On this week’s edition of IN Focus, several congressional members representing Indiana are responding to President Joe Biden’s first address to Congress since becoming president.
Senator Todd Young (R-IN) was one of 20 GOP senators in attendance.
Young posted a video statement on Twitter remarking that the president’s first 100 days in office have been marked by a “take it or leave it” approach, and that in his view, President Biden’s words do not reflect his actions.
“I was part of a group of 10 Republican senators who tried to get to a place of unity on the president’s COVID-19 relief proposal. He invited us to the Oval Office. He listened. He asked questions, but ultimately he did not budge,” said Young.
“What we got instead was a $1.9 trillion package that was 90% filled with items unrelated to COVID relief.”
Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN) was also in attendance. She echoed Sen. Young’s criticism on the president’s bipartisan efforts.
“If somebody wants to work on bipartisan solutions… You get to the table [with] people from both parties,” said Spartz.
She said about Biden: “He hasn’t even met with the leadership in the House or Republican party. I’m talking about everyone else so I think what kind of bipartisanship it is? I haven’t seen any action except in his last sentence. But it’s all just talking points, so hopefully I’ll be surprised.”
In an interview conducted Tuesday morning, Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) expressed similar sentiments about the President’s bi-partisan overtures, which he felt weren’t being met with tangible bi-partisan actions. He called it a “false invitation to be part of a joint solution.”
Braun also tweeted Wednesday about the cost of Biden’s massive new policy proposals introduced in the address, saying “this is taking wasteful spending to a whole new extreme.”
Democratic Representative André Carson had a different take, saying via Twitter that Biden’s address “provided hopeful vision for the future.”
He continued by saying it was wonderful to see “a compassionate, level headed President address Congress and the nation.”
Carson also tipped his hat to Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, calling them trail blazers.
Wednesday’s speech marked the first time two women had flanked the President in those roles during an address to Congress.