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Utah’s US reps blast $1.85T Build Back Better Act, chiefly due to price tag

By Tim Vandenack - | Nov 19, 2021

Photos supplied

Utah's delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives, clockwise from upper left-hand corner: Reps. Blake Moore, Burgess Owens, Chris Stewart and John Curtis. All are Republicans.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act may have gotten the green light in the U.S. House of Representatives, but it wasn’t thanks to Utah’s four House members.

All four, Reps. Blake Moore, Chris Stewart, Burgess Owens and John Curtis, voted against it, like all other House GOPers.

The $1.85 trillion measure passed Friday largely along partisan lines in a 220-213 vote and now goes to the U.S. Senate. It contains a range of provisions augmenting child care assistance, improving access to preschool, scaling back prescription drug costs and aiding in efforts to slow climate change, according to The Associated Press.

It had plenty of critics, notably due to the cost, and here’s what Utah’s four U.S. House members had to say:

Blake Moore: “These federal spending packages are directly hurting hardworking Utah families,” said the 1st District representative. “Rather than pushing these massive spending bills, our government needs to focus on tackling the crippling inflation, supply chain and workforce shortages resulting from liberal policies. I will continue to work with my colleagues on ways we can more responsibly respect Americans’ tax dollars and improve our economic outlook.”

Moore blasted what he called the “radical tax-and-spend agenda” of House Democrats, saying their polices have resulted in inflation on everything “from gas to groceries.”

Burgess Owens: “America currently sits on $28 trillion in debt, inflation is at a three decade high and consumer prices are surging at the fastest rate since 1990,” said Owens, the 4th District representative. “Instead of easing these burdens and leading our country through an economic crisis, this far-left kitchen sink package uses budgetary gimmicks and sunsets to spend what we do not have on programs that we do not need.”

Citing a Congressional Budget Office estimate that the measure would increase the U.S. deficit by $367 billion, he said “generations of Utahns will bear the brunt of today’s vote.”

John Curtis: “It is indisputable that pumping more government money into the economy will worsen inflation, especially at such a significant rate,” said the 3rd District representative.

Friday’s action comes in the wake of approval of other spending plans pushed by Biden and Democrats, he said, and as “Americans across the country are reeling from the effects of increased inflation, supply chain issues and some of the highest gas prices in history. It is indisputable that pumping more government money into the economy will worsen inflation, especially at such a significant rate.”

Chris Stewart: “President Biden needs to accept these fundamental realities: The American people are the key to our nation’s success; spending more tax dollars to expand government control is our downfall,” the 2nd District representative said. “Until we start prioritizing individual liberty over big government, we’re going to continue suffering the same economic consequences.”

In a statement, Biden lauded the Build Back Better Act as “another giant step forward in carrying out my economic plan to create jobs, reduce costs, make our country more competitive and give working people and the middle class a fighting chance.”

He said it will cut the U.S. deficit over the long term. “It’s fully paid for by making sure that the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations begin to pay their fair share in federal taxes,” Biden said.

On Monday, Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law, the $1.2 trillion measure to improve the U.S. infrastructure. The four Utah Congressman also voted against that bill earlier this month. Utah’s senators split, with Sen. Mike Lee voting against it and Sen. Mitt Romney voting for it.

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