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U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today discussed how Democrats’ misplaced priorities are fueling the inflation, border, and supply chain crises. Thune noted that Democrats should focus on these issues if they really care to help American families instead of blindly pushing forward with their far-left agenda.
Thune’s remarks below (as prepared for delivery):
“Mr. President, the average American household spent an estimated $3,500 more in expenses last year as a result of inflation.
“That may not sound like much to a wealthy Democrat politician, but for most American families, that is a lot of money.
“For a lot of families, $3,500 is the difference between putting something in savings or living paycheck to paycheck.
“An additional $3,500 in expenses can mean having to forgo essential home repairs, or needed car work.
“It can mean putting off braces for a child, or forgoing needed medical care.
“The White House chief of staff may have the budget to regard inflation as a “high class problem,” but for ordinary Americans, inflation is a very real problem.
“A problem that is eating up their wage increases, and lowering their standard of living.
“We are in the midst of an inflation crisis, Mr. President.
“A supply chain crisis.
“And, as if those weren’t enough, a border crisis.
“Huge numbers of illegal immigrants are pouring across our southern border – and have been pouring across our southern border for months – creating a security, enforcement, and humanitarian nightmare.
“So there’s a lot for our country’s leadership in Washington to be focusing on right now.
“So what is the majority party doing about these crises?
“Well, not much.
“In fact, most of the time you could be forgiven for thinking that neither the president nor Democrat leaders even realize there’s an inflation crisis. Or a supply chain crisis. Or a border crisis.
“The president for one seems to be hoping that if he ignores these crises for long enough, they’ll just go away.
“So what are the president and congressional Democrats doing with their time if they’re not addressing our border crisis or inflation crisis?
“Well, for one thing, they’ve been attempting to double down on the strategy that helped get us into this mess in the first place.
“That inflation crisis Democrats would like to ignore is actually something they helped create by flooding the economy with excessive government spending in their so-called American Rescue Plan last March.
“And for months they’ve tried to double down on that bill with another massive spending spree that would flood the economy with more government money and undoubtedly make the inflation crisis worse.
“The president has attempted to justify this massive spending legislation by claiming that it will help inflation.
“So the first massive spending spree helps push us into an inflation crisis, but a second massive spending spree will fix it?
“I’m pretty sure that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results …
“But massive inflation concerns haven’t stopped Democrats.
“After all, why deal with a boring inflation crisis when you could be thinking up new ways to expand the federal government – and new ways of taxing Americans to pay for it?
“Of course Democrats’ Build Back Better plan isn’t all tax hikes.
“Democrats did manage to include a tax break in their tax-and-spending proposal – a tax break for blue-state millionaires.
“And if they succeed in passing it, I’m sure wealthy Democrat donors will be grateful.
“While an inflation crisis has raged, Democrats have pushed for new ways to spend taxpayer dollars and expand the reach of the federal government into Americans’ lives:
“A huge expansion of government’s involvement in child care, that would disadvantage the religious providers so many Americans choose for their children.
“A massive increase in the size of the IRS.
“A proposal to allow the IRS to examine the details of Americans’ banking transactions.
“Energy policies that would drive up the cost of electricity and gasoline for American families.
“Billions for ‘priorities’ like tree equity and environmental justice programs at well-funded colleges and universities.
“The list goes on.
“But it would be unfair of me to suggest that Democrats have expended all their energy on their tax-and-spending spree.
“The administration has also found time to implement provisions of Democrats’ original spending spree, the American Rescue Plan Act – including, apparently (until they got caught), free government crack pipes and other drug paraphernalia.
“Democrats have also of course spent a lot of time pushing election legislation that they hope will give them an advantage come November.
“And on the COVID front, the administration struggled with testing, but it has found time for vaccine and mask mandates – some of which I believe have far exceeded the administration’s authority.
“Fortunately the courts have stepped in to check some of the administration’s excesses – like the administration’s attempt to impose a vaccine mandate on large, private-sector employers, or the administration’s decision to impose a mask mandate for two-year-olds.
“Yes, for two-year-olds.
“Your Democrat government at work, ladies and gentlemen.
“In November the administration issued a mask mandate for Head Start programs requiring all children two years of age and up to be masked – inside and outside.
“Now is there scientific evidence to support this?
“The World Health Organization, in fact, recommends against masking for children aged five and under.
“But that hasn’t stopped the administration.
“Democrats seem determined that nothing – including science – will pry their masks from them – or perhaps I should say pry our children’s masks from them, since Democrat politicians have not always demonstrated the consistency in mask wearing that they expect from our children.
“And Democrats wonder why Republicans think we should be careful about how much power we give the federal government …
“Mr. President, if Democrats really wanted to help American families, they’d be focusing on our inflation and supply chain crises – and addressing the security nightmare posed by our border crisis.
“Instead, they’re busy focusing on ways to secure their hold on power – and vastly expand the reach of the federal government into Americans’ lives.
“I guess we’ll see how that strategy works out for them.
“Mr. President, I yield the floor.”