SOUTHERN DIANA — Visiting communities across the state, US Senator Todd Young said Hoosiers are sharing their disdain for higher prices at the fuel pump and grocery store.
“They are frustrated by the many challenges that we face because most of them understand that in most cases these are self-inflicted challenges,” said Young, a Republican who is seeking re-election this year.
From inflation to war in Ukraine, Young shared his positions on some of the key issues facing the country during a visit to the News and Tribune.
Hearings on January 6th
Young said he has been watching some of the ongoing hearings of the US House of Representatives committee on the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol.
“A lot of this seems to overlap with things I learned in the course of the impeachment hearing or have learned since,” Young said.
Young voted to confirm the results of the 2020 election. A month after the attack on the Capitol, he voted to acquit ex-President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial.
Young said Tuesday the committee hearings should have taken place before the impeachment hearing.
“I hope this hearing can do something worthwhile and bring some clarity to the American people about this horrible day and what happened,” he said. “It is unfortunate that Nancy Pelosi has decided to conduct these post impeachment hearings.”
Young said impeachment has “become a weaponized tool that we’re going to see fairly regularly.”
war in Ukraine
After sending billions of dollars in aid to the European country, Young said he supports US efforts to provide resources and weapons to Ukraine in its fight against Russia.
But Young, a veteran, believes the war could have been avoided had the US and its allies been more aggressive in thwarting Russia’s intentions before it invaded its neighbor.
The US and its allies should have sanctioned Russia and its oil and gas companies before the invasion began, Young said. He also criticized President Joe Biden’s statement before the invasion that the US and NATO would not send troops to defend Ukraine.
“Even if that’s the case, it’s very unwise to give the enemy a signal before an invasion even takes place,” Young said.
He added that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan “shouted out weakness” at Russian President Vladimir Putin.
But the US is determined to help Ukraine and should send a strong message to other autocrats that the country will respond to unprovoked attacks and invasions.
inflation and economy
Young blamed Biden and Democratic Party policies for the rapid rise in inflation.
Federal stimulus packages have contributed to inflation, he said. While Young voted against the Democrat-backed American bailout plan in 2021, he supported various COVID-19 relief packages under Trump in 2020.
Young called Biden’s stalled Build Back Better plan a “piñata of leftist priorities” that would prove costly to US taxpayers.
On energy and oil, Young said the Biden administration should take note of his predecessor’s policies.
Biden’s administration is not doing enough to incentivize those who own domestic oil and gas ownership rights to build more infrastructure and increase supply, Young continued.
Biden has criticized oil majors for posting record profits amid price hikes.
“I want an explanation as to why they’re not refining more oil,” he said in an Associated Press article on Sunday.
The President said he is considering a state gas tax exemption that would potentially save consumers up to $18.4 a gallon.
Young called this idea a “band-aid applied to a dehiscent chest wound.”
“If you remove the tax, it would have a very short-term impact, then consumers would respond by going out and buying more gasoline, causing prices to go up so you’re back where you started in a matter of weeks.” he said.
Young predicted inflation and a “failure to use common sense” would hurt Democratic leadership during the November election.
A bipartisan effort
While Republicans and Democrats remain bitterly divided on many fronts, a bill Young sponsored has garnered bipartisan support.
The US Innovation and Competition Act was approved by the Senate last year, and the Senate also approved an amendment to the law in May.
Young predicts the law will go into effect in a few weeks. The bill focuses on supporting research and development efforts and would provide tax credits for innovative small businesses, next-generation manufacturers and start-ups that make technology-related products such as computer chips and systems.
Young believes the bill would be particularly beneficial for Indiana given its manufacturing base.
“This will be transformative,” Young said, as he believes potential federal investment would be quickly followed by private dollars.
Young faces Democrat Tom McDermott and Libertarian James Sceniak in the November election.