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Border Security

As a matter of national security, we must secure our borders. Even here in East Tennessee we see the ill effects of an unsecured border, as the opioid epidemic has devastated many households aided by the flow of illicit drugs across our borders. As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security and the House Border Security Caucus, I will advocate for strong border security measures, including resuming construction of Trump’s wall on our southern border.

For this reason, I traveled to our southwest border with a delegation of my congressional colleagues with whom I serve on the House Committee on Homeland Security to witness the ongoing crisis firsthand. As your representative, I am not afraid to tackle a crisis head on and you can count on me to remain absolutely committed to the highest standard of national security.

Upon returning from our southwest border, I joined many of my fellow conservative colleagues in signing a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The letter restated our concerns about this unlawful, manmade humanitarian and national crisis. It highlighted the current lack of adequate accounting on the nature and to what extent illegal immigrants are dispersed. The letter demands these agencies quickly provide Congress information on the name and location of each city or town where illegal immigrants have been sent or were provided funding for travel to or were allowed travel by their own or private funding along with the total number of immigrants who were allowed to travel there. On April 20, 2021, I signed a follow up letter that highlighted the severe security gaps posed by the Biden Administration’s manufactured process to bypass security requirements and board migrants on domestic flights to destinations across the country.

I will not stop insisting that the Biden Administration provide transparency! On June 16, 2021, I joined Rep. Byron Donalds’ and others in continuing to demand answers from HHS as recent reports indicate that taxpayer dollars appropriated for COVID-19 related health initiatives were spent housing and transporting unaccompanied migrant children all across the U.S. The American people deserve answers on all federal funding allocated or obligated in the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s Unaccompanied Children Program, including justifications and descriptions on how and why that money is being spent in disregard to the intent of Congress.

I joined all my Republican colleagues serving on the House Committee on Homeland Security in expressing our opposition to President Biden over his firing of U.S. Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott. Chief Scott, appointed to his position by President Trump, oversaw domestic border security operations between Ports of Entry, including thousands of miles along the Southwest Border. The vacancy of his position will leave DHS’s 20,000 Border Patrol Agents and frontline personnel without consistent senior leadership, disrupting the homeland security mission.

In June, I introduced H.R. 4363, the DHS Contract Reporting Act of 2021. In July, my bill advanced from the House Committee on Homeland Security where it now awaits consideration by the full U.S. House of Representatives. This is great news for greater transparency! I am committed to ending ‘dark of night’ airport stake outs to determine how the Biden Administration is spending our hard-earned tax dollars to fund the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. My bill would establish a timely and public reporting requirement for key DHS contract awards. The American people deserve to know details about DHS contract awards including descriptions, vetting, bidding, contract amount, recipients, and their purpose, especially for contracts awarded to deal with the self-inflicted Biden Border Crisis. The Biden Administration must stop acting in secrecy!

I have also co-sponsored the following legislation:

H.Res. 493, Biden’s damaging and ongoing border crisis must be addressed with censure, PERIOD.

H.R. 4828, the Border Security Act for America of 2021. This legislation includes comprehensive measures to bring back President Trump’s effective border security policies. Additional measures include bolstering border staffing to better support our law enforcement and modernizing and enhancing the use of technology to aid them.

H.R. 2076, the COVID-19 Border Protection (CBP) Act. This legislation would direct DHS to create a strategy to ensure no individual in custody is released into the community during a public health emergency related to coronavirus if the individual may have a communicable disease relating to any public health emergency.

H.R. 2321, the Irregular Migration Surge Border Response Resilience Act. This legislation directs DHS to establish a plan to respond to irregular migration surges at the border and to establish an irregular migration surge border response.

H.R. 471, the PAUSE Act. This act requires Title 42, established under the leadership of President Trump to remain in effect until multiple health and safety factors are met to protect the United States from further COVID-19 infection and spread. This bill would prevent new COVID-19 positive individuals from entering via our land and sea borders with Canada and Mexico. To further stake my support, on April 20, 2021, I signed a House discharge petition whereby if a majority of representatives (at least 218) sign, it would force the bill out of committee and to the House floor for a vote. I have expressed my deep concern about reports that President Biden may end Title 42 as soon as July amid the border crisis that his Administration created! Such action would only serve to fuel the influx of migrants flooding our border.

H.R. 1091, the Stopping Border Surges Act. This act closes loopholes in immigration laws that serve as incentives to aliens to attempt to enter the United States unlawfully.

H.R. 398, the No Asylum for Criminals Act. This legislation would prohibit anyone with a criminal record from being eligible for seeking asylum in the U.S. This would not only make America safer by keeping dangerous criminals out, but it would also alleviate some of the backlog that is overburdening our asylum system.

H.R. 3403, the See the Crisis Act. This legislation effectively grounds Vice President Harris, keeping her from using Air Force Two and other taxpayer-funded resources for international travel until she visits the border crisis and speaks with CBP and law enforcement officials on the ground. Following the visit, this bill requires a report back to Congress. I signed onto this bill when my previous letter to President Biden following his appointment of Harris to “lead the efforts” on the border did not receive a response. I will continue to use my voice to reject Biden’s nominees to oversee agencies dealing with immigration. It’s clear his choices won’t and don’t take our self-inflicted border crisis seriously.

H.R. 3484, the Illegal Immigrant Assistance Prohibition Act. This act would block federal grant funds from going to states that assist illegal immigrants as the only assistance we should be providing is a safe return home! As reported on Fox News here.

H.R. 2209, the Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues Act. This legislation would help continue to address the opioid epidemic. In 2018, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) used its emergency scheduling authority to place certain fentanyl analogues onto Schedule I of the list of controlled substances and this legislation would make that permanent. The National Institute on Drug Abuse found that fentanyl is often mixed with other drugs even though users may be unaware of it. Mexican cartels are increasingly responsible for producing and supplying fentanyl and China remains a key source of supply for the precursor chemicals that Mexican cartels use to produce the large amounts of fentanyl being smuggled into the United States. We must increase penalties and secure our border to STOP these traffickers.

We must complete the construction of President Trump’s border wall!

I remain committed to continuing President Trump’s effort to fully fund and complete construction on our southwest border wall.

To support this effort, I have co-sponsored and added my name to many efforts including:

H.R. 58, the Fund and Complete the Border Wall Act. This legislation would direct the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury to establish a fund where funds may only be used for planning, designing, constructing, and maintaining the barrier along the U.S. border with Mexico. It would also require the construction of physical barriers and roads along the entire U.S. border with Mexico, rather than the 700 miles required by current law.

H.R. 2729, the Finish the Wall Act. This legislation further stakes my position that we must immediately resume construction of the border wall system along the international border between the United States and Mexico to secure the border, enforce the rule of law, and expend already appropriated funds as mandated by Congress.

On March 23, 2021, I joined many of my congressional colleagues in adding my name to a letter addressed to the Comptroller General of the U.S. Government & Accountability Office (GAO) requesting GAO’s investigation and legal opinion on the actions of the Biden Administration to suspend southern border wall construction and to order a freeze of funds provided by Congress for that purpose, which my colleagues and I believe violated the Impoundment Control Act.

In April, I also signed a letter addressed to Congressional Leadership on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure requesting that as the Committee considers legislation to invest in our nation’s infrastructure, measures to ensure the completed construction of the southern border wall and complementary border security infrastructure must be included.

In late July, I joined many of my colleagues in expressing our deep concernsto Biden over the wasteful spending that resulted from his proclamation to halt construction of our southern border wall. A recent study revealed that in the period immediately following this proclamation, contractors were being paid $6 million per day to simply do nothing. This is unacceptable!