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National Security

The primary responsibility of the federal government is to protect its citizens. I am committed to the idea of peace through strength and believe our men and women in uniform should be outfitted with the best equipment and training to tackle any threats to our nation.

I strongly believe we must stand up to Iran’s destabilizing behavior in the Middle East. We must also stand with our allies such as Israel.

To this effort, I have co-sponsored the following legislation, resolutions and measures:

H.R. 2718, the Maximum Pressure Act, would maintain former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Trump’s successful sanctions campaign on Iran. I believe that Iran’s leaders must be held accountable for their nuclear and ballistic weapons programs, support for terrorism, and their malign behavior. In February 2021, following recent reporting that the Biden Administration had expressed openness to offering sanctions relief to Iran in efforts to broker a nuclear deal, my Republican colleagues and I serving on House Committee on Homeland Security sent a letter urging the Administration to reconsider. For months, Homeland Republicans have warned of the irreversible impact this action could have on our homeland and national security. 

H.Res. 118. This resolution expresses support for the Iranian people’s desire for a democratic, secular, and non-nuclear Republic of Iran and further condemns the human rights violations and state-sponsored terrorism by the Iranian Government.

In March 2021, I also joined many of my congressional colleagues in signing a letter addressed to House Congressional Appropriators in support of the U.S. providing the vital resources that were agreed upon in the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in both security assistance and cooperative U.S.-Israel missile defense programs. The letter also highlighted my opposition to any NEW restrictions or limitations being added as conditions of these resources to Israel. I believe that Congress must continue to reinforce the bipartisan consensus that U.S. security assistance to Israel serves American national security interests. Israel’s military strength and central geostrategic location provide a strong deterrent to America’s foes in the Middle East. Moreover, Israel’s capabilities in designing advanced military and security technologies helps America meet our own growing security challenges.

H.Res 394. This resolution expresses the sense of the U.S. House of Representatives to condemn the acts of terrorism committed by Hamas against the people of the State of Israel.

H.R. 2748, the Israel Relations Normalization Act of 2021. This bipartisan bill would expand peace and normalization agreements with Israel. It would also build on the success of the Abraham Accords, which included peace and normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco, by requiring coordination throughout the Administration to strengthen and expand these historic agreements.

H.R. 85, the Old Glory Only Act. This legislation would prohibit the flying of any flag other than the U.S. flag over U.S. diplomatic and consular posts, PERIOD. As a patriot who loves our country and reveres our flag, I am deeply concerned about the Biden Administration’s disregard for Old Glory. When U.S. embassies around the world fly our flag, it represents freedom and sacrifice, and it stands for all Americans, not just a certain group. The American flag and all who have fought for it deserve the upmost respect and honor. If you would ever like to order a U.S. Flag flown over the U.S. Capitol to honor a special person or occasion, my office is here to help.

STANDING UP TO CHINA

I strongly believe we must stand up to an emboldened China and their aggression on the world stage. The greatest national security threat to our country in the 21st Century is the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and we must hold them accountable for their actions. Currently, the United States is reliant on China for many ingredients in prescription drugs, leaving us dependent on the whims of the CCP for life-saving medicines. We must develop policy solutions that will reduce our reliance on China and increase our domestic production of prescription drugs. Additionally, we must investigate what the CCP knew about the COVID-19 outbreak, when they knew it, and what they might have covered up about the virus that killed so many Americans. I appreciate that Leader McCarthy appointed me to the China Accountability Task Force. I look forward to working on policy solutions to tackle these national security concerns. Read more here.

To this effort, I have co-sponsored the following legislative measures:

H.Con.Res 36. This concurrentresolution establishes a Joint Select Committee to investigate China's handling of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. I strongly support a full investigation as we must hold the CCP accountable.

H.R. 4792, the Countering Communist China Act. This comprehensive bill includes detailed legislative measures to counter China’s malign influence and perpetuated theft.

H.R. 591, the Defund EcoHealth Alliance Act. This legislation would prohibit the award of federal funds to EcoHealth Alliance. This follows news from that report that demonstrates how the company’s leadership pushed CCP propaganda to coverup the origins of COVID-19. EcoHealth Alliance is a nonprofit based in New York City that has been awarded tens of millions of federal tax dollars to study disease emergence and has funneled some of its federal grant funding to China. THIS MUST STOP!

H.Res. 280. This resolution would express the sense of the U.S. House of Representatives that decades of policies rooted in socialism have stifled U.S. domestic pharmaceutical drug manufacturing and left us exposed to the hostile actions and unfair trade practices of the People's Republic of China. We must continue to work to reduce our dependency on China and foreign entities.

H.Res. 243. This resolution expresses support toward the removal of Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15) from the House Intelligence Committee given his years-long relationship with a Chinese spy, amidst the Chinese Communist Party’s malign global influence campaign. I also joined many of my congressional colleagues in requesting that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary provide a classified briefing on any information DHS has obtained in this regard and sadly that request was denied.

H.R. 3295, the Prohibit Thrift Savings Program (TSP) Investment in China Act. This legislation would prohibit the TSP Fund from investing in any financial security of a Chinese company. By cutting off a multi-billion-dollar investment stream, this legislation sends a message of zero tolerance toward Chinese aggression and financial manipulation.

H.R. 3264, the Domains Critical to Homeland Security Act. This act would require DHS to analyze the risk of each identified critical domain for economic security to determine whether there exists a present or future threat to homeland security in the event of disruption, corruption, or dysfunction to such domain. It also requires the DHS Secretary to work with the Office of Strategy, Policy and Plans, to produce an annual report on the risk analysis conducted, including the vulnerability of critical supply chains, foreign manufacturing, foreign economic influence, asset ownership, and supply chain relationships. This legislation is both important and timely as U.S. adversaries such as China have exploited supply chains for enrichment of their businesses and furtherance of geopolitical goals for years as evident during the COVID-19 pandemic.

H.R. 3256, the Defund Wuhan Institute of Virology Act. As simply put as its title, this legislation would prohibit federal funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. This act would also enable the U.S. Comptroller General to conduct a study and report to Congress on the amount of federal funds awarded or indirectly given to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and its affiliated researchers. The American people have a right to know what the taxes from our hard-earned paychecks are being used to fund.

H.R. 3018, the Chinese Communist Party Politburo Accountability Act. This act would target sanctions against key leaders within the Chinese Communist Party who have been implicated in the crackdown on human rights, theft of intellectual property, and expansion of political warfare against the United States.

H.R. 1145, the Supporting Taiwan Observer Status at World Health Organization (WHO) Act. This legislation directs our State Department to develop a strategy to help Taiwan regain its status as an observer at the WHO’s World Health Assembly (WHA). Taiwan was one of the first countries to raise the alarm during the initial spread of COVID-19 and used its public health expertise to respond to the pandemic effectively within its borders while donating critical PPE equipment to other nations in need. Despite this, Taiwan has again been denied observer status in the WHA due to pressure from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Due to its exclusion from the WHA in 2017, Taiwan was not able to receive or share up-to-date information with the WHO during the pandemic. This bill fixes that by giving Taiwan observer status so they have a seat at the table.

AFGHANISTAN

President Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan was an absolute mess. His failure to have and follow a well-planned conditions-based withdrawal from Afghanistan put American troops and citizens in harm’s way and cost the lives of our 13 U.S. servicemembers. This disastrous withdrawal was avoidable had President Biden had any plan whatsoever on getting Americans and our allies out. 

13 U.S. servicemembers, including Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss from Tennessee, gave their lives in August while helping evacuate our fellow Americans and our Afghan allies, many of whom had honorably aided our military while in combat. I co-sponsored H.R. 5142 to posthumously award these heroes with Congressional Gold Medals because we must never forget their bravery and sacrifice. I am praying for both them and their families.

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Flag picture

Photo courtesy of Purcellville Flag Company

BACK THE BLUE

We must Back the Blue and support our law enforcement, other first responders, and our military. I have had the honor of meeting with so many of East Tennessee’s very finest and want to make sure I am serving as their voice in Congress as they put their lives on the line for our fellow Americans every day.

After hearing from Hawkins and Hamblen County Emergency Communications Districts and Dispatch Supervisor Stasia Carlsen at our Sevierville Police Department,  I have added my name as a co-sponsor to H.R. 2351, the 911 Saves Act. This bipartisan bill would require the Office of Management and Budget to reclassify 911 dispatchers as first responders under the Standard Occupational Classification System. 911 dispatchers have a tough job, and they work hard to ensure that Tennesseans facing a crisis get the help they need as quickly as possible. Recognizing 911 dispatchers for the unique nature of their work is the right thing to do.

I have also co-sponsored H.Res. 352. This resolution expresses that the dedication and devotion of law enforcement personnel should be recognized and that calls to "defund," "disband," "dismantle," or "abolish" the police should be condemned.