Good afternoon and welcome to our Weekend Update.
This week, I joined several elected officials and community leaders at a press conference to formally announce Alvernia University’s purchase of a new property in Pottsville. We are working at all levels to support funding for this critical project. (Pictured below with Barry Schlouch, Senator Dave Argall, Alvernia University President John Loyack, and Pottsville Mayor Dave Clews)
Yesterday, I stopped by the Early Bird Sports Expo in Bloomsburg. Excellent attendance at a great event. (Pictured below with Mike and his dog Percy)
(Also pictured below with Rep. Dave Millard and Trump delegate Dave McElwee)
Much of the national news has focused on Russia’s military buildup along the Ukraine border. For months, despite the Russian escalation in the region, the Biden administration ignored the situation. Until ten days ago, our nation had no clear consequences for Russia if they invaded Ukraine. Now, finally, we are responding in a serious way. We have moved troops and military assets into the area to protect our ally Ukraine. I joined Stuart Varney on Fox Business to discuss the situation and our nation’s infrastructure. Click here or below to view the interview.
The situation in Russia and Ukraine underscores our nation’s dependence on foreign-sourced energy. Unfortunately, the Biden administration’s policy agenda has punished American investment in fossil fuel development. Meanwhile, gasoline prices have increased 49.6%, and utility gas service has increased 24.1% over the first year of the Biden administration. Due to our nation’s dependence on foreign sources for energy, any incursion in Ukraine will likely increase these prices. Rather than relying on America to produce our own energy, Biden’s policy is predicated on begging other nations for fuel. This is infuriating when you consider that America was energy independent and became a top exporter of energy just two short years ago. We can and should be seeking ways to be energy independent again.
I joined Newsmax’s American Agenda to discuss the situation with Russia and Biden’s energy crisis. Click here or below to watch.
I joined R.J. Harris on WHP 580 for our monthly interview earlier this week. First, we spoke about the failed economic agenda that the Biden administration has employed. Rather than being fiscally responsible, reducing taxes or eliminating job-killing regulations, the Biden administration has focused on a massive expansion of government, big-spending handouts and bailouts, disincentivizing Americans from working, and higher taxes. The Biden administration’s record has led to record inflation and rising prices as more money chases fewer goods. R.J. and I also spoke about the failure of the left-wing anti-law enforcement policies, which have made our streets and communities unsafe. If you want an example of the failures of this agenda, one would have to look no further than the rapid rise of violent crime in Philadelphia. While we all can support improving our criminal justice system, that does not mean defunding the police and giving criminals a free pass. Lastly, we spoke about the Democrat’s lies about their attempts to pass purely partisan election reforms designed to support their own party. Click here or below to listen to our interview.
IN NEWS YOU WON’T HEAR IN THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: This week, the nation watched the New York Police Department mourn the death of a fallen police officer, Det. Jason Rivera (just 22 years old). Rivera was killed in the line of duty by a career criminal.
Democrats’ pro-criminal policies are costing lives.
The families of fallen law enforcement bear heartbreaking witness to the officers who have lost their lives, including the 73 who were intentionally targeted by heinous criminals in 2021. As the son of a retired New York police detective, I understand the unique sacrifices these families face.
- As officers put themselves in harm’s way every day to protect us, Democrats have turned their backs on law enforcement. Democrats have refused to prosecute crimes, including resisting arrest, and have released violent criminals back onto the street, sometimes in a matter of hours.
- On the border, DHS Secretary Mayorkas has expressly refused to enforce immigration law and has turned ICE into a “travel coordination agency,” effectively importing many illegal immigrants with criminal records into the country. In addition, the Biden administration has still not released its report on deportations.
This is not difficult. It’s time to stand with law enforcement and enforce the law. But unfortunately, the extreme left and far too many Democrat politicians have chosen to support criminals instead. The results have been deadly… devastating to communities, law enforcement, and the families of fallen heroes.
Meanwhile, as we discussed above, the crisis at the border continues to worsen due to the Biden administration's policies.
- Since Joe Biden took office, nearly 2 million illegal immigrants have been apprehended at the southern border.
- In December, 178,840 illegal immigrants were apprehended attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, making this the worst December at the border in DHS history.
- It’s a 142 percent increase over last December and a 231 percent increase from the average number of December apprehensions during the Trump administration.
We know that secretive chartered flights are going into Westchester, New York, Wilkes Barre/Scranton, and the Lehigh Valley. However, video obtained this week again confirms what we knew to be the case. I met this week with HHS officials, the Department providing the funding and the agency responsible for the flights. This was my second meeting with them regarding this topic. Congressman Fred Keller and I conveyed the outrage that exists in central and northeastern Pennsylvania regarding these flights. I questioned why these flights continued to occur clandestinely, in the middle of the night, including on Christmas night, 4 am arrivals into somewhat remote airports. Incredulously, they actually denied/lied, saying that middle-of-the-night flights were merely a coincidence.
In my previous meeting regarding outreach to school about the influx of non-English speaking children, they also lied to me. Schools are not being notified, and they are being burdened unnecessarily when large groups of non-English speaking adolescents show up unexpectedly. That is putting a tremendous strain on our schools and local taxpayers.
They also had no answers about how they confirmed a minor's age, name, or criminal background. They continue to state they are tested for Covid-19, but every other facet of this policy is an insult to all.
I informed them that being honest and transparent regarding these flights would help us understand and allow children’s services, schools, law enforcement and the public that these children were entering their area.
The Biden border policies, supported by far too many Democrats, are a national catastrophe. The border is so overwhelmed by Biden's open border policy, and that’s what it is.
They are doing harm beyond our complete understanding, with drugs pouring in, including fentanyl, killing hundreds in our hometowns and over 100,000 nationwide.
I am introducing a bill to give states more authority to make these secret flights illegal and remove the power of the President's Executive Order, which effectively keeps the border open. I’ve been to the border twice and will be returning soon. I’ve had customs and border patrol agents tell me sometimes they feel like a link in the chain of human trafficking. They have no time to protect the border but only care for and facilitate the awful detrimental policies of the Biden administration for the tens of thousands illegally entering the country. This is a situation of nightmarish proportions. The Trump administration essentially had this situation under control. We all need to call out Democrats in the White House and Congress for allowing this to happen and call on them to correct this horrific situation. It can be fixed. The answer as to why they don’t do it might lie in their federal election takeover bill… We must restore Power to the American People.
This week, I attended an event supporting the Future Fund in southeastern Pennsylvania. It was a wonderful event hosted by Bob Asher. Bob is a fantastic leader and supporter of our Republican Party. He is someone I, and countless other elected officials, look to for support and advice. I was pleased to have a few minutes to deliver an update on the latest from the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation. The energy building in the Republican Party is real, and people feel confident that 2022 will be an excellent year for our Republican Party, Pennsylvania and our nation.
Like many of you, I am eager to see the results of the redistricting process. My continued hope is that the 9th District will stay intact so that we can continue to build on the foundation we have laid. We have established great working relationships with our local communities, schools, hospitals, Pennsylvania's National Guard, small businesses, community organizations, and most importantly, the great families of the 9th District. Yet, we have more to do, and I remain hopeful that we will continue to work on important projects in these communities today, next year, and the year after that.
Let's keep the faith, and keep up the fight!
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