Fischbach says general expenses are not the solution | News, Sports, Jobs
MARSHALL – In Representative Michelle Fischbach’s first months as a congressman, the federal government was faced with major proposals to deal with the COVID-19 crisis and aging infrastructure across the country. However, this week, Fischbach said she was not convinced general spending was the solution to either problem.
Fischbach said she has yet to see the full estimated $ 2 trillion infrastructure proposal from President Joe Biden that was unveiled this week. But from what she saw she said, “It doesn’t sound as useful as I would like it to be.”
“On the surface it sounds really good, but I think when we start looking at the details it’s going to be a problem.” Fischbach told the Independent on Thursday.
Fischbach, the newly elected representative of Minnesota Congressional District 7, made several stops in the area Thursday, and has more scheduled today. In addition to speaking with the Independent, Fischbach met with leaders from Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center and Southwest Minnesota State University, and visited the Ash Grove dairy near Lake Benton.
Fischbach will meet today with members of the Lyon County Council at 9 a.m. Since a county council quorum would be present, the council is treating the event as a special meeting that will be open to the public, said Loren Stomberg, Lyon County Administrator.
“I am very happy to be here,” Said Fischbach. Although her plans this week include a lot of travel within the CD7, she wanted to speak with voters, “And listen to what they think.”
Fischbach said she was concerned about Biden’s infrastructure proposal. The $ 2 trillion price tag was huge, as was the fact that the proposal would be partially paid for in tax increases, she said. “We have to know how this is going to affect things.”
Fischbach said she would also like to see more targeted infrastructure spending.
“We have to make money for roads, bridges, for things like that, but not all the extra expenses that they are considering.” she said. “When we look at this proposal, it sounds great when you say, ‘Oh, we’ll be spending a lot of money on infrastructure.’ But he’s also going to spend a lot of money on clean energy, he’s going to spend a lot of money on other things, and paying for it with increased taxes. “
Fischbach said she voted against the $ 1.9 trillion COVID relief bill passed by Congress in March for similar reasons – the high price tag and many expenses unrelated to the fight against COVID – 19.
“The relief bill we had, which stood at $ 1.9 trillion, was allocated very little to any real relief from COVID,” Said Fischbach. “What I was really looking for, and what I was really advocating, was a very focused relief bill.” Farms and businesses facing the greatest number of pandemic-related problems should have been at the center of the relief program, she said.
“Here in Minnesota we have had closures. Our small businesses in rural Minnesota needed the help that was intended for them, and I don’t think you understand that in this bill. We’ve spent money on farm loans to socially disadvantaged farmers, we’ve spent money on subways in California, we’ve spent money on things that have absolutely nothing to do with it. COVID.
The stimulus bill passed by Congress included funding to help alleviate the debt of minority farmers. However, a provision that would have allocated $ 141 million for the expansion of the Bay Area rapid transit system in California was removed after the Senate parliamentarian ruled it was not eligible to be included. in the bill.
“It wasn’t that I didn’t want to see COVID relief. This is not what rural Minnesota really needed and asked for ”. Fischbach said of his opposition to the bill.
Fischbach said she was delighted to be part of the House Agriculture Committee. With a new farm bill coming up in a few years, she said she hopes she can focus more on farm issues. So far, in addition to the agricultural part of the COVID relief bill, the committee has held hearings on socially disadvantaged farmers and climate change, she said.
Fischbach said she hoped to hear more from farmers and work on issues that are directly important to them, as opposed to broader issues like climate change.
“The only thing we haven’t talked about is that the farmers have already done so much” to help protect the environment, Fischbach said. “We really need to make sure that farmers have a seat at the table if we’re going to have these discussions, and that we’re doing incentives and not mandatory or punitive.”
“If we’re going to do these things with climate change and make these changes, I don’t want us to do things like California emissions standards,” Said Fischbach. Other measures like biofuels must be supported as part of the solution, she said.
Fischbach said child care was a major concern for voters during the election campaign last year, and that she was working to push through legislation to help home care providers and other day care centers.
“My first bill, the Child Care Choices Act, would help invest more money in home and church services,” she said. “It would also allow parents to choose where they go.”
Fischbach said she also hopes to continue reviewing regulations that prevent home child care providers from staying open.