Government

Rep. Ashley Hinson concerned by Biden's early policy proposals

She opposes $15 minimum wage, immigration plan

Ashley Hinson speaks to supporters Nov. 3 at Jimmy Z's in southeast Cedar Rapids. The freshman Republican said Friday sh
Ashley Hinson speaks to supporters Nov. 3 at Jimmy Z’s in southeast Cedar Rapids. The freshman Republican said Friday she is opposed to several of President Joe Biden’s initial policy proposals but eager to work with him on pandemic relief measures. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson has offered to work with President Joe Biden when they can find common ground, but she’s finding little to agree with in his initial flurry of executive actions.

So while she may be able to get on board with some of his plans for targeted coronavirus pandemic relief, Hinson voiced concern Friday about other proposals coming from the Biden administration.

“I believe that there’s been an incredibly partisan approach to immigration,” Hinson said about Biden’s plan, which includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented residents.

She said she’s also concerned about his plans for energy, climate change and taxes — “far-left policy ideas” — that would hurt Iowans.

Rather than more partisan gridlock, “I’m hoping instead that we start to see some more policy ideas that will truly unite our nation,” Hinson told reporters.

She also warned the proposed $15-an-hour minimum wage would “decimate our rural economy.” Congress should look at raising the $7.25 min wage, but if Democrats succeed in raising it to $15, “there are a lot of small businesses that couldn’t take that hit,” she said.

Hinson called on Biden to reverse the Trump administration’s approval — on its way out the door — of small refinery waivers that were a “slap in the face to biofuels producers here in Iowa.”

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She also wants to see the Biden administration “maintain the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, expand the renewable fuels sector and reduce reliance on imported oil.

Hinson said she believes “both sides have failed” on immigration, but said that Biden’s policies would result in an open border and blanket amnesty for illegal immigrants, which would harm legal immigration and weaken enforcement of immigration laws.

Any immigration reform should address the length of time and cost of legal immigration, she said.

“We’re a country that is built on immigration,” she said. “We need to also make sure that we’re being smart about how we welcome people into this country.”

A Biden spokeswoman said Friday the president’s immigration plan is a “first step” and said the bill is different from previous reform attempts because it includes “smarter security.”

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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