With the early weeks of the 117th Congress under way, my commitment remains as strong as ever to stand up for the people of Central Washington and rural communities across the country.
President Biden spoke about unity in his inaugural speech, which is a message that I think all Americans can get behind during these divisive times. Unfortunately, his first actions run contrary to bringing our country together.
In his first days, the President is taking executive action on a wide range of issues that will have sweeping effects on the economy and security of the United States. While some may argue that past Presidents have used the Executive Order to accomplish popular policy objectives, it should be known that Presidents Trump, Obama, Bush, and Clinton each signed no more than a dozen Executive Orders over the course of their first month in office. President Biden signed 25 within the 24 hours of his presidency.
The Executive Branch is not meant to function this way. Lawmaking is done by Congress.
On Day One of President Biden’s term in office, I expressed my concerns about the unilateral actions he was taking that are contrary to the values and priorities of Central Washington.
Reentering the Paris Climate Agreement, a bureaucratic mandate that has proven ineffective in reducing emissions in countries like China and Russia, will stifle American energy innovation — including the clean energy research and advancements being made right here at home.
As outlined in the U.S. Constitution, treaties like the Paris Agreement are to be ratified by the Senate. President Biden’s actions of bypassing the Senate with unilateral edicts that have profound impacts on jobs and economic future of working Americans do more to divide us than unite us.
Other examples, like halting work on the Keystone XL Pipeline and blocking oil and gas drilling on federal lands, will threaten American energy security, raise energy prices for families in the United States, kill thousands of good-paying jobs, and force us to rely on foreign regimes for our most basic energy needs.
For the first time in decades, the U.S. became a net-exporter of oil under the Trump Administration — a significant achievement for our nation’s energy independence. Blocking drilling will hurt local communities and further restrict America’s economic recovery. As our nation continues to recover from the economic devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, eliminating American jobs and throwing out years of investment on the Keystone XL Pipeline is not in our best interest.
While we can all agree that our immigration system needs reform, President Biden’s Executive Order to pause all deportations — including dangerous criminals — for 100 days weakens our country, instead of strengthening our border security and deterring future illegal immigration.
With Republicans in the minority, I fully recognize there is a need to work toward finding common ground in order to advance our priorities. This Congress, we have a real chance to make progress and accomplish the priorities of the American people. Yet with a razor thin majority in the House, Speaker Pelosi seems to be running scared from bipartisanship. While Americans deserve meaningful debate, she is hiding behind the executive actions of President Biden to accomplish her leftist agenda.
This year has the fewest scheduled working days in a non-election year in recent memory, and Speaker Pelosi has already canceled 8 legislative workdays in January alone.
No matter what side of the aisle we are on, our constituents send us to the nation’s capital to ensure their voices are heard on the important policy decisions facing our country. The House has taken only 18 votes, and we have not conducted any debate or committee hearings on any of the issues President Biden is addressing with his Executive Orders.
This is a disheartening outlook for the next two years of the 117th Congress. The American people — and the people of Central Washington — deserve better.