By U.S. Congressman Tom Cole
At the beginning of 2021, President Joe Biden entered office as the 46th President of the United States promising to usher in hope, bipartisanship and to rebuild our country after the coronavirus pandemic.
However, his first year has unfortunately been fixated on partisan, out-of-touch polices that have triggered several converging crises nationwide.
Sadly, President Biden has managed to push our nation into a worse place than it was before.
Over the past several months, Americans have felt the dramatic rise of prices on almost everything. Moreover, there have been nationwide reports of empty shelves in stores due to the labor shortages caused by Democrats’ damaging policies.
All the while, Americans’ real wages are falling. In fact, under President Biden, real wages have decreased eight out of 10 months since his first full month in office.
This comes at a time of alarming economic reports that indicate that the problem is not only getting worse, but here to stay for the next few years.
The staggering 39-year high of the Consumer Price Index reveals that the reckless spending and damaging policies of President Biden and Democrats are exacerbating the nation’s inflationary and supply chain crises.
When President Biden assumed office, he inherited a country that was energy independent and even an energy exporter. In just 11 months though, he has effectively ruined our nation’s energy independence with his anti-energy agenda.
On his first day in office, he eliminated nearly 11,000 American jobs by halting work on the Keystone XL pipeline.
His following executive orders banned new oil and gas leasing on U.S. lands and waters, which is projected to cost approximately one million American jobs and decrease U.S. Gross Domestic Product by $700 billion.
Because of these actions, Americans are paying 50 percent more for a gallon of gas and home heating costs are projected to rise by as much as 59 percent this winter.
However, instead of making it easier for American companies to increase domestic oil and gas production and hire more American workers, President Biden has begged OPEC and Russia to increase oil output, increased the cost of oil by canceling leases, stalled new lease sales, proposed sky-high taxes on oil and gas production and directed the U.S. Department of Energy to release 50 million barrels of oil held for emergency use in the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
President Biden has also dismantled prior policies to keep the southern border secure and to discourage illegal entry.
Since the beginning of his presidency, 1.7 million illegal immigrants have been apprehended at our southern border, and documents from Border Patrol agents show at least 160,000 illegal immigrants have been released into our country with little to no supervision since March.
This has created the most troubling humanitarian, security and health crisis at our southern border in our nation’s history.
It is also created a fentanyl crisis with this year having the biggest increase in flow of counterfeit pills, fentanyl and fentanyl related poisons across the border in many years.
As fentanyl overdoses spike in the United States, even the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has issued its first public safety alert in six years warning the public about fake pills laced with lethal doses of fentanyl.
Indeed, border security is national security and President Biden must re-implement the policies he reversed that have now been proven tried and true.
Finally, Americans still mourn the loss of 13 U.S. military service members from a preventable terrorist attack at the Kabul airport after President Biden’s botched withdrawal of U.S. troops from the region in August.
Since then, the Taliban has effectively taken over Afghanistan, a country America has spent two decades in and billions of dollars on trying to secure. Now in possession of United States weapons, this leaves us and our allies in the region susceptible to terror attacks.
President Biden’s weak leadership on the international stage has also encouraged bad actors in other areas to test the limits.
For example, adversaries like China and Russia continue to test and provoke neighboring countries. This is happening in areas of eastern Europe, the Middle East, Afghanistan and the Taiwan Strait.
Moreover, as Russian-backed cyber-attacks rise and Russian President Vladimir Putin inches closer to a possible second invasion of Ukraine, President Biden rewarded him by failing to enact sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream II pipeline, giving Russia a stranglehold on European energy supplies.
Instead of focusing on the real issues that are hurting our country and the American people, President Biden and Congressional Democrats have solely focused on peddling multi-trillion-dollar spending bills full of radical big government policies.
This is weak leadership and a complete lack of governing from the Democratic Party that controls the House, Senate and the presidency.
I hope over the next year, for the sake of the American people, President Biden and Democrats get on track to better legislate and work with Republicans to solve the real crises every American is facing.