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Tags: Biden Administration | arkansas | hutchinson | inflation | spendingbill

Arkansas Gov. Hutchinson: Spending Bill Adds to Inflation Worries

asa hutchinson speaks on a state in an auditorium
Gov. Asa Hutchinson  (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 24 October 2021 11:18 AM

The Democrats' call for trillions in social program spending is worrisome at a time when Americans are facing the "cruelest tax" through inflation that is causing the prices of fuel, groceries, and more, to climb, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Sunday. 

"Whenever you hear Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi talk about the trillion-dollar package, it hasn't been written, it can't be explained," the Republican governor told CNN's "State of the Union" host Jake Tapper, who also interviewed Pelosi Sunday. "You did a great job asking her questions about it, but it was as clear as mud."

And what that tells Americans, he added, is that at a time when they're worried most about inflation, all that's being seen is more government spending. 

Hutchinson said he does agree with the need for the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which is expected to come up for a vote this week, as it is critical for roads, broadband, and water improvement projects, but the social program funding bill will "simply add to inflationary pressures that are already costing the average American a great deal."

The governor also talked Sunday about the efforts to improve COVID-19 vaccination rates in his state, where only 47% of the residents are fully vaccinated, placing Arkansas in the bottom ten states in the nation where vaccines are concerned.

"We're making progress," he said. "Those that have been vaccinated are now lining up to get their booster shots. We do see it as the way out. The resistance is hard in some areas. Part of it is simply because of the controversy because of mandates. It deepens the resistance. That's something we have to overcome, but I don't see that controversy going away anytime seen. "

The mandates coming for businesses to require vaccinations will also intensify the controversy, and lawsuits will be filed, the governor said. 

"We're going to continue to push for vaccine adoption," said Hutchinson. "Whenever you see what's happened in the UK with an increase in cases, we know that COVID can throw us more curves coming down the road. We want to be prepared with increased vaccinations."

He acknowledged that if he imposed a vaccine mandate on state employees, vaccination rates would probably go up, but it could also increase resistance from some people and they would lose their jobs. 

"That's why private businesses should have the opportunity, if they want to require vaccination in their sensitive workplace, they ought to be able to do that," Hutchinson said. "The government doesn't need to tell them to do that. I'm for reducing mandates across the board in regards to vaccinations. People will make the right decision over time when they get the right information."

Arkansas does require children who are entering public schools to be vaccinated for several childhood diseases, but when it comes to shots for COVID-19, Hutchinson said the matter needs further examination. 

"There may be a time in the future you would want to mandate that in the schools, but that time is not now," he said. "We need to have more experience with that. We need to have more public acceptance of it, of the vaccine."

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Politics
The Democrats' call for trillions in social program spending is worrisome at a time when Americans are facing the "cruelest tax" through inflation that is causing the prices of fuel, groceries, and more, to climb, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Sunday.
arkansas, hutchinson, inflation, spendingbill
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2021-18-24
Sunday, 24 October 2021 11:18 AM
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