The Tiffany Telegram: October 29, 2021
It’s been two months since President Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, and we’re still learning more about just how badly it was handled with each passing day.
In the wake of the chaos, we were told by President Biden’s Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that fewer than 100 Americans were stranded in Afghanistan. But this week we found out that the number is higher. Much higher.
A senior Pentagon official admitted this week that, in truth, almost 500 Americans remain trapped in Afghanistan. And we are beginning to understand why.
According to a recently revealed email sent by one of President Biden’s top diplomats in Kabul, it appears that getting Americans out of Afghanistan simply wasn’t the White House’s top priority. That effort took a back seat to cramming planes with Afghan nationals – most of whom were not translators, and did not directly assist with sensitive U.S. military, intelligence, or diplomatic efforts.
The email, sent by Consul General Gregory Floyd, directed evacuation coordinators to “err on the side of excess,” when it came to bringing Afghans to our country. The email even said that “total outflow to the U.S. must exceed the number of seats available [on evacuation flights].”
And that’s exactly what appears to have happened.
According to one recent report, only around 1,000 of the more than 116,000 Afghans airlifted out of Afghanistan held “Special Immigrant Visas” – the documents given to those who assisted the American war effort as translators and linguists.
Telegram readers know that since the beginning of this mess, I have been warning about the danger of unvetted Afghans slipping passed overwhelmed immigration officials, and the need to require all screening to be fully completed in safe third countries before any evacuee is admitted to the United States.
Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened, and we’ve seen the consequences – including the admission of a previously convicted rapist to the U.S., reports of domestic violence and sexual assaults on young boys by Afghan men at Fort McCoy, a brutal attack on a female U.S. service member at Fort Bliss by a group of evacuees, and the alleged rape of a woman by an Afghan national in Montana. We’ve also seen outbreaks of communicable diseases at facilities housing Afghans.
There’s a lot more we want to talk to you about this week, and we hope you enjoy this installment of The Telegram.
Member of Congress
Another week in Washington has come and gone without consideration of a massive infrastructure bill. That’s because Democrats have taken it upon themselves to make a bad situation even worse by tying that package to much larger reconciliation bill – a train wreck combination that will devastate America’s economy. As employers struggle to find workers, leaving some store shelves empty, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, President Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders seem to think now would be a great time to supercharge welfare benefits without work requirements for able-bodied adults. But that’s not all. Biden’s vaccine mandate has been wreaking havoc on the supply chain and healthcare sector’s ability to retain workers who refuse to get the jab. The reconciliation bill gives Biden’s “jab or job mandate” even sharper teeth by increasing OSHA penalties on businesses who refuse to force their employees to comply by up to $700,000 per violation. It also adds nearly a billion dollars in funding for the Department of Labor to go after them. Despite President Biden’s claim that his spending proposals will cost zero dollars. But just to make sure the government doesn’t miss out on an opportunity to help themselves to even more of your hard-earned money the Biden administration also wants to hire an additional 87,000 IRS agents. What the democrats are proposing in these spending packages isn’t legislating – its looting. It’s time my colleagues on the left start learning how to budget within their means rather than looking for creative ways to tax and pillage the earnings of hardworking Americans.
Democrats in Congress are now proposing to tax assets before any gains have even been realized. This kind of tax would crush entrepreneurs and serve as a disincentive for American businesses who may have to sell off portions of their companies to foreign investors in order to pay their taxes. The proposal would tax unrealized capital gains—meaning that it would tax “theoretical gains” which are based on a company’s market value rather than capital gains which is taxed after an asset is sold off. So, if a company’s value doubles, the government would reward its stakeholders by forcing them to sell 25% of their company to pay the government for its success.
Your tax dollars at work: Biden mulls $450,000 payments to illegals
Speaking of your tax dollars, in what may be perhaps the most eyebrow raising news of the entire week, the Biden administration is reportedly in talks to offer illegal immigrant families $450,000 per-alien payment. You read that right. The Wall Street Journal reported that illegal migrant families are seeking an average of $3.4 million. The total potential payout could cost taxpayers more than $1 billion. I am deeply opposed to this misguided effort, which is a slap in the face to every American – especially legal immigrants who came here the right way. We should never reward those who violate our immigration laws with a cash jackpot.
Border disorder worsens
We told you recently about the record-breaking number of illegal aliens that crossed the U.S. border this year – more than 1.7 million – the highest number since 1986. The situation is so out of control that President Biden’s own Homeland Security Department is expecting another 400,000 aliens to overwhelm our southern border by the end of this month. Things have become so dangerous along the U.S.-Mexico border that some federal agencies have reportedly barred their employees from going there. You’d think that amid such chaos, the Biden administration would rethink its open borders policies and start enforcing the law – but you’d be wrong. In fact, the White House is doing just the opposite. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has already announced an end to workplace enforcement efforts, describing them as a waste of resources. And this week he went further, expanding so-called “sanctuary” for illegal immigrants by declaring areas across the United States as “non-enforcement” zones. So, in short, not only has the White House told migrants, smugglers and traffickers around the world that America’s border is wide open, they’ve also given them instructions on where to go to avoid apprehension or removal.
Migrant caravans snake toward U.S.
We’ve been warning for some time about another massive surge of migrants headed for the United States (Panama’s foreign minister recently warned that at least 100,000 migrants were on their way). This week we learned that one caravan alone has swelled to an estimated 4,000 migrants – and some of the photos are shocking. The migrants, many of whom are from Central America, South America and Haiti, easily overran a barricade in Mexico a few days ago. What’s worse, many of the governments in Latin America seem to be doing little to stem the flow of migrants – and in some cases may be actively facilitating this mass migration. It is time to put an end to this lawlessness, and for the Biden administration to pressure these foreign governments to start behaving like good neighbors instead of accomplices to this human trafficking crisis.
Standing up to China’s bullying, corruption
Over the past two years, we’ve seen the consequences of allowing Communist China to corrupt and co-opt international organizations. From the World Health Organization and the World Bank to the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations, the story is always the same: America pays the bills – but these global bureaucracies do China’s bidding. This week I was pleased to see the Biden administration publicly support Taiwan’s participation in the UN – something I urged them to do over a month ago. On Thursday, my colleague Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and I also put pressure on the G-20 – a working group of the world’s largest economies – to admit Taiwan over China’s objections. Kowtowing to Beijing’s irrational temper tantrums and malign influence hurts America and the world. It erodes the credibility of multilateral forums and encourages Beijing’s bad behavior. Breaking the Chinese Communist Party’s strangle-hold on the international community means challenging the lie that Taiwan is part of China. It is not, and democratic countries must stand together to make that undeniable fact clear.
Big government fuels big inflation
We’ve been updating you for awhile on President Biden and Speaker Pelosi’s push to hike government spending to unprecedented levels – despite the fact that this spending spree is fueling record inflation and skyrocketing prices. Enough is enough. Washington excess is the cause of, not the solution to, this crisis. Another $2 trillion or $3 trillion or $10 trillion in deficit spending would just pour gasoline on the fire. And speaking of gas, wrapping American energy producers in a regulatory straight-jacket (as President Biden has done by canceling pipelines and restricting drilling on federal lands), will only further boost prices at the pump (they are as high as $8.00 a gallon in some parts of the country). The solution isn’t more government, it is less. As the old saying goes, the first thing to do when you find yourself in a hole is to stop digging.
This week, the Biden Administration released their “gender equity” plan, calling for eliminating cash bail even as violent crime skyrockets. The FBI recently released data that shows an unprecedented spike in murders. In Milwaukee, they set a record, with 189 homicides, and Wisconsin’s homicide rate increased by 70%. It’s not a coincidence. Milwaukee began their “bail reform” initiatives in 2012 and is now safer than only 8% of U.S. cities. The District Attorney for Harris County, Texas published a report showing that unsecured bail reform has led to declining community safety. The report concluded that “bail reform” led to an increase in re-offending by criminal defendants, more bond failures, and a spike in violent offenses committed by released defendants – including capital murder. At a time where businesses are looted and burned, violent crime is increasing, and defunding the police has become the radical left’s rally cry, we should not be making life easier for criminals. We must enforce our laws and restore safety and security to American cities. Eliminating cash-bail does nothing to advance that goal. I will continue fighting for our law enforcement professionals and for the security of our communities.
Trust the science?
This week the Food and Drug Administration’s advisory committee met to discuss the approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-to-11. The committee of experts discussed and debated the safety of the vaccines use in children – noting that every medical treatment can cause harm and that it’s possible that more significant side effects will appear as millions of children receive the vaccine. One committee member concluded that, “We’re never gonna learn about how safe the vaccine is until we start giving it. We’re worried about a side effect that we can’t measure yet, but it’s probably real.” Despite all of the unknowns the FDA advisory committee unanimously approved its use for children. Apparently ‘trust the science’ is now code for FDA approval to use our kids as test subjects. As if that isn’t concerning enough some states are already introducing bills that will require kids to participate in this nationwide experiment in order to attend school. This was a leading concern for at least one FDA advisory committee member, who said that mandating the vaccine for children to go to school would be an error at this time. Health care decisions are rarely one size fits all, which is why it is so important to have the freedom to make those decisions based on your own circumstances with the advice of your doctor. I believe that parents should be the ones calling the shots when it comes to their child’s health care decisions – not government bureaucrats.
House Judiciary Committee
Red flag laws
Last week, the Democrats wanted to deprive parents of their First Amendment Rights; this week, they want to deprive us of our Second Amendment Rights. We had a full Judiciary Committee vote on a so-called “Red Flag Law” proposal. This bill violates Due Process by creating a legal framework that deems Americans guilty until they are proven innocent and allows for the confiscation of their firearms. Even worse, the plan would not guarantee that a wrongfully accused person could ever get their guns back. And then there’s the question: How would law enforcement know how many guns they need to confiscate without a registry? Deaths by knives, cars or other objects surpass gun deaths, but there seem to be no calls to disarm Americans of knives and their cars.
|Tiffany: "Red Flag Laws" Judiciary Markup|
So far, the policies we’ve seen advocated by Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats include defunding the police, no cash bail, selective due process, silencing concerned parents, and now gun confiscation. All of these extreme initiatives are unconstitutional or make our communities more dangerous. Even more shocking, some of the same people making these radical propositions are spending big money on their own armed personal security; “Rules for thee but not for me.”
Natural Resources Committee
On Wednesday, the Natural Resources Committee had an Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee hearing on coal. Coal is an important part of our nations’ baseload power and a reliable form of energy. Unfortunately, some of my colleagues on the other side spent much of their time demonizing the industry and advocating for its removal. One of the witnesses for this hearing – who called for the complete elimination of coal – was from an organization that receives money from the Energy Foundation, which Tom Steyer helps fund. Now this is the same Tom Steyer who made huge investments in coal plants overseas. The organization even has a branch in China – the same country that has built a new coal fired plant almost every other day this year. Mandating a switch to so-called “green energy” here in the U.S. would result in a massive transfer of cash from the United States to Communist China – funding the construction of reliable electricity systems in China while Americans are stuck relying on intermittent generation from windmills and solar panels. That’s bad news for Wisconsin. Americans deserve affordable and reliable power, and I’m committed to doing what it takes to keep the lights on.
Wildland firefighter letter
You’ve probably seen a lot of news about how President Biden’s vaccine mandate is forcing Americans to choose between the jab and their job – including first responders and public safety personnel. That’s why this week I joined 17 of my colleagues in sending an inquiry to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Deb Haaland about the impact this mandate will have on our wildfire preparedness. Biden’s requirement demands that both federal employees and contractors be fully vaccinated in just over a month, and there is growing concern about what this will mean for staffing levels of our federal wildland firefighting force. This mandate could lead to many firefighters being fired or leaving their jobs, which will have grave implications for our ability to fight wildfires. You can read our letter here.
This week the average number of new cases in Wisconsin continued to trend downward, dropping another 100 cases to an average of 1,820 new cases statewide. The statewide hospitalization level also began to decline, with admissions rates in the Northwest Healthcare Emergency Readiness region shrinking by 20%.
Deputy Sheriff Dan Glaze: Gone, but never forgotten.
On October 31, 2016, Rusk County Deputy Sheriff Dan Glaze died in the line of duty. Five years later, we continue to honor his sacrifice and incredible service. We owe a great deal of gratitude to our law enforcement officers and their families and we will never forget their dedication to our communities.