At a recent and rare press conference, President Biden pondered out loud, “What are Republicans for? What are they for? Name me one thing they’re for.”
I am happy to name not just one but a lot of things we are for. Furthermore, I’m happy to invite him to work with us on them, although I doubt my invitation will be accepted. The President seems more interested in pandering to progressives than actual progress. I offer him a partial list of the things we are for regardless.
A country has the right to determine who enters its borders and earns the benefits of citizenship. To secure this right in the United States and to protect the benefits of citizenship for Americans both native-born and naturalized, the Federal Government should step up its efforts to reduce the flow of illegal migration and smuggling across the border.
The month of December 2021 alone saw 178,840 apprehensions at the border, the worst December on record. Many of those apprehended are released in the interior of the United States and never show up for court hearings. In addition to illegal immigration, seizures of fentanyl went up by 134 percent in fiscal year 2021. Apprehensions of people and smuggled goods generally track with overall traffic, so plenty of people and illegal drugs are entering the country undetected.
The most immediate way to reverse these troubling trends is to finish the border wall. The wall would prevent many crossings and allow Border Patrol agents to focus on the areas that most need their attention.
Building the wall should accompany work with our neighbors in Mexico and Central America to reduce the flow of asylum seekers, most of whom arrive at our border lacking legitimate claim to asylum. The Trump Administration had made diplomatic agreements to do so only to have the Biden Administration dismantle them and encourage more illegal immigration.
Republicans know that improving border security would restore the rule of law, reduce the availability of illegal drugs that are contributing to record overdose deaths, and treat with fairness legal immigrants who come to our country the right way.
The United States enjoys bountiful energy resources, but just as importantly, we possess the workforce and technology that can develop these resources safely and reliably.
The 21st century boom in American natural gas demonstrates the benefits of domestic production. It has helped reduce our country’s greenhouse gas emissions overall, provided jobs across the country, and been shipped to export markets overseas. Further, it produces lower greenhouse gas emissions than Russian natural gas. As long as the world continues to use this fuel – and it will – we should encourage it to buy American.
Accordingly, Republicans would remove artificial constraints that have been placed on the energy sector. The Federal Government should facilitate responsible energy production, not suppress it.
Made in America
Energy is not the only domestic industry that deserves support.
Republicans want to support the workers and businesses making products here in the United States. This is not just a way to generate growth. It is a matter of health and security.
The coronavirus pandemic and its related disruptions show the dangers of relying too heavily on other countries. Irresponsible or malicious powers can hoard exports, block them for political purposes, or provide inferior goods. Americans should not be in a position where they have to wear KN95 masks made in China, the very country that failed to warn the world about the pandemic until too late.
We have a range of solutions to offer. One I’ve introduced, the Domestic SUPPLY Act, would require the Federal Government to partner with domestic manufacturers to ensure a supply of personal protective equipment during emergencies.
Preserving Republican-enacted tax reforms that encourage domestic investment are also a priority, as are regulatory reforms to protect job creators from overly burdensome mandates.
My next column in this series of things Republicans are for will be devoted to health care policies we support.
– Congressman H. Morgan Griffith