As Congress returns to work Dunn talks border, Biden bills

Congressman Neal Dunn was headed back to Washington Monday and while his party remains in the minority Dunn, (R-Panama City) said Republicans work with Democrats where they can while still standing up for thier priorities.

“In a rare bright sport of bipartisanship we did pass a cyber security act that should help the energy infrastructure,” Dunn said.

The country is reeling from a series of hacks on everything from an oil pipeline, meat processing and drinking water. These hacks are coming from Russia, Dunn said.

“Putin will say it’s not the Russian state it’s just bad people in Russia,” he added. “Having said that we think he could stop that immediately with the waive of his hand. I mean Putin has that kind of ability.”

Dunn added that he is working with NATO to confront Russia, Iran, and China. Meanwhile, Dunn and other Republicans argue that the large amount of immigration at the US Southern Border is a crisis.

“This is the largest human trafficking operation in the history of the world,” Dunn said.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently responded to the issue by ordering that law enforcement officers from head to the border in Texas and Arizona to assist with state-level efforts there to stop illegal immigration.

The money spent by those trying to cross the border, along with the spending the American people do on illegal drugs, flows to the cartels, Dunn said.

“This is a terrible human trafficking thing and we just need to stop incentivizing them to come because we are making the cartels rich by doing this,” he added.

Here at home President Joe Biden and Republicans have been discussing an infrastructure bill. However, the two sides seem far apart on the issue. Biden wants $1.7 trillion in spending on everything from traditional infrastructure like bridges, roads and airports and what he calls human infrastructure which includes money for home care workers, affordable housing, schools and child care facilities.

Republicans like Dunn say there is a lot of waste in the bill. Their current plan calls for $500 billion in spending.

“They don’t help the economy recover and that’s what we need is an economy that’s recovering and growing and not overheating,” Dunn said. “Right now we are overheating it by just pouring money into people’s pockets and that’s causes inflation and the inflation year over year is at 5 plus percent at this point. That’s the most we’ve seen since the financial crisis of 2008.”

Some economists argue that the higher prices are a temporary result of pandemic-related issues. Factories were shut down and so materials were not being produced which led to a rise in lumber prices and other items which in turn led to a spike in the price to build a new home.

But Dunn and others say the choices made Biden, including shutting down the Keystone Pipeline and supporting a robust unemployment system will continue to cause high prices. 

“I can tell you when I go to the pump to buy gasoline it’s up about 60 percent over a few months ago,” Dunn said.

Washington County News and Holmes County Times-Advertiser Editor Carol Kent Wyatt contributed to this report.