From the desk of Rep. H. Morgan Griffith
Seeing the Democrats continue to push the same failed policies with the hope of different results, I can’t help but think of a gambler who has already lost big but who remains at the table hoping the next roll of the dice will pay off.
Let’s start with spending. An early priority of President Biden and his party’s congressional majorities was the so-called “American Rescue Plan” that spent $1.9 trillion. Even some liberals like former Clinton and Obama advisor Larry Summers cautioned that the result of such excessive spending would be surging inflation.
Those warnings have been vindicated. Our economy has since suffered from inflation not witnessed for 40 years. Costs have risen so sharply that the White House actually celebrated July’s consumer price index, which found “only” an 8.5 percent rise over the previous year and continued increases in food and housing prices.
Yet the continued priority of President Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has been passing another huge spending bill paying for the progressive wish list. In their so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” is $745 billion of new spending. Among that spending is over $400 billion for Green New Deal-type policies when removing false two-year sunsets and $80 billion for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to hire 87,000 new agents.
The impact of this spending will be bad enough, but it follows other big-spending packages of spending bills already passed by House Democrats for the next fiscal year. If a package of six appropriations bills sent by House Democrats to the Senate were enacted, it would increase funding by almost $56 billion over the same appropriations bills from last year, including increases for the Environmental Protection Agency of twenty percent and the Department of Housing and Urban Development of seventeen percent. The IRS would get $1 billion more.
Further, note that the government is funded by twelve appropriations bills, so Democrats still have half of them to go.
Pouring money into the economy helped generate the inflation now driving up costs for Americans on goods and services they use every day. More money for these agencies would also empower bureaucrats imposing regulations, which tend to inhibit economic activity and would aggravate our current difficulties. Yet Democrats are ready to do it again with the hope that this time will somehow yield better results.
In their proposed ban on so-called assault weapons, the Democrats are also ready to roll the dice again. The original ban was passed in 1994, thanks in part to the leadership of then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden and then-Congressman Chuck Schumer. It expired in 2004, having had little effect on crime rates.
Now, eighteen years after the expiration, Democrats want to reimpose the ban and have voted to do so in the House of Representatives. They acknowledge that the firearms which would fall under the ban are in common use, making the ban unconstitutional under the Supreme Court’s ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller. Nevertheless, the left remains wedded to unconstitutional and ineffective restrictions on law-abiding gun owners.
At the southern border, the Biden Administration’s decision to dismantle enforcement and stop work on the border wall created a crisis. More illegal immigrants have been encountered at the border this fiscal year than in any other on record, and the fiscal year does not even end until September 30.
Responding to the chaos caused by undoing border enforcement measures, the Biden Administration has chosen to . . . undo more border enforcement measures. They have announced an end to the Remain in Mexico policy that required asylum seekers to stay in that country while their claims are processed. The Administration had previously sought to end the policy but had been blocked by the courts. As illegal immigration and drug trafficking spiked in the meantime, they could have shelved this ill-considered repeal. Instead, President Biden once more doubles down.
In under two years of one-party rule at the federal level, Americans face soaring costs of living, restrictions on constitutional rights, a border out of control, and numerous other problems that would be alleviated if only Democrats recognized the harm their policies have inflicted and changed course. But they just can’t walk away from the gaming table, no matter how much they lose. It’s too bad we lose, too.
If you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405, my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671, or my Washington office at 202-225-3861. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov. Also on my website is the latest material from my office, including information on votes recently taken on the floor of the House of Representatives.