Maryland’s only GOP Congressional leader responds to President Biden’s SOTU address
MARYLAND – Maryland’s only Republican Congressional leader is responding to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address. U.S. Representative Andy Harris says he was very disappointed with the address. “I think what we can characterize a lot of the things his administration has done as just too little, too late,” he said.
Looming War, Skyrocketing Inflation
Rep. Harris says he thinks President Biden should have taken swifter action on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “Sanctions should have started much earlier. We could have been delivering lethal weapons to our Ukrainian allies a long time ago, not when most of the borders are closed,” he said. “This could take years – the insurgency wars. I think it was because of inaction on the part of the administration, in the months leading up to this war.”
Rep. Harris says taking too long to respond to the conflict will hurt Americans’ pockets in the long run. And, that’s only one of the issues pushing costs through the roof, he says. “He really didn’t address inflation. The answer to bringing down gas prices, for instance – and energy costs are one of the causes of our inflation – is asking to produce more energy here in America. That isn’t what the president does,” said Rep. Harris.
Opening the Keystone XL Pipeline, building more liquified natural gas export facilities, and stopping the purchase of Russian oil are all solutions Rep. Harris says he was hoping to hear President Biden float. “His solution is actually to tell people who sell products to just cut your prices. That doesn’t work. The bottom line is that there’s a reason why our restaurants and retail stores are increasing prices. Part of it is the cost of gas and diesel,” said Rep. Harris. “The president had no realistic plan for inflation. I’m fairly certain it gets worse before it gets better.”
Handling National Health
When it comes to America’s continued recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Rep. Harris says he’s hoping the Biden Administration will keep its promise to move forward. “I think this pandemic, for right now, is in the rearview mirror, to a large extent. Not completely; we’re still going to have Americans who get sick. We’re still going to have Americans who need drugs and therapies. I’m hoping that this administration rushes those drugs and therapies along,” he said.
Rep. Harris also says immigration reform is a key issue when dealing with national health challenges. “The president, like an ostrich putting its head in the sand, refused to acknowledge that the open southern border is a real problem in dealing with our opioid crisis,” he said. “[President Biden] really didn’t mention whether or not he was going to stem the tide of the 2 million illegal immigrants who entered this country this year. With that comes a lot of fentanyl.”
Public safety and police reform is another thing that Rep. Harris says President Biden isn’t tackling head on. “I don’t think he dealt with the issue of crime well enough. The bottom line is he said, yes, we have to fund our police. But when you’re passing police reform bills, demoralize our police, and you support these bills, that’s not the way you solve crime,” he said.
“Look past the rhetoric”
Overall, Rep. Harris says while President Biden hit all the necessary talking points, he thinks it was just that: talk. “The president reads the polls. The president knows what’s on peoples’ minds. But, people have to look past the rhetoric, to see whether the president’s plans really do deal with inflation – I don’t think they do – whether they deal with crime – I don’t think they did – and whether they do deal with the opioid epidemic – and I don’t think they did,” he said.