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Thune: President Biden Doubles Down on Failed Policies

“Suffice it to say that if Americans were looking for solutions to the challenges facing our country, they did not hear them in the State of the Union.”

March 12, 2024

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today discussed President Biden’s State of the Union address and how his failed policies have created unprecedented challenges for hardworking families and businesses across the country. Thune noted that President Biden should immediately abandon the policies that helped create the southern border crisis, record-high inflation, and greater energy insecurity.

Thune’s remarks below (as prepared for delivery):

“Mr. President, President Biden came to Congress on Thursday night to deliver the State of the Union address.

“And unfortunately it was exactly what you might expect from the president:

“The same old tired tax-and-spend proposals.

“A far-left agenda.

“And a complete failure to address some of the biggest challenges facing our country.

“Mr. President, let’s step back in time for a minute to the beginning of the president’s administration.

“Three years ago this month, the president signed into law a massive, partisan, $1.9 trillion spending bill under the guise of COVID relief – despite the fact that Congress had just passed a fifth bipartisan COVID bill that met essentially all current pressing COVID needs.

“Economists – including some left-leaning economists – warned that the bill ran the risk of setting off inflation.

“But Democrats and the president proceeded anyway.

“And every American knows what resulted – an inflation crisis that saw inflation reach its highest level in more than 40 years.

“An inflation crisis that three years later still – still – isn’t over.

“But if you thought three years of inflation had taught President Biden to be wary of excessive government spending, you’d be wrong.

“The president’s State of the Union address was bursting with ideas for new spending (and new taxes to go along with them).

“And yet the president had the audacity to claim that he is, quote, “delivering real results in fiscally responsible ways.”

“Mr. President, when you’ve passed an unnecessary $1.9 trillion spending bill that plunged the country into an inflation crisis from which it has still not emerged, I would think you might be cautious about asserting any claims to fiscal responsibility.

“But the president isn’t overly troubled by the facts in these matters.

“He went on to assert that he has cut the federal deficit by more than a trillion dollars, a deceptive claim he has repeated so often that it earned him a “Bottomless Pinocchio” from the Washington Post’s Fact Checker column.

“As CNN put it in its State of the Union fact check, ‘… Biden’s actions have clearly added to deficits.’

“Mr. President, the president’s address featured lots of new spending ideas and proposals for new taxes.

“What it didn’t feature was solutions to the challenges that are actually facing the American people.

“The president didn’t get around to discussing the border and inflation – two of the biggest issues on the minds of Americans – until around halfway through his speech.

“And even then, it was not to offer solutions; it was to dodge responsibility for these crises.

“Despite the fact that the crisis at our southern border is a direct result of President Biden’s policies, the president spent his entire discussion of the border suggesting that it is Congress’ responsibility to act.

“Mr. President, President Biden created this border crisis.

“And he has the power to end it.

“And he could start today.

“For example, the president could crack down on abuse of the asylum system by tightening the standard for asylum claims, which could help weed out many of the specious claims that are being made that allow individuals to get years of essentially legal permanent residence.

“But I don’t think the president is really interested in securing the border; he is interested in preventing his border crisis from hindering his reelection.

“And so he is taking steps to put the blame anywhere but on himself.

“And as for inflation – well, the president has tried a variety of tactics for messaging on inflation, from minimizing the crisis to blaming it on others.

“And in the State of the Union he trotted out his latest blame-deflecting strategy – complaining about so-called ‘shrinkflation.’

“Mr. President, I hate to tell the president, but a 10 percent shrinkage in the size of a Snickers bar is not the reason why Americans are paying $1,000 more a month these days to maintain the same standard of living they had when the president took office.

“‘Shrinkflation’ is not an explanation for the inflation crisis the president helped create.

“It’s just one more attempt by the president to shift the blame.

“Mr. President, there are a lot of other things I could say about the president’s speech.

“I could talk about the president once again touting his Green New Deal policies, including his plan to install 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations, even as our electric grid heads for disaster.

“Or I could talk about how disappointed I was that the president chose to resurrect the ugly moments early in his presidency when he and his Democrat colleagues attempted to manufacture a nonexistent voter suppression crisis, in order to justify legislation to give Democrats a permanent advantage in elections.

“And of course I thought it was deeply sad that the president’s definition of freedom seems to be mostly centered around abortion.

“The way the president made it sound in his speech, the core American freedom these days is the right to kill unborn Americans.

“There’s a lot more to say, Mr. President, but I’ll stop here.

“Suffice it to say that if Americans were looking for solutions to the challenges facing our country, they did not hear them in the State of the Union.

“Mr. President, I yield the floor.”