October 11, 2021 by Rep. Elise Stefanik

This month, House Democrats are determined to jam through the largest spending package and largest tax increase in our nation’s history. Democrats’ vision for fundamentally remaking America will cost the taxpayers more than it cost to win World War II and make Americans dependent on the government from cradle to grave.

As a conservative, I believe that rather than always expanding the federal government to solve problems, locally driven solutions, ones that put people, families, and our communities at the forefront of decision-making, are the key to restoring America.

In just nine months of the Biden administration, America is already experiencing the consequences and failures of these expensive, far-left Democratic policies. Socialist spending sprees have sent our economy into decline and triggered the highest inflation in over a decade. Families in the North Country and across America are paying more for gas, food, school supplies, and home projects.

Every month since Joe Biden has been president, inflation has risen, forcing people to pay more for almost everything. Each bloated spending bill passed by House Democrats has increased the size of the federal government while failing to address unique issues facing our communities.

Additionally, the last jobs report was the weakest of Joe Biden’s presidency and fell short of economists’ expectations. This was a huge disappointment for our economy, but the reason is apparent. Democratic policies have been paying people more not to work, leaving local employers to compete with unemployment bonuses. This is the last thing our small businesses need in the midst of recovering from a pandemic.

Instead, we need policies that put our communities first. When our economy is booming, it empowers local workers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses — the backbone of our local communities. When they are prospering, it creates jobs and benefits the whole community.

House Democrats’ top-down, one-size-fits-all approach to policymaking and government undermines decisions being made on the local level and by people in their own homes. The pandemic is a stark example of how the government has used uncertainty to expand its reach over each one of us. It has been devastating to witness the effort to undermine families and their personal decisions regarding COVID-19, even when top leaders have had inconsistent and differing positions.

In a House Education and Labor Committee hearing earlier this month, a Democratic colleague responded to a statement that parents know best for their children bystating,”We need to protect kids from their parents.” It is appalling to think that House Democrats believe they know better than a child’s parent.

I believe parents should be making decisions regarding the learning and development of their children. These elementary and secondary years are too valuable in children’s lives to mandate a one-size-fits-all approach, especially when many of the recommendations from the federal government appear to be rooted more in politics than scientific research. Parents know what their children need far better than bureaucrats and Democratic appointees in Washington.

Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s far-left approach is weakening America because it fails to recognize the strength found in the unique aspects of each community.

Growing up in a small business family, I was taught the value of hard work. This is where I experienced the American dream and became the first in my family to graduate college. I believe the American dream is still possible for the rest of our country, but Congress must take action and put communities at the center of our decisions.

When our government puts forward policies that empower our communities, the possibilities for people are evident. Instead of closed restaurants, businesses stay open. Instead of help wanted signs in storefront windows, employers are equipped to fully staff their small businesses. Instead of the prices of gas and groceries surging, families are not left with sticker shock. Instead of mask mandates in schools, families can make decisions for their children.

As a new mother, I want my son to grow up in an America where he can experience the American dream, and we should give his generation that same hope. This hope begins by working on the local level to improve communities. It’s not time for bloated $3.5 trillion spending packages and overreaching policies that will only grow dependence on the government and burden the next generation with the cost. It’s time to strengthen the American dream by putting communities and families at the forefront of decision-making.

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik represents New York’s 21st Congressional District.

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