By Rep. Dusty Johnson
March 5, 2021
“We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature. For without unity there is no peace, only bitterness and fury. No progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos. This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward.”
Those were the words spoken by President Biden the day he was sworn into office.
I was hopeful these were more than just words on Inauguration Day and that maybe, just maybe, we’d see a growing coalition willing to work together. Considering Republicans gained several seats in the House, leaving only a sliver of a majority for Speaker Pelosi, I hoped for the best.
Sadly, these words have fallen flat, and I’ve been disappointed week after week. It’s not in my nature to be discouraged, and I’m not naïve. I know politics is partisan and both parties have a line in the sand they often will not cross, but throughout my first term in Congress both parties proved it was, at times, possible to work together.
We passed five COVID-19 relief bills – FIVE – with broad bipartisan support. Congress doesn’t deserve a gold star, but we ended a government shutdown, provided funding for humanitarian relief at the border, fought abuses of biofuel waivers, and set our sights on targeted relief for Americans facing an unprecedented pandemic.
Here are some of the most concerning actions taken by Congress and President Biden since he was sworn in:
- A $1.9 trillion partisan COVID-19 relief bill passed the House. While there is strong bipartisan support for a more modest approach with targeted relief for families, along with investments in vaccine distribution and testing, that compromise approach was rejected.
- A sweeping federal takeover of elections, including funding political ads with matching funds from the federal treasury was pushed through the House.
- Partisan “police reform” passed by the House that would cut our nation’s police force and place harmful restrictions on tactical equipment. There are areas of bipartisan support when it comes to law enforcement, like Sen. Scott’s JUSTICE Act, but these proposals were not considered.
- President Biden cancelled the Keystone XL Pipeline through an Executive Order. Our commitment to the rule of law was eroded, and jobs were lost.
- Relief previously allocated for agriculture producers was put on hold by the Biden Administration.
I believe we can be a Congress known for getting things done that benefit the American people. If unity is the goal, why have the last three months been nothing but one-party rule? Let’s make sure we’re bringing vaccine distribution across the finish line and getting American businesses and people back on their feet. Let’s invest in our nation’s infrastructure and rebuild the bridges and roads that have been neglected for too long. And let’s work to lower prescription costs for families. Let’s start working together.