House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and 159 of his colleagues slammed the Biden administration Wednesday, accusing the White House of pushing “radical policies” that are worsening the ongoing supply chain crisis rather than focusing on solutions.
“We must address the global supply chain and ports crisis before Congress even considers additional social spending and taxation legislation,” read a letter from the lawmakers to President Biden.
“House Republicans have repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to work on bipartisan solutions to improve our infrastructure,” added the letter, which was led by Sam Graves (R-Mo.), the ranking member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
“We regret that our efforts have been spurned as Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi, Majority Leader [Chuck] Schumer, and your Administration use infrastructure as a Trojan horse to push radical policies that make it more difficult and expensive for families to find or afford basic goods and for businesses to continue the long road to recovery from the pandemic,” it continued.
The months-long supply crisis has stemmed from several factors, including a massive backlog of ships waiting to enter the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach — the two largest in the nation — as well as a shortage of truck drivers and railway workers to help deliver items to their final destinations.
The lack of readily available goods — including food shortages in parts of the US — is contributing to spiking inflation and threatens to cripple the nation’s economy as it attempts to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts even believe the bottleneck could threaten the timeliness of holiday gifts.
“Our priority right now should be strengthening our Nation’s economy and increasing our global competitiveness,” the letter read. “The policies of your Presidency and party’s leaders in Congress are exacerbating or simply ignoring the underlying supply chain crisis.”
Much of Biden’s efforts in his first months in office have been devoted to pushing two major spending bills: a bipartisan Senate-passed $1.2 trillion measure focusing on infrastructure, and a larger social spending bill — the final form of which is still being negotiated by Democrats who hope to pass it without GOP support.
The Republican lawmakers accused the administration of “mishandling” the pandemic response “in ways that are prolonging unemployment and worker shortages across the economy” and called out the president’s “push for a multi-trillion-dollar spending spree that is driving up prices of everything from gas to groceries.
“These efforts only serve to weaken American competitiveness and shrink our economy,” they added, “and they will certainly ensure that this Christmas will not be merry.”
The letter concluded by calling on Biden to “step up for American workers and businesses by halting your reckless tax and spending plan currently pending before Congress” and “work on real infrastructure solutions that focus on moving goods and people safely and efficiently throughout our great country and around the world.”
In addition to McCarthy, prominent signatories include House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and the ranking members of 17 House committees.