Recent Op-Eds

With Election Day only four months away, Democrats are getting understandably nervous. After all, three years of heightened inflation, a crisis at the southern border, and global instability are not exactly an ideal record on which to run. So Democrats in the U.S. Senate are doing their best to brighten their election prospects with a series of show votes. I call them show votes because they are designed to fail and, Democrats hope, put Republicans in a tough spot to score some badly needed campaign talking points.

Take for example a recent vote on a border bill that had previously failed in the Senate. There has been a crisis at the southern border since soon after President Biden took office and began dismantling many of his predecessor’s policies. We are now approaching 10 million illegal border crossings under this president. Hundreds of individuals on the terrorist watchlist have been caught trying to enter the country illegally, with an untold number evading detection. Just recently, it was reported that more than 400 individuals have illegally entered the country in the last three years via an ISIS-affiliated human smuggling network. And while Republicans have been sounding the alarm on this national security crisis for years, the president and Democrats in Congress have largely ignored it.

Chuck Schumer, the Democrat leader, thought he would be able to convince the American people that Democrats care about the border by bringing up a bill that the Senate had already rejected. But the American people have a longer memory than that. And a quick check of the Democrats’ record reveals that they have opposed commonsense border policies like, for example, deporting illegal immigrants who assault a law enforcement officer. They have also rejected efforts to empower state and local law enforcement to detain criminal aliens until they can be removed from the country.

The Democrat leader also brought up show votes on a contraception bill that would jeopardize the religious freedom of health care providers and an in vitro fertilization bill that would allow for human cloning and genetic engineering of human embryos. Democrats could have worked with Republicans on our straightforward bills to support women and families, but they tried to mislead the public with a few politically motivated show votes instead.

It’s important to note that all these show votes come at the expense of actual Senate business like the annual defense bill. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) recently passed out of the Armed Services Committee, and it comes not a moment too soon. China is increasingly aggressive in the Indo-Pacific and is investing heavily in its military. Israel is at war with Hamas and under continued threat from Hezbollah and Iran. There is a land war in Europe, and Russia is threatening direct confrontation with the United States and our allies. A strong military is critical now more than ever. It should be our top priority, but Democrats seem to rank exercises in political theater higher than national defense.

It’s election season, and that always means more politics in Washington. But there are so many things that rise above politics, including the NDAA, and Democrats have been ignoring them in a poor attempt to distract from their failing record and score a few more votes in November. National security, border security, and Americans’ economic security are all more important than Democrats’ political insecurity.