Biden's speech of deflections

by Tom Cole

Last week, President Joe Biden delivered his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress amid our nation’s mounting and worsening crises. Unfortunately, instead of addressing runaway inflation, the overrun southern border and the increasingly aggressive and emboldened Communist China, he used his speech to deflect from these issues that matter most to Americans.

In two years under Democratic control of the presidency and Congress, our nation’s economy has been unable to fully recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Democrats and President Biden’s out-of-control spending, Green New Deal policies and high-tax plans have caused prices on just about everything to skyrocket, and Americans are severely struggling financially. While Americans pay more than double the amount for a carton of eggs, inflation is undoubtedly the most important issue. I was disappointed the president proposed more spending and policies that would not help ease this crisis but would even make matters worse.

While I hope the president will come to the table and work with Republicans this Congress on spending reforms that adequately address America’s debt ceiling and ever-growing national debt, I am appalled by the president’s false claim that Republicans would allow Social Security and Medicare benefits to sunset. To be clear, no Republican wants these programs, which millions of American seniors rely upon, to end. However, we understand that reforms must be made to save the program and ensure its solvency for future generations.

In fact, the president’s deputy press secretary dismissed the idea of a commission, like the one proposed in my Bipartisan Social Security Commission Act, to find solutions to save Social Security, calling it a “death panel.” The Social Security Trustees have only told us repeatedly the program will soon become insolvent. If the president is really interested in preserving benefits, as we all are, then he needs to act with Congress to ensure the program’s solvency. Otherwise, the very cuts he fears will happen, and they will be steep. Refraining from entertaining a conversation about the issues facing the programs shows he is not actually serious about leading or preserving these benefits.

The president also offered no solutions to his self-made historic humanitarian and national security crisis at the southern border. The open border has let in bad actors and unprecedented amounts of dangerous and deadly fentanyl. President Biden can fix this crisis by finishing the border wall construction, providing enough border patrol agents, equipping them with the necessary tools they need and working with Republicans on fair but just immigration reforms. This crisis has gone on for too long and must be resolved soonest.

Very recently, a Chinese surveillance balloon was detected traveling from Alaska across the United States to the Atlantic Ocean. This incident certainly sheds light on the Chinese Communist Party’s increasingly emboldened and aggressive global stance. In addition, as this balloon traveled over our nation’s military installations, we do not know what critical and sensitive information was communicated back to the Chinese Communist Party. President Biden and his administration must answer questions on this blatant failure to promptly detect and take down this spy machine. I am disappointed that there was no mention of this failure in his speech nor answers provided to the American people.

Finally, the president failed to mention a plan to unleash North American energy production to solve his self-created energy crisis. The president inherited a nation that was almost entirely energy independent. However, due to his anti-American energy policies and assault on production here at home, energy prices are the highest they ever have been, severely hurting Americans’ wallets. And his plan to solve these soaring prices has unfortunately been at the expense of our country’s security and preparedness and has only provided minor and artificial results. President Biden must stop playing games with our Strategic Petroleum Reserve, created solely for natural disasters or national emergencies. The Biden administration’s decision to drain this has left our nation in a vulnerable position and in the hands of other countries that do not have our best interests in mind.

Furthermore, as efforts to improve transportation and infrastructure within our country continues to be a priority for this president, in my new role as Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development, I hope he and I can work together in good faith to find bipartisan solutions to our nation’s infrastructure needs.

The president cannot run the country the next two years the way he has the last, and this will certainly be a very telling year for the president. Whether he finally fulfills his campaign promise to work across the aisle and for the American people is up to him.