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