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Leader Scalise on the Biden-Manufactured Fentanyl and Debt Crises

  • PLAY - Scalise at Stakeout 5.23.23
Today, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) joined House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), Republican Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), and Congressman Max Miller (R-Ohio) to praise law enforcement officers fighting to curb the scourge of fentanyl across our country. Leader Scalise highlighted that, every day, hundreds of Americans are dying from overdoses caused by fentanyl and similar drugs, and praised H.R. 467, the HALT Fentanyl Act as a promising solution to curb fentanyl pouring over the southern border. Leader Scalise also slammed the Biden Administration for avoiding debt ceiling negotiations and driving the country to the brink of a financial crisis. Leader Scalise emphasized the harm of the Biden Administration’s tax-and-spend agenda, which is driving inflation and raising costs across the board for American families.  

Click here or on the image above to view Leader Scalise’s remarks.

Leader Scalise’s remarks:

“My thoughts and prayers also go to the law enforcement community in Saratoga. You know, last week we dedicated the whole week to National Law Enforcement Week. We pray for our men and women in uniform who keep our communities safe. We know how tough of a job it is and every day when a law enforcement officer wakes up, they know what's out there, but they also know that as they face dangers and keep our communities safe, we are praying for their safety and giving them the tools that they need. As [Congressman] Griffith’s bill does, we are working on a number of different fronts to attack the scourge that is fentanyl. This is something that, since [President] Biden opened the southern border, we have seen flood into our country. Every day in America, nearly 300 young people die from fentanyl and other related overdoses. This is a national scandal that can be stopped. 

“It can be stopped by securing the border. The bill H.R. 2, that we passed, would do that. But in the meantime, while we're seeing this flood of fentanyl continue to come in unchecked across our southern border, this Congress is taking action and [Congressman Griffith]’s bill, the 
HALT Fentanyl Act, really does address it in a few ways as he talked about, but I think you're gonna see a very bipartisan vote to permanently schedule this as a Class 1 controlled substance and give our law enforcement more tools to keep this drug out of our country to stop the [hundreds of] young people every day who are dying from having to face these consequences.

“It shouldn't be here. The President can stop it today if he secures the border, but he won't do that. Something else that he hasn't done is to seriously engage in negotiations with Speaker McCarthy on the debt ceiling. We've seen it for months and months, going back to February when Speaker McCarthy got his first meeting with the President [and] laid out a list of things that we would do to address the debt ceiling but also address the nation’s spending problem. And let's keep in mind, when the country hits the debt ceiling, it's – in essence – because the credit card in the nation got maxed out. It got maxed out because Washington is spending more money than it takes in.

“So of course, you say, ‘Make the minimum payment.’ But you also – any family – would also get control over spending rather than just give another credit card to go max out. And that's really where we're at a crossroads in this negotiation. President Biden hasn't taken this seriously. He took almost 100 days off in refusing to negotiate with the Speaker. We didn't take any time off. We actually went to work, saying, ‘If the President is going to just sit this out, try to run out the clock and create a debt crisis in America, [then] Republicans will take action,’ and we worked for months in putting together a coalition to pass a bill that actually addresses the debt ceiling – and also addresses Washington's spending problem.

“And what is the answer that we're seeing in these last few days from [President] Biden? Again, continuing to run out the clock. Not bringing serious ideas to the table, but actually bringing in new ideas that are non-starters. The President's actually talking about more tax hikes.

“We've made it very clear from the beginning. We're not going to raise taxes.
 [President] Biden did that in his first two years and look at how that's worked out. I think it's important to point this out as [President] Biden is talking about raising taxes. Look at some of the taxes that [President] Biden has already signed into law to raise on hardworking families. These tax increases under [President] Biden's first two years in office are some of the reason that inflation is so high, some of the reason[s] why energy costs are so high for families. 40 percent more for household electricity rates, and people would ask, ‘Why is that?’ Well, in part, it's because [President] Biden added six-and-a-half billion dollars in taxes on natural gas. That is a direct tax increase on low- and middle-income families, breaking his pledge that anybody making under 400,000 [dollars] a year wouldn't pay a dime and new taxes. 

“Well, I guess he was right about the dime because it's a lot more than a dime in new taxes, then, that families are paying. And I'm talking about families making under 60,000 dollars a year who are paying this natural gas tax. You know what other tax [President] Biden signed into law that low income families are also paying? 12 billion dollars in crude oil taxes. So you wonder, when people go fill up their car, they're paying 50 percent more in gasoline costs – in part because of [President] Biden's new tax there. 

“And what is their answer? To try to kill the combustion engine. We actually have a bill this week to reverse the [Environmental Protection Agency]’s crazy idea of getting rid of heavy-lift cars – your [Ford] F-250 or other pickup trucks. They're going after all gasoline-powered cars, in exchange for cars that ultimately can contain a lot of components that are made in China. I don't call it his green agenda, I call it his ‘red agenda’ because the solar panels, a lot of the components of windmills, [electric vehicles] are all made in China. And so the President keeps taxing those low income families. 

“1.2 billion dollar coal tax. 74 billion dollar stock tax, which hits 401 (k)s. Now maybe President Biden thinks only the billionaires have 401 (k)s. I hate to tell you, Mr. President, there are a lot of low-income families and middle-income families who have 401 (k)s and are relying on that to be part of their nest egg to retire. And yet [President] Biden added 74 billion dollars in taxes there and, if that wasn't enough, [President] Biden signed into law 225 billion dollars in more corporate taxes.

“And where do corporate taxes get paid? By people who buy things. Again, you wonder why, when you go to the grocery store or when you go to any other store to buy clothes, [or] to buy any other products, why it's costing 20 or 30 percent more. It's because all of the taxes that [President] Biden's already raised, and what is his answer to maxing out the nation's credit card? 

“He wants more taxes. Well the message we have for President Biden is, ‘There will be no more taxes. It's the spending in Washington. That's the problem.’ And it's the spending in Washington that we have to address to solve this situation we're in with the debt ceiling. That's why we passed a bill to do it. 

“We passed a bill. The Senate won't even come in to go to work, let alone try to pass their own bill. It’s time for President Biden to get serious, bring real ideas to the table, or just say, ‘Speaker McCarthy. The House passed a bill.’ President Biden ought to support it, and then that bill can get signed into law and then this whole crisis he's trying to create is over.”