Happy Labor Day, and welcome to our Weekend Update.
For those in our commonwealth, neighboring states, Louisiana, and other parts of the nation impacted by Hurricane Ida, Shelley, and I want to extend our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to each of you. This storm was particularly destructive in the southern portion of the 9th District as the rain came down at record rates. It was devastating for many farms, washing out crops, and communities where the amount of rain being dumped was far too much for our infrastructure to handle. If any constituents require the services of my office, please don't hesitate to call at 570-871-6370. (Roads in Lebanon County pictured below)
This week, the Biden administration took a victory lap on ending the war in Afghanistan. After their disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, where just last week we lost 13 brave American troops, it’s hard to see how the administration’s failed plans and actions were anything but an unmitigated disaster. The Biden administration caved to the Taliban and abandoned an arsenal of weapons and equipment. (See chart below from Wall Street Journal)
Worst of all, the Biden administration chose to leave hundreds of Americans and our allies behind. It’s a black mark on our nation that we left Americans behind to be beaten or worse. A fact that even Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was forced to admit. The arbitrary withdrawal date should have been delayed until we got Americans and our equipment out or disabled effectively. Biden needed to tell, not ask for permission, from the Taliban to move the withdrawal date. I joined “Mornings with Maria” on Fox Business to discuss further. Click here or below to watch.
I joined Newsmax to discuss the Afghanistan withdrawal and the Biden administration's decision to ignore the intelligence regarding the major issues facing withdrawal and the Taliban's rise to power. Click here or below to watch.
The news of the disastrous withdrawal continues to worsen as we learn more about the actions taken leading up to that decision. Days ago, a story broke that Biden knew months ago that the Taliban was overrunning the Afghan military. In response, according to phone call transcripts from July 23, Biden was encouraging the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to lie about the rapidly advancing Taliban forces and instead push a message of stability to quell concerns from our allies and other nations. Click here to read excerpts of the call.
I again joined Fox Business to discuss the Afghanistan withdrawal and concerns about the lax vetting of the Afghan refugees heading into our nation. We certainly want to help the Afghan refugees, but our primary focus must be ensuring our national security. We also discussed the need for real transportation and infrastructure spending, not the $5 trillion liberal spending bill being advanced by Biden and Pelosi. Click here or below to watch.
Governor Tom Wolf announced his decision to issue a mask mandate for K-12 school children. For weeks, Governor Wolf proclaimed he wouldn’t issue a statewide mask mandate for school children. For weeks, our local school districts have worked to hammer out policies at the local level regarding whether students should be required to wear masks. Statewide mandates and edicts are not the way to go. In fact, I believe those who govern at the most local level govern best.
The Governor issued countless statewide mandates throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. These decisions were often made in a vacuum, hurt families, small businesses, and our economy. His decision-making proved so harmful and unpopular that Pennsylvania voters to pass constitutional amendments to prevent these types of mandates from occurring without legislative approval. I suspect this latest mandate may be challenged in court.
Again, winning states empower their people to succeed, not issue overarching mandates foisting upon their own beliefs. We need a new governor who will put together a plan to empower the private sector, small businesses, our energy sector, and strengthen families. Pennsylvania does not need a dictator issuing orders; we need a governor willing to work collaboratively to develop plans to move our commonwealth forward. I want to be part of that process, and I am humbled by those reaching out with encouragement to explore opportunities to help move Pennsylvania forward on a better path.
On Thursday, I joined the Columbia-Montour Chamber to discuss the latest on what is going on in Washington and Pennsylvania. Great event, and I always enjoy hearing feedback from job creators.
Lastly, I hosted a fundraiser for Republican State Supreme Court nominee Judge Kevin Brobson. Judge Brobson is highly qualified, a strict constructionist, and understands the judiciary's role is to interpret the law, not make the law. Most of all, Kevin is a great family man. I have known Kevin and the Brobson family for many years, and they are great Pennsylvanians. I am proud to support his candidacy.
I encourage you to do what you can to support our entire statewide Republican judicial ticket, including Judge Brobson for Supreme Court, Megan Sullivan for Superior Court, and Judge Drew Crompton and Stacy Wallace for Commonwealth Court.
Please stay safe and have a great Labor Day weekend.