“Government of the people, by the people, for the people…”
This phrase in President Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” captures perhaps the most basic foundation of our political system: political authority rests first and foremost with the American people. When our founders conceived our nation 246 years ago, they sought to create a government whose power was derived from the will of the people, and that existed to protect those people’s God-given rights and address the issues most important to them. Unfortunately, many of those at the helm of government today have failed to do this.
A recent poll by Monmouth University has shown that American families’ top concerns remain inflation, gas prices, and the economy in general – each of which remains in a dire state due largely to misguided policies by President Joe Biden and the Democratic majority in Washington.
Last Wednesday, the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed inflation has increased by 9.1% from the year before, the highest rate hike since 1981. This rate increase has affected costs across the board: electricity is up 13.7%, groceries 12.2%, and transportation 8.8%. On top of this, the cost of gasoline is up 59.9% and remains, on average, over $4.50 per gallon nationally.
When here at home or up in Washington, I continue to hear from folks across our region about how these price hikes are impacting families, with many being forced to empty any savings or retirement they have. However, President Biden and Democrats in Washington have not confronted these issues in an effective way, vying instead for hallow solutions that fail to address the root causes of our nation’s current condition.
Last week, Biden traveled to the Middle East, in part to ask nations like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to increase oil production in order to alleviate costs at the pump. This is not the answer to the energy crisis facing our country. Instead of looking outward to address energy costs, we must instead unleash American energy fully and in every way. By doing this, we will not only cut energy costs but also promote energy independence and create jobs here in America.
Furthermore, to address inflation, Congress must take steps to shrink costs for you and your family by cutting reckless government spending, lowering taxes, and enacting common-sense reforms to grow our economy. Last week, Senate Democrats revived their plans to pass Biden’s trillion-dollar Build Back Better boondoggle that includes tax increases on small businesses. This measure will not help grow our economy or lower costs for your family and will likely have the exact opposite effect.
As your congressman, I remain focused on solutions to the problems facing you and your family and will continue to fight each day to make them happen. To that end, last week, I helped advance measures aimed at improving the safety and security of our community.
Legislation I sponsored to overhaul our nation’s critical 9-1-1 infrastructure was passed in the Energy and Commerce Committee and will now move to the House floor. Next Generation 911 will boost the digital and data capacities of communities across our country, improving the ability of our first responders to handle emergencies and save lives.
Also, last week, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the critical piece of legislation funding our military and national defense. This act includes numerous provisions to support our service members and their families at Fort Bragg, including a needed pay raise for troops, new funding for military construction and family housing, $500 million in additional housing allowances, and $750 million to reduce food and other item costs at commissaries. It also establishes a Servicemember Parents Bill of Rights to secure the rights of parents in their children’s education at Department of Defense schools and pushes back against a ‘woke’ agenda in the military by clarifying the mission of the DOD to protect our nation. In addition to these measures, I also worked to include increased health care protections for active-duty troops and more resources for Special Operations forces transitioning to civilian life.
Making sure our military families and veterans have the resources they deserve are some of the most important duties we have in Congress. I look forward to continuing to advance measures that do just that in the NDAA until it is signed into law. And whether it be the economy or national defense, rest assured I will always stay focused on advancing the safety, prosperity, and freedom of our community and nation.