Press Releases

ICYMI: Hern criticizes Democrats for focus on reckless spending, ignoring national crises

Representative Kevin Hern (OK-01) spoke during the House Committee on Ways and Means’ markup yesterday, criticizing their continued focus on moving the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package through Congress as quickly as possible while ignoring the crisis at our Southern border, the domestic oil shortage, the inflation crisis, the crime crisis, and the crisis in Afghanistan that led to hundreds of Americans stranded behind Taliban lines. 

Video can be found here.


Key Background: 

  • Both the left-leaning Tax Policy Center and the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) agree working families will see their taxes go up.
  • According to the Tax Policy Center, President Biden’s tax plan will raise taxes on 75 percent of middle-class families next year, rising to 95 percent of middle-class families over the long term – contradicting his pledge not to raise taxes on middle-class Americans.
  • The JCT analysis shows that more than 66.3 percent of the corporate tax burden would be borne by lower- and middle-income taxpayers, and 172 million taxpayers would bear the burden of the increased corporate tax rate – and disproportionately harm U.S. workers, retirees, and small businesses.

Remarks as prepared: 

It’s interesting how the Speaker is so quick to end recess in the name of urgency to pass the largest, most unnecessary spending package in history, raising taxes on American families to do so, when there is zero urgency to aid Americans left behind by the Biden Administration in Afghanistan, and zero urgency to address the border crisis, or even the inflation crisis. 

Eight months of Democrat control over Washington and we have a crisis on nearly every front. 

How do our colleagues respond? By spending more taxpayer dollars, of course. And those tax dollars are not going to help domestic oil producers increase production or give our border agents the resources they need to keep our border communities safe. It’s not even going towards infrastructure, as so many promised, but to radical programs that the American people don’t want. 

Several polls have shown that the programs included in the reconciliation package are unpopular among the American people. Even more unpopular than the programs is the price tag. 60% of Americans say we’re moving too fast, that Congress needs to get spending under control.

I’d like to remind my colleagues today that the American people do not report to us. We report to them. They will make the decision on who serves them in this chamber. 

The legislation before us today poses severe threats to the United States economy, to American families, and the future of our nation. 

Decisions made by this majority have already resulted in rampant inflation, a burden felt the strongest by low-income families. Decisions by this majority and their allies in the White House have led to a sluggish recovery from harmful COVID shutdowns and underwhelming jobs numbers month after month. 

It’s time to take a look in the mirror and realize that more spending is not the answer. More taxes won’t solve anything. New programs and new definitions and all the money you can throw at them will not dig us out of this hole. 

Money doesn’t grow on trees, which is something Democrat Senator Joe Manchin understands very well. Every dollar we spend here comes from an American taxpayer. Not one penny belongs to us. 

Senator Manchin recently said in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, “Democratic congressional leaders propose to pass the largest single spending bill in history with no regard to rising inflation, crippling debt, or the inevitability of future crises. Ignoring the fiscal consequences of our policy choices will create a disastrous future for the next generation of Americans.” 

Senator Manchin is correct, and he’s also correct that this failure will be on the heads of Democrats alone. 

For example over the next two days we are reviewing paid family leave, retirement and Medicare coverage… All of these issues should be bipartisan. Republicans have put out bipartisan proposals to help small businesses offer retirement and paid family leave, but democrats have ignored them all together.

The economy is recovering from the pandemic. Now is not the time for new taxes on small businesses or skimpy healthcare coverage for seniors

It’s not too late. Fiscal responsibility is still an option. We have the opportunity today to do what our constituents are demanding and cut the spending. We have the opportunity to reverse course on these proposed tax hikes that will send American jobs overseas. We have the opportunity to make the right choice and put the American people over any partisan agenda or hollow victory. 

Listening to my Democrat colleagues today, you’d think America is a third-rate country, that we’re lagging everyone. But we know we’re the greatest nation that’s ever been on this planet. People want to come here, start businesses here, live their lives here. Hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees want to come here; people are streaming across our Southern border to what the Democrats want people to believe is a third-rate country. 

We know it’s the greatest nation to ever exist and we want to keep it that way. 

I know Senator Manchin is not the only Democrat who agrees with me. I know there are many in the House who feel similarly; I just hope they have the courage to do what’s right.