116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The “spending spigot is on” in Washington, and that’s concerning to Rep. Ashley Hinson and Iowa 1st District voters she heard from at town hall meetings this week.
Hinson, a Marion Republican who sits on the House Appropriations Committee, said the administration has shared little information about President Joe Biden’s plans to propose a $6 trillion budget.
“I think it's beyond time that we actually have some answers to what he's proposing so we can make sure that we're holding them accountable and do what's best for the American people,” Hinson said during her weekly call with reporters.
Former President Donald Trump’s budget for the current fiscal year was $4.8 trillion, larger than all other annual budgets. Three-fifths of that is mandatory expenditures, such as Social Security and food assistance programs. The budget was nearly $1 trillion more than federal revenues.
That probably explains concerns she heard about the possibility of tax increases to pay for it.
“Probably the No. 1 issue that came up at all my town halls — and it comes up at a lot of our visits, too — is just the fear of tax increases,” the first-term congresswoman said. “There's a great fear of what a tax increase would do coming out of the pandemic when we need to be focused on policies that will help get our economy growing again.”
People who spoke to her at meetings have been supportive of infrastructure spending, especially for broadband, Hinson said. Biden has proposed about $1.7 trillion in infrastructure spending on everything from roads to broadband to climate change.
She’s encouraged that a plan to spend $311 billion over five years on highways was approved by the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee with bipartisan support.
Sen. Joni Ernst, who sits on that committee, said the bipartisan support “shows that we can accomplish a lot when we work together and focus on real transportation infrastructure.”
The difference between that proposal and the Biden infrastructure plan is that it’s targeted, Hinson said.
“That was the theme I heard, as well, from constituents, who were talking about what they perceive to be actual infrastructure and where they'd like to see that investment go,” she said.
Comments: (319) 398-8375; firstname.lastname@example.org