Congressman LaTurner says Biden is ‘disconnected from reality’; other members of Kansas delegation weigh in on president’s address

photo by: Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector

U.S. Rep. Jake LaTurner, Kansas' 2nd District Republican congressman, criticized President Joe Biden's speech to the nation Wednesday night.

TOPEKA — Reaction from members of the Kansas congressional delegation to President Joe Biden’s speech at the 100-day mark of his term was passionate and, among the Republicans, barbed.

U.S. Rep. Jake LaTurner, elected in November to serve the 2nd District of eastern Kansas after Congressman Steve Watkins flamed out, said on Wednesday night the Democratic president was “disconnected from reality” during the first address to a joint session of Congress.

He said Biden’s strategy for reshaping American society through a progressive lens “glossed over the trillions in wasteful government spending being proposed” and the “unsustainable burden on the backs of our children and grandchildren.”

“The men and women of Kansas and Americans across the country make difficult decisions every single day of their lives in order to balance their checkbooks. The Biden administration must stop abdicating its responsibility and start making those same difficult decisions,” LaTurner said.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, of the 3rd District in the Kansas City metropolitan area, said she was grateful to hear the president talk about meaningful investments in the nation’s infrastructure to “help our economy recover so it can work better for everyone just as we did after the Great Depression.”

“I was also glad to hear about his plans for investing in education, child care and health care affordability. These are all important priorities,” Davids said.

She also referred to the “historic image” of Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the dais behind Biden.

The longest-serving member of the state’s D.C. contingent, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, scoffed at Biden’s interpretation of political unity.

“Pledges for unity mean nothing without listening to those with opposing points of view, finding common ground with them and agreeing to compromises,” Moran said.

He said that the president’s desire for a national infrastructure bill was on target, but that the $2.3 trillion plan didn’t meet the definition of infrastructure and wasn’t affordable. The quest to support families and education can be achieved through creation of jobs, not by inflating expenditures, Moran said.

“The president demonstrated he was unwilling to work with Republicans by forcing his partisan $1.9 trillion relief package through Congress without a single Republican vote. Overreaching, partisan legislation that costs trillions of taxpayer dollars isn’t the right path forward,” the senator said.

U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, the Republican replacement for retired Sen. Pat Roberts, said during a Senate floor speech that Biden pointed to political unity nine times in his inaugural address but spent the initial 100 days of his presidency avoiding bipartisanship on major issues.

“The unity President Biden preached about is nowhere to be found,” Marshall said.

He said the partisan policy list included an avalanche of executive orders, the effort to make the District of Columbia a state, attempts to federalize election administration and bids to end the Senate filibuster and pack the U.S. Supreme Court.

— Tim Carpenter is a reporter for Kansas Reflector.

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