Weekly Newsletter: April 29, 2024

Apr 29, 2024

Now that Tax Day has come and gone, Washington D.C.’s uniparty is hard at work sending your dollars overseas rather than solving problems at home.

I’m sure you all know what I’m referring to – which is the sad news that the House approved yet another massive foreign aid package to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan during weekend votes, all without any serious attempt to end the crisis at our own border.

This was incredibly disappointing. I certainly understand the importance of helping friends in need, but Congress should not be shipping billions overseas at the expense of the homeland to fund forever wars like in Ukraine.

Last week, the House Oversight Committee held a hearing on the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) political warfare campaign in the United States. This is a critically important topic that I don’t believe is discussed nearly enough in the public arena.

I pointed out a chilling reality: right now, China is establishing a foothold within the U.S. to create chaos and instability. They are employing a range of methods, like psychological manipulation, drug trafficking, technological espionage, economic coercion, and more.

Of course, you will not be surprised to hear that part of this results from China taking advantage of Joe Biden’s weak immigration laws. In particular, I am deeply concerned about the recent surge of single adult Chinese males illegally entering our country through the southern border. Any serious country would recognize the danger they are in and secure their border immediately. Joe Biden and his White House are asleep at the wheel.

It is vitally important that we course-correct and address this threat before it is too late.

You can watch my questioning HERE.

Last week, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director testified before the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, of which I’m a member. Under the Biden/Mayorkas regime, the good men and women of ICE have been vilified, slandered, and prevented from doing their crucial work. This is shameful.

Under this President, illegal crossings have shattered records the last three years, while deportations have not kept up — and, in fact, they have drastically fallen from the Trump years. When this administration only deports a tiny fraction of the millions of illegals in our country, it further incentivizes illegal immigration. And even as this current administration has even more resources available than the Trump administration had, when we had a largely secure border, this administration has chosen to turn “border security” into “border processing.”

Our leadership needs to wake up and stop funding this madness. We have the power of the purse. It’s our responsibility to use it and force change.

We also had the Director of the Transportation Security Administration testify before the subcommittee — and if you’re looking for an example of misused funds in the federal government, TSA management is a good place to start. Under Secretary Mayorkas’s watch, the TSA has had to cut funding to a crucial security program for rural airports, such as the Victoria regional airport, while allowing illegal immigrants with minimal identification to fly across the country virtually unchecked. They’ve also neglected our maritime ports to the point that our adversaries have a better idea of what is coming into our country than we do. This poses a serious national security threat, and it must be addressed.

You can watch my questioning of the ICE Director HERE and at the TSA hearing HERE.

At another Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing, I questioned the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on some of their processing issues. Given we’re in a coastal district, my office and I have worked very closely with them on a number of issues over the years, especially Hurricane Harvey recovery – but there are a number of issues we can improve on.

FEMA’s workforce is overburdened, understaffed, and stretched so thin that they do not have the personnel to keep up with the number of disasters they are called to assist with. I used my time to press Director Deanne Criswell about the issues the City of Portland is having with their Hazard Mitigation Grant Program application for a city hall generator — an important grant which has been on hold for over two years. Rest assured that I will be pushing to get this project over the line. Our people rely on quick, responsive emergency management, and we’re going to do our part to see it delivered.

You can watch my questioning of the FEMA Director HERE.

The busy week for Appropriations hearings continued with two separate hearings in the Interior and Environment Subcommittee, with Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Forest Service Chief Randy Moore.

In its FY 2025 budget request, the Forest Service is seeking $840 thousand for its DEI programs, and in his testimony, Chief Moore stated that the Forest Service is “unwavering in its commitment to the values of equity, inclusion, and equal opportunities.” This kind of woke nonsense is not just wasteful, but it distracts agencies from carrying out their true duties properly.

The same goes for Secretary Haaland. The Department of Interior should be focusing their resources on the important work in front of them, like managing roughly 420 million acres of federal lands, nearly 55 million acres of tribal lands, more than 700 million acres of subsurface minerals, and about 2.5 billion acres of the outer continental shelf. Instead, Secretary Haaland has made something called “ecogrief counseling” a priority for her employees. (You would be forgiven for not knowing what this is, but it is billed as mental health therapy for the stress from climate change.)

Needless to say, this is a tremendous waste of money that Congress should be eliminating. Rest assured I will be seeking to get DOI back on track through the budgetary process.

You can watch my questioning of Chief Moore HERE.

God Bless,

Michael Cloud
Member of Congress

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