Supporting Border Security
Click here or on the photo above to see my speech on the House floor last week, emphasizing to the American people the urgent need for increased security on our southern border.
This week, I led a group of my Congressional colleagues in what is known as a Special Order - an opportunity to speak out on an issue of great importance to the American people for an hour on the House floor after votes. The topic was border security.
We are on the 28th day of a partial government shutdown over the question of whether Americans’ security is at risk because of the gaps on our southern border. The simple answer to this question is yes: we are all at risk because of the increased flow of illegal drugs coming across the border, the trafficking of innocent women and children migrants by greedy coyotes and multinational crime cartels, and the violent crimes enacted by some unvetted immigrants entering our country illegally.
The problem is real. In 2018, Customs & Border Patrol intercepted enough cocaine to fill 141 one-ton pick-up trucks and 3.25 tons of heroin. The amount of drugs not caught is tremendous and plaguing our communities. Ninety percent of the heroin in our country today comes illegally across our border. This is contributing to the opioid crisis that is killing 130 Americans a day. This has got to STOP!
Additionally, innocent people are being killed by criminals who come across our border illegally. California Police Officer Ronil Singh went on duty on Christmas night after celebrating the holiday with his family, and he was shot and killed by an illegal immigrant at a 1 a.m. traffic stop just a few hours later. What’s especially heartbreaking is that Officer Singh was an immigrant who came here the right way - he came here legally. Legal immigration is what we should be promoting; not enabling lawbreakers to harm those who follow our laws.
Our open border not only causes criminal activity in the United States, it also exacerbates crime outside our borders when people try to migrate here. Knowledge about our inadequate border security tempts immigrants to come here whatever way possible - which includes, for some people, sending their minor child with a stranger in hopes of them being smuggled safely into the United States. In December 2018 alone, over 20,000 minors were smuggled into the United States, and heartbreakingly, these children are subject to all kinds of assault, dehydration, and sexual violence along the way. Additionally, according to Doctors Without Borders, over 30% of women who make the trek to our southern border are sexually assaulted on their journey. If we had a secure border, migrants - including innocent women and children - would not be incentivized to come here illegally on such a risk-laden and dangerous journey.
At this point, the President and Democrat leaders in Congress have not come to an agreement to reopen the government while providing border security, even though Senate Democrats (including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer) supported a bill in 2006 to build 700 miles of fencing with $40 billion. In comparison, President Trump is only asking for $5.7 billion, the amount the experts on the border - our Customs & Border Patrol officials - have said is needed this year.
I am committed to working to find a solution to reopen our government, while also securing our border to stop the flow of illegal drugs into our communities. I think now is the time to pass comprehensive immigration reform that fixes our broken immigration laws to encourage legal immigration while also providing needed security at the border, including the building of a wall. We can do both and we should do both.
Sharing the Burden
Unfortunately, some federal employees have been caught in the crosshairs of Washington’s negotiations for increased border security, and they have had to skip a paycheck. I appreciate these employees’ efforts and asked that my pay be withheld until we can get this situation resolved. Click here to see a copy of the letter I wrote to the Chief Administrative Officer asking for my pay to be withheld.
I also voted for legislation last week to ensure that all federal workers affected by the partial shutdown are paid “at the earliest date possible after the lapse in appropriations ends, regardless of scheduled pay dates.” It is Congress’s duty to ensure government works for the people and that includes paying our government workers who are serving the public. As I said before, I will continue to work to find a solution to our border security crisis and reopen the government.
Gathering to Champion Life
January 22nd marks the 46th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision by the United States Supreme Court. Since that time, over 60 million babies have been aborted in our country - 60 million lives that are not here contributing to society, being moms and dads, nurses, athletes, carpenters, or business owners. Our lives are less full because they are not here.
Pictured (L-R): Therese Sanders, her grandson Alex Basi, and his friend Nathan Dyer from Columbia who traveled to Washington to discuss pro-life issues.
As a result, pro-life Americans from all corners of the country came to Washington this week to discuss issues of life. I enjoyed meeting (pictured above) Therese Sander, her grandson, Alex Basi, and his friend, Nathan Dyer, from Columbia, MO to discuss these issues in the 116th Congress and how every life is valuable and deserves to live.
I have introduced a bill to direct federal funding from Planned Parenthood clinics to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). Federally Qualified Health Centers offer women a broader range of health services than Planned Parenthood, have 20 locations for every Planned Parenthood clinic, serve over 527,000 Missourians, and have 228 service sites across the Show Me State.
According to the Marist Poll, 54% of Americans oppose using taxpayer dollar for abortion and so do I - which is why I authored this bill to redirect federal dollars to clinics that provide life-affirming care to women.
Photos of the Week
I had the honor of calling Appleton City High School student Daylen Doll to let him know he has received an appointment to West Point Academy! I nominated Daylen earlier this year to attend the Academy, so it was exciting that I got to deliver the good news myself. Congratulations, Daylen! We appreciate your willingness to serve your country.
On Tuesday I congratulated the Central Methodist University Men’s Soccer Team on the U.S. House floor for winning the 2018 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship. Click here or on the image above to see my speech.
Our winter interns have been such a help these past few months! Pictured from left to right are: Lydia Murphy (a student at Mizzou), myself, Jaclyn McLean (a student at Liberty University), Max Beckert (who is from New Zealand and just finished his Law and Commerce Degrees), and Andrew Blackmore (a student at Liberty University).
Weekly Dose of Good News
Christina Nelson-Smith and her husband Kenneth Smith saw a need in their community and moved to fill the gap. They initially opened their Warrensburg farm for a Halloween event and then hosted a Christmas event where they took in toys and food for a dozen families in need. After that, they established an organization called Twin Oaks Giving Tree, which has a free store to provide food, toys, kitchen utensils, clothing, diapers, and other items to families in need. Forty volunteers help Christina and Kenneth get all the work done. Their inspiring example encourages all of us to help those who are in need. If we each pitch in and help in whatever small way we can, together, we can make a big difference.