Joe Biden delivers while Yvette Herrell says “NO!”
By Nandini Pillai Kuehn, Ph.D., MHA, Retired Health Care Consultant, DPSC Ward D Chair
On August 14, two letters appeared in the Journal. One was from Democratic Senator Ben Ray Lujan touting the CHIPS Act—spelling out its many benefits to New Mexico businesses, as well as the Sandia and Los Alamos Labs. President Biden signed it with bipartisan support. However, one notable New Mexican representative voted “NO”: Rep. Yvette Herrell.
The second letter, from Herrell herself, glowingly touted how veterans should be considered leaders. Clearly targeting veteran voters, she hopes they won’t notice that she has voted “NO” to bipartisan legislation designed to help veterans, the PACT Act. Signed into law by Biden, it provides health care to veterans injured by toxic burn pits in the Middle East.
In fact, when it comes to helping New Mexicans, Herrell doesn’t seem to know that a YES button exists.
Not wanting to sully her sterling “NO” record, Herrell voted against two more pieces of legislation that Biden signed into law. She said “NO” to the bipartisan Safer Communities Act to reduce gun violence and “NO” to the Inflation Reduction Act.
The latter targets climate change, helps New Mexico’s Medicare beneficiaries by lowering prescription drug costs, allows New Mexicans to buy subsidized health insurance on the State Exchange, and funds the IRS to go after wealthy tax cheats. None of these goals were worthy of her approval.
Herrell’s appalling voting record started last year with two other bipartisan bills that Biden signed: the American Rescue Act addressing Covid and the Infrastructure Investment Act promoting clean water, expanding broadband access, and rebuilding crumbling roads and bridges. Herrell? No and no.
Our Democratic president, and the Democrats in our House and Senate, are delivering for New Mexicans every day. Who is Herrell delivering for? Certainly not ordinary New Mexicans and especially not injured veterans.