Democrats’ Policies ‘Very Bad for America,’ Rep. Mark Green Says

What will happen if illegal immigration continues to flow across the southern border What should the Biden Administration do to reduce rising inflation? What threat does China really pose to the U.S. at this time? 

Over and over, Americans are witnessing the “failures of this administration,” Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., says. 

“Obviously, Democrat control of all three—the White House, and the Senate, and the House—has devastated our country, whether it’s the border, or the economy, or foreign policy,” he says.

The Tennessee lawmaker joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” from The Heritage Foundation’s annual Resource Bank conference to discuss the biggest issues facing America today, and what the Biden administration should be doing to address those problems. 

Also on today’s show, we cover these stories:

  • Ukrainian officials guarantee that any U.S. weapons sent to the country won’t be used to conduct attacks in Russian territory.
  • The man who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981 will soon be released from all court oversight. 
  • The Supreme Court issues an opinion that could impact the outcome of Pennsylvania’s cliffhanger Republican Senate primary.

Listen to the podcast below, or read the lightly edited transcript.

Rob Bluey: We are joined on “The Daily Signal Podcast” today by Congressman Mark Green of Tennessee. Congressman, it’s great to be here in your home state. I always like to ask what’s on the mind of your constituents these days as you meet with them and talk to them about the issues that we’re confronting, not only at a national level but perhaps here in the state as well?

Rep. Mark Green: Yeah, sure. First, thanks for having me here and for all that. [The Heritage Foundation] does. We are truly grateful to you guys.

You know, when I travel around the district, it’s sort of a close race between inflation and the border crisis is what’s the most concerning. And if I had to, I mean, if you pinned me down without poll numbers, I’d say probably the border wins out in Tennessee. Both of these are important.

Bluey: Let’s talk about each of those, and we can start with the border. We are in a situation where the numbers keep increasing month after month. Despite what they may be saying publicly, it seems like this administration isn’t taking the necessary steps in order to secure the border. In fact, they’ve undone so many of the policies of this last administration that seemed to be working. What do you want our listeners to know about the situation as it’s impacting people here in Tennessee?

Green: The border issue is pure lawlessness. It’s a refusal to enforce the laws, to secure the border. Even with regards to Title 42, the percentages of people that they’re actually turning back has decreased every month since [President Joe] Biden’s been in office.

So not only are they not doing Migrant Protection Protocols, the “Remain in Mexico” stuff, despite a court order and a refusal of the Supreme Court to enjoin them, they are also not enforcing effectively Title 42. So what we’re seeing is a huge percentage of people coming into the United States, staying in the United States.

And now they’ve just released an interim final rule to change the entire asylum processing situation. They want to undo the [Justice Department]Part of it and give it all [the Department of Homeland Security]This would be a violation of the Constitution as well as the laws that Congress has written.

The net result is obviously all the people who are now coming to the United States. And with [Customs and Border Protection]It is important to address those individuals, especially the unaccompanied children, as it prevents them from performing their job at the border.

Fentanyl has been flooding into the country. The price of fentanyl was $98 a point, that’s how it sold, back in January. It’s now $20-something, $28, $23, somewhere in that range here in Tennessee, according to our sheriffs, which is an easy explanation to any casual observer why so many thousands of Americans more are dying to fentanyl overdose. These tragedies, and the blood of these people are all, are all at Joe Biden’s hands. [Homeland Security Secretary] Alejandro Mayorkas.

Bluey: Let me ask you about fentanyl because it’s an issue that I don’t think gets the attention that it deserves from many media outlets. We have tragedies, of course, Every day in this country, but I mean, this one has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 Americans due to drug overdoses. What can we do to raise awareness and address this problem, make not only people aware of what’s coming across the border but actually helping people maybe get through and recover from some of the tragedies that they’ve experienced in their families?

Green: Yeah. So fentanyl (illegal fentanyl) is being used to make so many other drugs. Parents should talk to their children to make sure they are aware of the facts. [if] a buddy hands them a Xanax, it probably isn’t a Xanax. And there’s a strong chance that it’s fentanyl.

I interviewed a mom, and we’re going to be releasing this video probably next week, she had lost two teenage children. They were at a party when they took Xanax. Everyone in the room died. So this is unbelievable what’s happening, and it has to be addressed.

Your point is valid. We must educate people, and that includes the children. We need to secure our border and prevent fentanyl from entering.

Bluey: Yes, we do. Let’s shift to the topic of inflation. Americans all over the country are suffering. They’re seeing historic, in some cases 40-year highs in inflation. It seems that despite what President Biden has said, outlining in a Wall Street Journal op-ed just this week his plan to fight inflation, it’s not really making a difference. And his policies don’t seem to align with what we, as conservatives, would necessarily prescribe as solutions. What do you hear from your constituents when it comes to the impact that they’re facing when it comes to inflation?

Green: Well, obviously, when the price of food is up almost 10%, it’s devastating to people who are on tight economies, tight budgets. Add to that the increase fuel prices, which are clearly unrelated. I mean, the Biden administration’s attack on the fuel and fossil fuel industries in this country has a down-stream effect on everything else. Diesel must be put in the tractor by the farmer.

The thing that most, I think, angers Tennesseans, anyway, is the comment that the president made about we’re going through a tough transition, as if all this is intentional. I mean, they don’t care about how their policies are impacting the average American, the average Tennessean. They just don’t care.

All they care about is worshiping the god of their green energy, green climate change stuff, and it’s destroying people’s lives. And we’re pushing back as much as we can, but inflation, the energy crisis, the supply chain crisis, all of that is devastating the lives of Tennesseans.

Bluey: It seems they have admitted or the president has admitted that they want to make the transition to green energy. We at The Heritage Foundation and The Daily Signal believe all of the above sources, but we’re not yet at the point where they want to move us in that direction.

What can you do as a member? Although you may not be in the majority, what can you do as a member of Congress to keep the pressure on them, perhaps in hopes that they actually open up some domestic manufacturing?

Green: Well, I think Americans have got to start telling their stories, and I’m telling their stories. Farmers that tell me they’re not going to have any profit margin this year; people who are saying they can’t afford food; they can’t, of course, afford baby formula because there is no baby formula. Tennessee’s been hit especially hard by that. And it’s just, again, failures of this administration.

The more stories we tell, the more pressure it puts upon the Biden administration. It helps us win election in fall. We must also regain the majority of the Senate and House. Obviously, Democrat control of all three, the White House and the Senate and the House, has devastated our country, whether it’s the border or the economy or foreign policy.

Look at Afghanistan’s debacle and you will see that this was most likely the point. [Russian President]Vladimir Putin chose to invade Ukraine. And now that’s cost tens of thousands of lives and it’s cost us billions of dollars to go in there and to try to prevent that from happening. All because Joe Biden failed to act in Afghanistan.

This shows that Democrats control the Senate, House and White House. This is a very bad sign for America. We have to fix it.

Bluey: I have a piece that would directly address the shortage of baby formula. … You mentioned that it’s impacting Tennessee. What would your legislation do? What should Americans know about the current situation?

Green: Yeah. The current regulations effectively prevent overseas competition. They created, I guess, an oligopoly between four U.S. manufacturers. Federal food aid programs buy bulk from certain vendors and it effectively puts everybody out of business. This is how we have the monopoly.

Then there is the manufacturer who had a terrible thing happen at their plant. Whistleblower never made it to the top of the company. Oh, wait. Because the president took over a full year to place someone at the FDA during a COVID crisis, there was no one at top of the organization.

So failure of the administration means failure within the administration [Food and Drug Administration], the failure to go and inspect the plant in a timely fashion, has resulted in the situation that we’re in.

My bill would allow President Obama to waive the stupid regulations in an emergency and allow us import standard baby formula that is competitively made internationally.

And I got a call from an Australian company that’s ready to supply. They’ve got millions. There are many companies. I’m not invested in the Australian baby food, baby milk or formula industry. This is not an attempt to solve a problem. But there are many sources out there and it’s time for the president to act.

This is a crisis. We needed an “Operation Warp Speed” on this, but unfortunately, they lack the ideation or the innovation in this administration to come up with something like that.

Bluey: This sounds like a common sense solution to me. It was a great initiative.

Let’s talk about foreign policy. It was brought up before. You have been a vocal critic of the Chinese Communist Party and recognized them as a threat to the United States.

What do you want your listeners to learn about the challenges we face as you look around the globe? You mentioned Afghanistan, Ukraine, but what other hot spots in the globe should we be paying attention too?

Green: Yeah. The threat they pose to Taiwan is the greatest threat to China. And it’s an urgent situation because 94% of the high-end semiconductors are manufactured in Taiwan. If we believe that the supply chain crisis is serious today, let China hold 94% of the high-end semiconductor market. We wouldn’t be able to make a missile or F-35 or any anything, right? Cars. The backlog is caused by the backlog at chips.

We must do everything we can to stop China from coming to Taiwan. And [Chinese President Xi Jinping] has said he’s going to do it. I mean, the guy said it’ll happen in his lifetime. They’re flying fighter jets and bombers into Taiwanese airspace left and right. Our No. Our No. 1 goal is to discourage that.

And that’s why I think supporting the Ukrainians is so important. If we block Russia, if Xi Jinping is watching, and he is, how the West has come together to support the Ukrainians, perhaps, maybe it’s a deterrent to China.

But elsewhere, their Belt and Road Initiative is destroying economies of small developing countries, addicting them to the Chinese handout, and basically taking people out of the west’s orbit in their effort to undo the liberal rules-based order that was developed after World War II.

So they’re a threat to free markets and, I mean, they’re a threat militarily in the South China Sea. We must respond.

Bluey: We’ve talked a lot about a lot of policy issues here. One of the things I know House Republicans are working towards is an agenda so voters can know what your plan is when they go to the polls this November. Can you talk with us about this process and where things are at the moment, as well as some of the issues that really motivate you and your coworkers?

Green: Yeah. Kevin McCarthy, our current [House] minority leader, and hopefully soon-to-be speaker, has put together seven task forces, one of which I’m on. I’m on the China Task Force. But there’s an economy one. There’s a health care one. There’s one on freedom, and just guaranteeing the freedoms of Americans that Washington, D.C., seems to be taking away these days a lot. Each task force is assigned a specific area of responsibility to create the legislation that will be used by the next Congress.

On top of that, on top of the task forces and the legislation, there’s a commitment to America. And we’re not stealing Newt [Gingrich’s] Contract with America, but it’s pretty close. And we’re going to come up with five to eight things that we guarantee that we’ll do when we’re in control. And we’ll be articulating that commitment to America in August.

Bluey: Congressman, you’re somebody who has served our country. Thank you. We just celebrated Memorial Day here this week. Any words that you want to leave us with as we wrap-up today’s interview about those brave men and women who are putting themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis?

Green: Yeah, sure. Thank you for asking. You know, for me it’s personal. As a Special Operations Unit member, I lost many friends in Afghanistan and Iraq. So we were at the tip, as they would say. And I see those faces in my mind’s eye all the time, but on Memorial Day it’s obviously more important to me or more relevant.

I think the thing I would say is it’s not just the warrior that gives his or her life, it’s their families that are impacted. We need to show love and support to the Gold Star families, especially their children. It’s amazing, just think about it. Who’s going to walk that little girl down the aisle someday? Who’s going to teach that young boy how to pin his boutonniere on his tuxedo?

And we can’t ever forget the sacrifice that those kids make. They give up their mother or father for every day of their lives. So Memorial Day is a very special day to me and it’s a very special day to most Americans, and I’m glad for that.

Bluey: Great. I saw that you and your wife were celebrating the day in Tennessee via social media. So, thanks again. We had a great time with you. Thanks for the work that you’re doing. Are there any closing thoughts you’d like to share with Daily Signal listeners regarding how they can follow your work or other happenings in your district?

Green: Yeah, absolutely. Of course, I’ve got all the webpages and Twitter. I’m real easy to find on that stuff. People need to stay engaged. This is a government for the people, by and for the people. And we need everybody reading and getting good sources for their information and in the fight because the future of our country’s at stake.

It’s very interesting, the comment that Christ made, “Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.” Well, if it’s a government of the people, that means the people, the people are Caesar in a way, right? We have a responsibility as citizens and members of this great nation to contribute to the success of our country. And I think, even from a faith standpoint, it’s important that we do that.

Bluey: Congressman, I just want to say that it is encouraging to hear about parents running for school boards or becoming more involved in their communities. Your words are a great inspiration and we encourage our listeners, to take them to heart. Mark Green, a Tennessee congressman. We appreciate your time with The Daily Signal.

Green: Yeah. Thank you for having me. We appreciate you guys.

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