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Thune: Democrat Policies Make Our Country Less Secure

“If Democrats get a chance to continue with their policies, I expect the situation will continue to get worse.”

September 28, 2022

Click here to watch the video.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today discussed how the Democrats’ government-knows-best, out-of-touch policies have helped create 40-year high inflation and numerous other crises that are hurting the American people. Thune noted that our country’s national security, economic security, and energy security have significantly declined under Democrat governance.

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


“Mr. President, we’re coming up on two years of Democrat governance here in Washington – two years in which Democrats have controlled Congress and the White House.


“And the result of their two years in power is not encouraging.


“Economic insecurity is rampant.


“Our energy security situation has worsened. 


“And on the national security front, we’re facing a raging crisis at our southern border – plus a disturbing increase in violent crime around the country. 


“Mr. President, if there has been one defining feature of Democrat governance over the past 20 months, it’s inflation.


“When President Biden took office, inflation was at 1.4 percent – well within the target inflation rate of 2 percent.


“But then Democrats decided to pass a massive, $1.9 trillion spending spree – the so-called American Rescue Plan Act.


“The legislation flooded the economy with unnecessary government money.


“And the economy overheated as a result.


“Inflation quickly began climbing.


“And then climbing some more.


“And then some more after that.


“We’ve now spent six straight months with inflation above 8 percent.


“Six straight months.


“The last time inflation was this bad, E.T. was about to hit theaters, and we still had more than a year to wait for Return of the Jedi.


“(For those that weren’t around then, that was 40 years ago, in 1982.)


“Mr. President, inflation, of course, has meant tremendous economic pain for the American people.


“Huge grocery store bills.


“Big utility bills.


“High prices at the pump.


“Americans are dipping into their savings to make ends meet.


“They’re cutting back on essentials, or putting basic living expenses on their credit cards.


“In the month of August alone, inflation cost the average American household a staggering $715.




“Even if prices stopped increasing tomorrow, the inflation that we’ve already experienced will cost the average American household more than $8,500 over the next year.




“Mr. President, that is a lot of money.


“A lot.


“That’s a kid’s braces.


“Essential car repairs.


“Essential home repairs.


“It’s the difference between putting something away for the kids’ college, or leaving the education savings account empty.


“It’s the difference between putting money away for retirement or spending every penny on necessities.


“And for too many families, that’s the difference between breaking even, or finding themselves in debt or worse.


“Americans’ economic security has taken a serious hit under Democrat control in Washington.


“And there’s little evidence to suggest that things are going to get better any time soon.


“Our economy is weakening.


“We’ve posted negative economic growth for each of the past two quarters, and estimates for third-quarter growth are not promising.


“Major companies have announced job cuts.


“And the nonpartisan Conference Board is projecting a recession in the coming months.


“And unfortunately the bad news is not confined to inflation or slowdowns in economic growth – neither of which, I should note, will be helped by Democrats’ misleadingly named Inflation Reduction Act, or by President Biden’s massive student loan giveaway, which the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget notes will, quote, ‘meaningfully boost inflation.’


“One major driver of inflation is high energy prices, and we’re facing a concerning situation on the energy front.


“As every American who has paid an electricity bill or filled up his or her car is well aware, energy has gotten much more expensive in Joe Biden’s America.


“Gas prices are up 57 percent since President Biden took office.


“And after a temporary decline, they’re on the rise again.


“Electricity prices were up 15.8 percent in August – the biggest year-over-year increase since August of 1981.


“Utility gas service is up 33 percent.


“And Americans are facing high prices to heat their homes this winter.


“And while there are multiple reasons for high oil and gas prices, Democrats’ hostility to conventional energy production is contributing to this energy price crisis.


“I’m a big supporter of alternative energy, and have been working for years here in Congress to advance renewable energy technology.


“But the fact of the matter is, we are still a long way from being able to rely exclusively on alternative energy technologies.


“But that isn’t something Democrats seem able to accept.


“They want their Green New Deal future, and they want it now.


“And so despite our continued need for oil and gas resources, President Biden has adopted an energy agenda that is hostile to conventional energy production:


“Canceling the Keystone XL pipeline – an environmentally responsible pipeline project that would have reinforced our energy infrastructure.


“Discouraging investment in conventional energy.


“Limiting oil and gas leasing.


“The list goes on.


“And I haven’t even mentioned Democrats’ latest measure – a round of tax hikes on oil and gas companies that will drive up Americans’ energy bills and continue to discourage conventional energy production here at home.


“The result of all this, Mr. President – the result of Democrats’ attempt to force an alternative energy future before that future is fully ready – will be reducing our energy security and prolonging the high energy prices hitting families and businesses.


“Mr. President, our nation’s energy security has declined under the Biden administration.


“So has our national security.


“I came to the floor last week to talk yet again about the raging crisis at our southern border – a crisis the president and Democrats are apparently content to continue to ignore.


“The flow of illegal immigration across our southern border has reached record levels, the Border Patrol and border facilities are overwhelmed, and border communities are struggling – and the president and Democrats could not care less.


“Mr. President, border security is an essential part of national security.


“It’s not just individuals hoping for a better life who are attempting to make their way illegally across our southern border.


“All sorts of dangerous individuals are attempting to make their way across, from gang members to human smugglers to possible terrorists.


“So far this fiscal year, the Border Patrol has encountered 78 individuals on the terror watch list attempting to cross our southern border illegally.




“And that’s the number of individuals the Border Patrol has managed to apprehend.


“Given the incredible strain Customs and Border Protection is under, it’s entirely possible that other individuals on the watch list have entered the country without our knowledge.


“One thing we do know is that illegal drugs are flowing across our southern border – and contributing to violent crime.


“My state is almost as far from the southern border as it is possible to get, but the flow of illegal drugs across the southern border has a direct impact on crime in our communities. 


“The sheriff of my home county in South Dakota recently stated that there is a, quote, ‘direct connection between a high percentage of our violent crimes [in Minnehaha County] to the use and distribution of illegal drugs, in particular the drugs that are poisoning our community.’


“A substantial part of those drugs, he noted, are coming from Mexican cartels across the southern border.


“Mr. President, there’s a lot more to say about the way our nation’s security has declined over the past two years.


“There’s the increase in violent crime – an increase undoubtedly driven in part by “woke” Democrat prosecutors’ lax attitude toward serious crime and Democrats’ willingness to accommodate the defund the police movement.


“There’s our botched withdrawal from Afghanistan – a national security debacle that weakened our standing internationally and emboldened terrorists and the Taliban.


“And there are the president’s ill-conceived plans for a nuclear deal with Iran.


“But I’ll stop here.


“Suffice it to say that it’s been a rough couple of years under Democrat governance – on both the economic and security fronts.


“And if Democrats get a chance to continue with their policies, I expect the situation will continue to get worse.


“Mr. President, I yield the floor.”