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Thune: Americans Are Worse Off Under President Biden

“Suffice it to say that it’s been a rough three years for our country under President Biden. And it’s not over yet.”

January 23, 2024

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today discussed President Biden’s crisis-ridden three years in the White House. Thune noted that President Biden’s legacy is one of staggering inflation and high prices, open borders, energy insecurity, and weakness on the world stage.

Thune’s remarks below (as prepared for delivery):

“Mr. President, this past Saturday marked three years of the Biden administration.

“And after three full years under President Biden, the question naturally arises – is America better off? Are Americans better off?

“And for a whole lot of Americans, the answer is no.

“In a December poll, 55 percent of voters said they are worse off under President Biden.

“In a January poll 46 percent of voters said their personal financial situation is getting worse – compared to just 28 percent who said it is improving.

“And a recent ABC News article noted, and I quote, ‘In a dispiriting sign of the times, barely more than a quarter of Americans say the American dream still holds true.’

“And, Mr. President, it’s no wonder.

“Because perhaps the biggest legacy of the president’s first three years in office is a massive inflation crisis that has still – still ¬– not gone away.

“Inflation may have descended from the stratospheric heights it reached earlier in the president’s term, but we are still stuck with an inflation rate well above the Federal Reserve’s target rate of 2 percent.

“And inflation actually ticked up again in December – by a not insignificant margin.

“The practical effect, Mr. President, has been that a whole lot of Americans have seen their breathing room disappear under President Biden.

“According to a recent analysis from members of the Joint Economic Committee here in Congress, a typical household has to spend over $11,000 more each year to maintain the same standard of living it had at the beginning of the Biden administration.

“$11,000 more.

“That is a staggering amount of money, Mr. President.

“And it’s money that a lot of families don’t have.

“And so it is not surprising that 55 percent of voters say they are worse off under President Biden.

“It turns out that when you’re spending 20 percent more on groceries and 18 percent more on shelter and 35 percent more on gas and 25 percent more on electricity and on and on – over the course of just three years – you don’t feel that prosperous.

“And I haven’t even mentioned how difficult it has gotten for many Americans to achieve the dream of home ownership, thanks in part to the rate hikes the Federal Reserve has had to implement to deal with President Biden’s inflation crisis.

“Suffice it to say that the inflation crisis President Biden helped create with his so-called American Rescue Plan Act has resulted in economic misery for a lot of Americans.

“Mr. President, the president will unquestionably be remembered for his massive inflation crisis.

“But he will also be remembered for presiding over a border crisis of staggering proportions – a crisis that, like the inflation crisis, he had a large hand in creating.

“From the day he took office, when he rescinded the declaration of a national emergency at our southern border, President Biden made it clear that border security was at the bottom of his priority list.

“And over the three years since, he has turned our southern border into a magnet for illegal migration – from repealing border policies of his predecessor to misusing our asylum and parole systems, which are now providing temporary amnesty to hundreds of thousands of individuals here illegally.

“We have had three record-breaking years of illegal immigration at our southern border on President Biden’s watch.

“Fiscal year 2021 saw a record-breaking 1,734,686 migrant encounters at our southern border.

“Then fiscal year 2022 broke that record.

“And then fiscal year 2023 broke that record.

“And if fiscal year 2024 continues on its current trajectory, we will end up breaking the record yet again.

“December reportedly saw a staggering 302,000 migrant encounters at our southern border – the highest monthly number ever recorded.

“To borrow an analogy from my colleague from Pennsylvania, that’s like having the entire city of Pittsburgh show up at our southern border – in just one month.

“And of course the overwhelming numbers we’re seeing make it easier for dangerous individuals to make their way into our country.

“Between October and November alone, 30 individuals on the terrorist watchlist were apprehended attempting to cross our southern border – in other words, roughly one every other day.

“And those are just the individuals who were actually apprehended.

“Since October 1, there have been more than 83,000 known gotaways – individuals the Border Patrol saw but was unable to apprehend.

“How many of them were criminals, terrorists, or other dangerous individuals?

“We don’t know.

“But what we do know is that the crisis at our southern border is leaving a gaping hole in our national security – one that the president has spent a majority of the past three years essentially ignoring.

“Mr. President, his border crisis and his inflation crisis might be the two most notable features of the president’s first three years.

“But the president is also leaving some other troubling legacies.

“His hostility to conventional energy production and his devotion to Green New Deal policies have put us on a dangerous trajectory when it comes to our nation’s energy security.

“We’re already seeing weaknesses in our electric grid – and the president’s energy policies are putting us at risk of significant future disruptions to our supply.

“On the trade front, the president’s almost complete lack of action on meaningful trade agreements has meant declining market access for American farmers and ranchers and threatens America’s competitiveness in the global economy.

“And the weakness the president has frequently demonstrated on the national security front – from his disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan to his attempt to revive President Obama’s dangerous nuclear deal with Iran – have compromised America’s ability to deter hostile actors on the world stage.

“Mr. President, I could go on.

“But I’ll end here.

“Suffice it to say that it’s been a rough three years for our country under President Biden.

“And it’s not over yet.

“Mr. President, I yield the floor.”