By: U.S. Senator John Barrasso
September 15, 2021
For eight months, the Democrats have been in control of the White House and Congress. In that time, America has veered from calamity to calamity.
If there’s one thing that is now clear, it is that the Democrats specialize in creating chaos.
Since January, we’ve gone from "the adults are back in charge" to President Biden’s shocking admission during the Afghanistan humiliation that ". . . to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don't know how that happens."
That chaos left 13 U.S. troops and over a hundred Afghans dead. Hundreds of Americans were left stranded behind enemy lines. The president’s dishonorable Afghanistan abandonment will put America in peril for decades.
Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken came before Congress to answer for the Biden administration. I told him when he appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the withdrawal from Afghanistan was an epic failure that left our enemies emboldened and our allies enraged.
Afghanistan is only the latest and most tragic example.
On immigration, the president rescinded President Trump’s "Remain in Mexico" migrant policy—only to later to be reversed in court. The calm and secure southern border Biden inherited is now overrun with record numbers of illegal border crossings each month. In a candid moment, his Homeland Security secretary warned that "if our borders are the first line of defense, we’re going to lose."
Combined with these fiascos has been the left’s call to "defund the police" as violent crime rates spike in our most vulnerable urban neighborhoods.
Then there’s the chaos created by the so-called "American Rescue Plan." Democrats flooded the economy with borrowed money and paid people more to not work than they would make as part of the workforce. It’s wreaked havoc with supply chains and fueled price surges not seen since Jimmy Carter’s presidency.
The Democrats haven’t spared American energy, either.
President Biden’s rash decisions to kill the Keystone XL pipeline and to ban oil and gas development on federal lands jeopardize our energy security.
The president’s shameful submission on the Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline gives Vladimir Putin a stranglehold over European gas supplies. It also allows Russian shipments to bypass Ukraine, at a time when Russian troops continue to threaten that country.
Then there’s the spectacle of the president’s National Security Advisor imploring the OPEC+ cartel, which counts Russia, Iran, and Venezuela as members, to boost oil output and support "competitive" markets. Meanwhile, the administration is slowing or stopping the production of American fossil fuels.
Democrats are set on ramming through the Senate an obscenely expensive tax and spending blowout drafted by Bernie Sanders. The measure would spend $5 trillion dollars we don’t have on a socialist wish list the voters don’t believe is worth the cost to their pocketbooks and to the economy.
The tax hikes included in the bill would be the largest in more than 50 years.
Democrats want to bureaucratize child care, further socialize health care, super-size the Internal Revenue Service, grant amnesty to illegal immigrants, and manipulate housing markets.
Their bill would impose the Green New Deal and set a deadline to eliminate politically-unfashionable energy that generates 60 percent of our electricity. It includes punishing fees on American companies in order to push reliable and affordable energy sources out of business.
The same people who failed on Afghanistan now claim we can tear down and rebuild the power grid in little more than a decade.
What we’ll get is the California model of electricity, with sky-high utility bills and rolling blackouts. One study estimates a staggering price tag of $4.5 trillion to implement the Democrats’ risky scheme. That’s $2,000 per household per year. Hardest hit will be the poor and those on fixed incomes.
Affordable energy gives America’s industries an edge over foreign competitors. The Democrats’ plan will surrender that competitive advantage, and they know it. That’s why they’re planning a carbon border tax on imports so industry won’t flee the country. That would simply invite retaliation and spark a chaotic trade war.
Even worse, the Democrats’ green scheme will make us more dependent on foreign supply chains dominated by adversaries and tainted by human rights abuses. China, for example, controls production of about 60 percent of the rare earth minerals and 80 percent of solar panel production. It’s become the OPEC of renewable and battery materials.
Solar power accounts for roughly three percent of America’s power today. The Biden administration wants that number to be 40 percent by the year 2035. To meet that goal, we will have to send hundreds of billions of dollars to Chinese companies.
Given this parade of horribles, it’s no wonder the spread between voters who think the country’s on the wrong track versus the right track has jumped 23 points since May. It will continue climbing with Biden’s tax hikes, enormous spending and callous disregard for our national security.
The country simply cannot afford any more from an administration that reckless, extreme, and dangerous.
Republican John Barrasso, M.D. represents Wyoming in the United States Senate.