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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Dems call budget ‘roadmap for stronger America’, Republicans say ‘spending binge must stop’

President Biden shakes hands with Sen. Joe Manchin III after signing the Inflation Reduction Act into law in August. Biden’s 2024 budget proposal will aim to revive some programs that Democrats couldn’t pass last year, but the Republican-controlled House is sure to block them.  (Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post)

U.S. President Joe Biden’s newly announced budget plan drew criticism from Northwest Republican lawmakers and praise from local Democrats on Thursday.

The annual plan focuses on fiscal responsibility, a “minimum tax on billionaires” and a boost to Medicare funding, among a host of other items.

Here’s a look at what Inland Northwest Legislators were saying about the budget Thursday:

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said Biden’s budget “moves our country forward.”

“President Biden’s budget is a roadmap for a stronger America that puts working people – not billionaires and giant corporations – first, and sets our country up to thrive in the decades to come,” Murray said in a statement. “The President’s plan invests in American families, strengthens Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security for the next generation, and makes our country safer and more competitive–while lowering the deficit and setting us on a better fiscal path.”

Murray wrote the plan will get more people the health care they need and help families put food on the table.

“Put plainly: this budget moves our country forward – and does so while lowering the deficit by simply asking billionaires and the wealthiest corporations in America to finally pay their fair share in taxes,” she wrote.

Republicans’ views were vastly different from Democrats.

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, urged Biden to abandon the “radical proposal” and work with the GOP.

“President Biden continues to gaslight the public on his record on spending and the massive deficit,” McMorris Rodgers said. “Americans – who are feeling the inflation crisis every day when they buy groceries, fill up their gas tanks, or seek routine medical care – aren’t fooled. What’s more disturbing is that Biden is doubling down on his war on American energy and refusing to prioritize resources to address the crisis at our southern border, which has exacerbated the illicit fentanyl poisoning crisis.”

Biden encouraged Republicans in Congress to announce their own plan, so the two sides can see where they disagree.

U.S. Rep. Russ Fulcher, R-Idaho, tweeted Biden’s plan eliminates pro-life protections, raises taxes and will drive inflation higher.

U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, said in a statement that Idahoans cannot afford higher taxes and “more out-of-control spending.”

“This administration already spent well beyond its means, resulting in inflation that hurts Idahoans every day,” Risch wrote. “Thankfully, Congress can correct the president’s error with a budget that reins in spending and targets solutions that provide relief to Idaho families.”

Idaho Republican Sen. Mike Crapo said in a statement Biden’s proposed budget shows his administration has not learned from its mistakes, which have led to two years of “record-high inflation and excessive deficit spending.”

“Despite recently passing nearly $500 billion in additional taxes on America’s job creators, the White House wants to go further, continuing to rehash tax hike proposals that even the prior Democrat-controlled Congress would not support,” Crapo said. “Revenues are not the problem; Washington’s insatiable appetite for unfettered spending is the problem. The spending binge must stop.”