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North Texas Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne Previews President Biden's Address To Joint-Congress Tonight By Reflecting On His First 100 Days In Office.
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JACK FINK: Republican North Texas Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne, thank you so much for joining us. As you know, President Biden is going to be making his address tonight to a joint session of Congress, albeit far fewer people in the audience than normal. How would you grade President Biden's first 100 days in office?
BETH VAN DUYNE: I would say there's a lot of talk about what he's going to do, and then there's a lot of action that would directly contradict that. I'm not going to-- I'm not going to give grades. I would just say right now I have seen a complete hypocrisy.
We reached out. I led a letter to President Biden early on, congratulating him, telling him that I wanted to work with him. There was a number of other freshmen Congress members who signed that letter, saying that we wanted to work with him on issues that were important to Americans, things that should not be partisan. You know, that included ideas like health care, national security, transportation.
And what we have seen in his first 100 days is, he'll say that he's going to work in a nonpartisan manner, a bipartisan manner, but we've seen the exact opposite. You know, you think about the trillions of dollars that he has already added onto the backs of working Americans that they have no plan to really pay for. And that we're not helping out the people who, right now, need it the most. And that, to me, has been a fail.
I'm really hoping that his speech will include ways of being able to reach out across the aisle. That nearly 50% of us don't feel like we're able to represent those people in our district, because we're not having a voice at the table. We're not having kind of any insight or conversations about these bills that are coming out, nor are we seeing any detail.
We have seen the plan for trans-- they call a transportation infrastructure, the $2.3 trillion bill, followed by, as you mentioned today, the American Families Plan, which is another $1.8 trillion. We've seen top lines, but we haven't seen specifics. So I would really hope tonight that he addresses that. You know, what is-- where are those dollars going to be put? And how are we going to pay for them?
JACK FINK: So let me ask you this. You brought up the American Families Plan, which today, the administration, the White House, laid out. It would include universal pre-K for three and four-year-olds, two years of free community college, paid leave up to 12 weeks as the program progresses, paid for by raising income taxes on the wealthy to 39.6% up from 37%, additional for people who earn a million dollars. They would have a top rate on capital gains, go from 20% to 39.6% and expand tax cuts for lower-income and middle-income people. So when you hear that, what's your thought?
BETH VAN DUYNE: [SCOFFS] That he's going to just continue to raise taxes, and that's the answer to everything. More government involvement. More takeover of our businesses, of our schools, of our children's education by the federal government. It's just expansion of the federal government programs.
This is not the America that I grew up in. It's definitely not taking the respect of local school boards, of local mayors, of states into account. It is a complete government, federal government takeover of our lives, down to every single aspect, with money being no object. Again, it's just continuing to raise taxes upon taxes in a time when we are coming out of this pandemic, when we need to be able to open up businesses.
He talks about being able to support businesses, but what we've seen in the last 100 days is him shutting down jobs, shutting down the economy, shutting down businesses, and talking about that continuing. So it's him saying one thing, but him showing through actions doing something quite different.
JACK FINK: Let me ask you about, as far as-- because there have been studies that have showed COVID has hit working women, women in the workplace, particularly hard. And what do you say to those who believe that this American Families Plan would go a long way in helping those women who've been impacted?
BETH VAN DUYNE: I think, again, he says something, but it's going to have a completely different reaction. I think women-- working women right now want to be able to get back to work. They want to be able to have their kids in schools, which will help them be able to get back to work. They're not relying on the government for a handout.
And I think maybe that's the mistake, is we are expecting that that's what all Americans want, is they just want to be able to sit on their couch and get a check. Overwhelmingly, the people that I've talked to in the 24th District want to have control of their lives back. They want to get back to their offices. They want to get back to their places of employment.
Employers want to hire. They want to be in control of their own success. They don't want to be shut down. And they want to be able to take money that they make and be able to reinvestment-- reinvest it in their companies, in their businesses, and in their employees. And overwhelmingly what we've seen is that option being taken away.
So I think, you know, when we talk about working women, what they want right now is they want to be able to get back into being in control of their own lives. They want to be able to get back where their kids are in school. And they want to have a modicum of independence. And what we see continually happening from this administration is that being taken away, layer, by layer, by layer.
JACK FINK: And so I know a lot of Republicans have said that the administration is just way too progressive. Do you agree with that?
BETH VAN DUYNE: I think it is entirely too progressive. But I think it's completely out of tune with what most Americans want. And again, as Republicans, as conservatives, what we're trying to do is empower individuals for the choices that they want to make for the risks they want to take to be in control of where their success leads, of what they're able to do.
And what we've seen by the Biden administration is a complete takeover of that. And it's not only-- it's not only making us more dependent on the federal government, but it's doing it for generations. Because the trillions and trillions of dollars-- think about it-- in the first 100 days, this president is already talking about spending over $6 trillion at a time when our economy has been squelched.
You think about what happened during the Obama administration, when Trump was talking about all these jobs that were going to be able to open up, manufacturing jobs that we were going to be able to bring back, and that magic wand that Obama talked about. Well, Trump, with his tax cut and Jobs Act, that was the magic wand.
When you allow businesses the opportunity to be able to reinvest in their employees, when you allow employees to be able to work and be able to get ahead, those are things that make us more competitive globally. When you decrease tax rates, so that we're not as high as communist China, which is exactly what the Biden administration is talking about doing-- when you have those opportunities, businesses will invest, people will flourish. And we're seeing the exact opposite right now.
And I think people need to understand that that's what's going on. That we do have to pay for these things. And you're paying for it with our-- our kids' and our grandkids' future.
JACK FINK: I wanted to ask you about the situation at the southern border. What is your assessment? And are you expecting to hear anything tonight on that topic?
BETH VAN DUYNE: You know, when you asked what I want to hear about, I would actually love to hear that the president is going down there, that the vice president is going to be going down to the border, so they can see the crisis for themselves. If you get down there, there's no way that you can deny it. It is what it is.
We've seen a shiny object over here. Don't look, and we'll pretend that it's non-existing. Except for the thousands of people who are crossing over here illegally, every single day, and are coming to communities all across the country, including in Dallas, where we have a facility set up at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center that houses 2,300 illegal immigrant kids right now, many who have not been tested for COVID. Those are concerns that I have.
I would love for him to be able to say, we're going down there. We're going to talk to the folks who, every day, are dealing with this crisis. And we're going to get their ideas on how to stop it.
Understanding that-- I would love for him to be able to take the blame. That we were warned that this would happen, because we were told, when we talked to those individuals, that if we changed the policies, that if we had folks, kids, being separated from their parents, instead of being able to stay in a first safe country, instead of the Remain in Mexico policy, we knew this was going to happen. It's our bad. We're sorry. And we're going to fix it.
We're going to go back to the policies that worked originally, that stopped these huge surges at our borders. We are going to start enforcing Title 42, which would prevent further COVID cases from coming into our country. That's what I would love for him to hear-- to say. But I have a feeling what we're going to hear is him totally avoid the subject, not even talk about it.
Not talk about the miles of borders right now that are being left unsecure, because we're taking folks away from those borders to act as glorified babysitters at these detention centers, that quite honestly are so stuffed with people that it is a humanity crisis, in additional to a national security crisis. I would love for him to talk about how he's going to handle that, that he's actually going to identify it as a problem. But I am fearful that we're just going to see more of the same rhetoric that we've seen out of this administration.