This is Not COVID Relief
I spent Thursday afternoon and evening listening to all 11 hours of the reading of the Democrats' 628-page $1.9 trillion dollar "COVID-19 relief" bill. I would like to thank the Senate clerks who read the bill. I know it was a big job and it's unfortunate it took so long. I finally got a hard copy about an hour into the reading. Here's what I learned:
- Only 9% of this bill actually goes to COVID related issues.
- It's amazing how many times you hear the years 2022, 2023, even 2028 in this bill (isn't this relief spending needed now? How can such "urgent" spending be scheduled for years down the road?)
- We've already passed $4 trillion in COVID relief and still haven't spent $1 trillion of that amount.
- $1.9 trillion in additional debt is $5,800 per person. Added to the $4 trillion of earlier relief bills, it's a debt burden of $18,000 per person.
- Relief isn't free.
- We've grown immune to spending vast amounts of money. It's time for some perspective.
Border Crisis Only Getting Worse
The situation at the border is rapidly deteriorating. This is just the beginning of the crisis and it's only going to get worse, thanks to the Biden administration's open border policy.
It used to be that President Obama's Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said a bad day at the border was when 1,000 immigrants were apprehended. Apprehensions now are about 4,000 a day. That's a caravan a day.
This week, I wrote a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas expressing my concerns about the Biden administration's decision to reinstate catch-and-release, including releasing migrants into the U.S. without COVID testing.
Capitol Breach Hearing Part Two
On Wednesday, I questioned authorities with the FBI and National Guard during the second part of a Senate hearing on the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. Here's what I learned:
- No Trump supporter fired any weapon inside the Capitol. Read more here.
- No firearms were seized inside the Capitol on Jan. 6. Read more of my questioning here.
- The commanding general of the D.C. National Guard said he could have gotten 150 guard members to the Capitol within 20 minutes. Instead it took over 3 hours.
- I entered this New York Times article into the record: A Small Group of Militants' Outsize Role in the Capitol Attack
Again, I am not diminshing what happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6. I find the videos from that day sickening and repugnant. I'm just trying to get to the truth.
Green Bay Joseph Project
Last week, we held our 102nd Joseph Project class. This session met in Green Bay in collaboration with the Micah Center. The three graduates took part in classes on financial planning, stress management, and how to undergo a job interview. One graduate has already been hired by Pro Solutions (a packaging company) and starts on Monday!
Medal of Honor Quest
For the past four sessions of Congress, we have introduced bills to get a Wisconsin native and World War II hero his Medal of Honor for acts of valor during the Battle of the Bulge.
Lt. Col. James "Maggie" Megellas served with the Army's 82nd Airborne Division and is recognized as the most decorated officer in the history of the division. He died in April 2020 at the age of 103.
On Feb. 23, I introduced legislation in the Senate for the 117th Congress to continue the effort posthumously on behalf of Lt. Col. Megellas. Congressman Glenn Grothman introduced a companion bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.
It is a privilege to continue this quest on behalf of Lt. Col. Megellas. His heroic actions helped ensure the liberation of Europe and our nation's continued freedom. He already has been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars and two Purple Hearts. He has been recommended for the Medal of Honor since 1945. It's high time this happens.
On the Hill
Chatting with Sen. Rick Scott of Florida before a Budget Committee hearing.