This piece appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader on October 20, 2022
Less than two years into Joe Biden’s term, his presidency can be defined by a single word: crisis.
An inflation crisis is crushing American households, small businesses, and farmers, all of whom are struggling with the highest cost of living in over four decades. Rising prices are costing the average family over $8,000 annually in reduced purchasing power. Massive overspending in Washington is largely to blame, producing excess demand while discouraging labor supply all at the same time.
Unfortunately, increased competition for labor has not helped workers. Inflation-adjusted average hourly earnings actually decreased a full 3% last year. To make matters worse, this surge in inflation has forced the Fed to aggressively tighten monetary policy, prompting a painful selloff in the stock market. As a result, Americans’ 401(k)s are now down 25% on average, meaning that Biden’s shrinking economy has stolen a combined $2.1 trillion from these retirement savings.
Green New Deal policies and financial regulation intentionally designed to redirect capital away from the American energy sector have caused an energy crisis, constraining the supply of energy, exacerbating inflation, and producing skyrocketing electricity costs and record prices at the pump.
Additionally, the Biden Administration’s open border policies have created a border crisis, resulting in a 300% increase in illegal crossings at our southern border in the last two years. Since President Biden took office, roughly 3.5 million illegal immigrants from over 160 countries have been apprehended at our southern border, including 78 individuals on the terrorist watchlist this year alone. Border officials estimate that nearly 1 million illegal immigrants have evaded Border Patrol apprehension since Biden took office. And drug overdose deaths exceeded a record 108,000 last year, with over 70% of those fatalities resulting from deadly fentanyl that is pouring over our border.
Furthermore, soft-on-crime policies like the defund the police movement and efforts to eliminate cash bail, in addition to congressional Democrats’ proposal to end qualified immunity for law enforcement, have unleashed a crime crisis that is sweeping through American communities. Homicides are up 50%, aggravated assaults are up 36%, and 93 police officers have been shot in ambush-style attacks so far this year.
Finally, the Biden Administration’s embarrassing retreat from Afghanistan, its dangerous attempt to restore sanctions relief to Iran—the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, its failure to deter Putin’s further invasion of Ukraine, its reckless proposal to cut defense spending below inflation, and its refusal to hold Beijing accountable for the origins of COVID, economic warfare against the West and the Chinese Communist Party’s unprovoked aggression in the Taiwan Strait, collectively constitute the greatest national security crisis of our lifetime.
We don’t have to live like this. Last month, I joined my House Republican colleagues in making a pledge to you—a Commitment to America—for a better and brighter future, to make sure that the next generation of Americans inherit the best version of our nation.
Should we regain the House majority in November, our promise to you is to advance through the House our Commitment to America agenda to deliver on four key fronts.
First, we will build “An Economy That’s Strong” by pushing legislation to curb wasteful government spending, maximize production of American made energy, and expand U.S. manufacturing to bring home key supply chains from China. These commonsense policies will halt inflation in its tracks and create millions of good paying American jobs.
Second, we will promote “A Nation That’s Safe” by passing legislation to deploy advanced technology, enhance physical barriers, and increase manpower to secure our southern border and cut off the deadly fentanyl drug trafficking enterprise. We will defend, not defund, our law enforcement, and boost resources to local law enforcement to reduce crime in American communities by recruiting, hiring, and training 200,000 new police officers. Unlike this Administration, we will support our troops, invest in an efficient, effective military, establish a Select Committee on China, and exercise peace through strength to counter increasing global threats.
Third, our Commitment to America outlines steps to restore for the American people “A Government That’s Accountable.” We will defund the 87,000 new IRS agents authorized in the Democrats’ most recent spending bill. We will hold unelected bureaucrats accountable for the avalanche of burdensome regulations they are imposing on the American people. We will work to protect constitutionally guaranteed rights such as freedom of speech, religion, and the right to bear arms. These fundamental rights were under siege during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, while liquor stores remained open for business, Americans attending religious services in-person were threatened with criminal prosecution or civil penalties for doing so.
Finally, our agenda promises to secure “A Future That’s Built on Freedom.” This includes a pledge to stop corporations from putting politics ahead of people. I will lead the House Republican effort to take on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, which allows woke investment advisors to politicize capital allocation, discriminate against American energy and sacrifice financial performance in favor of progressive policy objectives.
Because retail investors deserve maximum returns during these difficult times, our agenda includes my bill, the Ensuring Sound Guidance Act, which will bolster the duty of asset managers and retirement plan sponsors to prioritize financial returns ahead of all other factors when making investment decisions on behalf of their clients.
In short, it’s not enough for Republicans to be the opposition party. We must earn the right to lead a majority in 2023. The Commitment to America can unite all Americans in support of a positive roadmap that will result in a stronger, safer, and more free future. I’m proud to support this agenda and will fight to enact it in the next Congress.