During the House Oversight Committee’s Thursday hearing on the Arizona Senate’s audit, Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) criticized Democrats’ rhetoric and conduct. Biggs accused Democrats of hypocrisy for both praising and condemning the audit. He further claimed that Democrats cherry-picked data from the audit report to fit a narrative.
“You know the Democrats can’t really have it both ways, can they?” asked Biggs. “You cannot say that the audit showed the integrity of the election, while at the same time claiming that the mere fact of an audit, in and of itself, is a threat existentially. You can’t do that. It’s a fallacious, logical inconsistency.”
The committee announced the hearing Wednesday to discuss “how this and similar audits undermine public confidence in elections and threaten our democracy.” Two of Maricopa County’s election officials, Supervisor Bill Gates and Chairman Jack Sellers, testified.
As part of his opening statement, Biggs revealed that Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12) told him that Democrats were critical of the audit and had an agenda before it even began. Maloney also reportedly shared that her fellow Democrats were opposed to any legislative changes to improve election integrity.
Biggs reminded the committee that one of the major audit focuses, Maricopa County, hasn’t always had a spotless elections reputation.
“In 2018, in Maricopa County, most of you may not know this, there were such problems with the Maricopa County election that the Democrat county recorder – who was the elections official for the county, Adrian Fontes – got to go under scrutiny by this board of supervisors, who took everything back from him that they possibly could legally and statutorily. That’s the history of problems in Maricopa County in our voting.”
Additionally, Biggs reminded the committee that every losing political party since 2001 has cast doubts on the fairness and impartiality of the results.
“You cannot argue that questions regarding election integrity from the right is an attack on our democracy, our constitutional republic – especially after four years of the Democrats claiming that the 2016 presidential election was stolen because of Russian interference,” said Biggs. “I advocated for a full forensic audit because I felt election integrity should be restored.”
According to the congressman, Maricopa County’s own audit efforts were dwarfed in comparison to their efforts to stop the Senate audit.
“[They] spent $18,000 for those two audits, but spent literally hundreds of thousands of dollars [and engaged in] multiple lawsuits to prevent the audit that we’re discussing today,” observed Biggs.
Representatives Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05), David Schweikert (R-AZ-06), and Debbie Lesko (R-AZ-08) are original cosponsors on legislation to award Congressional Gold Medals to the 13 service members killed in Kabul last week. The Congressional Gold Medal is widely considered the highest congressional expression of appreciation on behalf of the nation.
The 13 service members were Johanny Rosario Pichardo, Nicole Gee, Darin Hoover, Hunter Lopez, Daegan Page, Humberto Sanchez, David Espinoza, Jared M. Schmitz, Rylee Mccollum, Dylan Merola, Kareem Nikoui, Maxton Soviak, and Ryan Knauss.
Representative Lisa McClain (R-MI-10) introduced the legislation on Tuesday. As McClain noted in her legislation, the 13 service members’ deaths marked the single deadliest day in the Afghanistan war in over 10 years.
“The American service members went above and beyond the call of duty to protect citizens of the United States and our allies to ensure they are brought to safety in an extremely dangerous situation as the Taliban regained control over Afghanistan,” read the legislation. “The American service members exemplified extreme bravery and valor against armed enemy combatants. The American service members dedicated their lives and their heroism deserves great honor.”
If awarded, the medals would be given to the Smithsonian Institution to memorialize the service members and the day of the Kabul attack: August 26.
A total of 150 other representatives have signed onto the legislation: 129 Republicans, and 21 Democrats.
The representatives to sign on were Don Young (R-AK), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Jerry Carl (R-AL), Gary Palmer (R-AL), Barry Moore (R-AL), Rick Crawford (R-AR), Bruce Westermann (R-AR), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Sara Jacobs (D-CA), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Young Kim (R-CA), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Mike Garcia (R-CA), David Valadao (R-CA), Mike Levin (D-CA), Pete Aguilar (D-CA), Jay Obernolte (R-CA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Greg Steube (R-FL), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Al Lawson (D-FL), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Kat Cammack (R-FL), Scott Franklin (R-FL), Brian Mast (R-FL), Darren Soto (D-FL), Maria Salazar (R-FL), Byron Donalds (R-FL), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Jody Hice (R-GA), Rick Allen (R-GA), Drew Ferguson (R-GA), Buddy Carter (R-GA), Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), Lucy McBath (D-GA), Ashley Hinson (R-IA), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Mike Simpson (R-ID), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Mike Bost (R-IL), Jim Banks (R-IN-), Larry Buschon (R-IN-), Andre Carson (D-IN), Russ Fulcher (R-IN), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Victoria Spartz (R-IN), Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN), Greg Pence (R-IN), Tracey Mann (R-KS), Jake LaTurner (R-KS), Brett Guthrie (R-KY), Garret Graves (R-LA), Julia Letlow (R-LA), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Bill Keating (D-MA), Andy Harris (R-MD), Jared Golden (D-ME), Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Peter Meijer (R-MI), Tim Walberg (R-MI), John Moolenaar (R-MI), Elise Slotkin (D-MI), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Ann Wagner (R-MO), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Jason Smith (R-MO), Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Trent Kelly (R-MS), Steven Palazzo (R-MS), Michael Guest (R-MS), Don Bacon (R-NE-), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Adrian Smith (R-NE), Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), Richard Hudson (R-NC), Greg Murphy (R-NC), David Rouzer (R-NC), Ted Budd (R-NC), Dan Bishop (R-NC), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Yvette Herrell (R-NM), Mark Amodei (R-NV), Ruben Gallego (D-NV), Steven Horsford (D-NV), Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), Chris Jacobs (R-NY), Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Joseph Morelle (D-NY), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Warren Davidson (R-OH), Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Bob Latta (R-OH), Dave Joyce (R-OH), Mike Turner (R-OH), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), Stephanie Bice (R-OK-), Tom Cole (R-OK), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA), Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), G.T. Thompson (R-PA), Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon (R-PR), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Dusty Johnson (R- SD), Diana Harshbarger (R-TN), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), David Kustoff (R-TN), Tim Burchett (R-TN), Lance Gooden (R-TX), August Pfluger (R-TX), Randy Weber (R-TX), Roger Williams (R-TX), Beth Van Duyne (R-TX), Filemon Vela (D-TX), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Pat Fallon (R-TX), Blake Moore (R-UT), Burgess Owens (R-UT), John Curtis (R-UT), Bob Good (R-VA), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Rob Wittman (R-VA), Ben Cline (R-VA), Elaine Luria (D-VA), Jaime Herrera-Beutler (R-WA), Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA), Bryan Steil (R-WI), Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Glenn Grothman (R-WI), David McKinley (R-WV), Carol Miller (R-WV), Alex Mooney (R-WV), and Liz Cheney (R-WY).
Last month, Representatives Paul Gosar (R-AZ-04) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) voted against expediting visas for Afghans fleeing the Taliban. The Averting Loss of Life and Injury by Expediting SIVs Act (ALLIES) Act applies to Afghans that assisted the U.S. in the war: this includes interpreters, contractors, and security.
The ALLIES Act ensured that Afghans could receive special immigrant visas more quickly by removing certain application requirements, namely the proof that the applicant was currently experiencing or had experienced an ongoing serious threat due to their employment with the U.S. government. Instead, Afghans could apply if they believed there existed the possibility of a serious threat. The act also increased the number of available visas by 11,000.
Gosar explained that he is more focused on bringing Americans home safely. He argued that this should be the first and only priority, before assisting Afghans.
“How many US citizens are trapped in Afghanistan? I don’t see reliable info on this. It’s critical we get our people out safely,” said Gosar. “It’s not critical to use planes to bring Afghans here. To see our transports full of illegal aliens and not US citizens is immoral.”
Although the ALLIES Act was introduced in a bipartisan manner, 16 House Republicans voted against the measure.
In addition to Gosar and Biggs, “no” votes on the ALLIES Act included Representatives Lauren Boebert (R-CO-03), Mo Brooks (R-AL-05), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN-04), Jeff Duncan (R-SC-03), Bob Good (R-VA-05), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA-14), Kevin Hern (R-OK-01), Jody Hice (R-GA-10), Thomas Massie (R-KY-04), Barry Moore (R-AL-02), Scott Perry (R-PA-10), Bill Posey (R-FL-08), Matthew Rosendale (R-MT), and Chip Roy (R-TX-21).
Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) announced on Friday that he will file articles of impeachment against Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over the burgeoning border crisis.
In a press release, Biggs called Mayorkas a threat to the country. Biggs intends to file the articles of impeachment in the coming weeks. The congressman hasn’t specified a date.
“Secretary Mayorkas is a threat to the sovereignty and security of our nation. As a result of his actions and policies, America is more in danger today than when he began serving as Secretary. He is willfully refusing to maintain operational control of the border and is encouraging aliens to enter our country illegally,” stated Biggs. “Under his direction, DHS is systematically releasing COVID-19 positive aliens into our communities, subjecting the American people to unnecessary and avoidable risks. Secretary Mayorkas is failing to faithfully uphold his oath of office and is presiding over a reckless abandonment of border security and immigration enforcement, at the expense of the U.S. Constitution and the security of the United States.”
Mayorkas hasn’t issued a response to Biggs’ promise.
AZ Free News reached out to both Biggs and Mayorkas for comment. Neither responded by press time.
Another leading the charge on Mayorkas’s removal is Congressman Chip Roy (R-TX-21). Last Monday, Roy advocated for Mayorkas’ impeachment.
“It’s time to draw a line in the sand, for the sake of our country, our communities, our kids, and those who seek to come here. It’s time to impeach @SecMayorkas for failing to uphold immigration law, enforce Title 42, and secure our border,” said Roy. “We demand a secure border and safe neighborhoods. It’s our country. These are our terms.”
THREAD: PRELIMINARY JULY BORDER NUMBERS
(USBP only, subject to increase)
Total encounters: 205,029
Total known gotaways: 37,400
1.3 million for FY 21 so far
Largest monthly encounter number since 2000. Total is bigger than every full-year total since FY21
As context for his call to impeach Mayorkas, Roy cited the preliminary border patrol numbers on illegal immigrants for July. This included over 205,000 encounters, with 37,400 total known “gotaways.” For the fiscal year 2021, there are 1.3 million of those so far.
Gotaways are illegal immigrants that are observed breaching the border but not apprehended.
Roy noted that these totals reflect the largest monthly encounter for illegal immigrants in all of DHS history. The current total is bigger than every full-year total since last year. In addition to that data, Roy shared that agents and officers have seized over 8,500 pounds of fentanyl during the first nine months of fiscal year 2021 – enough to kill every American citizen five times over.
Then on Monday, Rody led 21 House Republicans to demand answers on the Biden Administration’s border crisis from Mayorkas and DHS on Monday.
“[The] numbers are appalling and are a direct result of the Biden Administration’s weak border policies and your lackluster performance as the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. DHS’s mission is ‘with honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, our values.’ Frankly, you are not fulfilling that mission,” wrote Roy. “The southern border is in crisis despite the Biden Administration’s refusal to call it what it is. The American people can see the numbers, and Americans in communities across the nation are feeling the burden of our open borders.”
The House Republicans requested information including any executive orders to repeal or rescind policies in effect before President Joe Biden’s inauguration, the total number of illegal immigrants (including children) and their demographics, the number of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and Office of Field Operations agents who were reassigned from border patrol sectors to shelters detaining illegal immigrants, the number and handling of COVID-19 positive illegal immigrants, and information on all illegal immigrant shelter operations and their funding.
Biggs didn’t sign onto Roy’s letter.
Representatives Randy Weber (R-TX-14)), Beth Van Duyne (R-TX-24), Michael Cloud (R-TX-27), Debbie Lesko (R-AZ-08), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA-14), Gregory Steube (R-FL-17), Doug Lamborn (R-CO-05), Troy Balderson (R-OH-12), Glenn Grothman (R-WI-06), Vern Buchanan (R-FL-16), Bob Gibbs (R-OH-07), Matthew Rosendale (R-MT), David Rouzer (R-NC-07), Dan Bishop (R-NC-09), Lauren Boebert (R-CO-03), Bob Good (R-VA-05), Barry Moore (R-AL-02), Madison Cawthorn (R-NC-11), and Jody Hice (R-GA-10) signed onto the letter.
Congressmen Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar introduced a bill last week, the Fairness for High-Skilled Americans Act, which will amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate the Optional Practice Training Program. The “OPT” Program, administered by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is a guest worker program that was never authorized by Congress.
OPT was greatly expanded by the Obama Administration. It circumvents the H-1B cap by allowing over 100,000 aliens admitted as foreign students to work for up to three years in the United States after graduation, according to the congressmen.
The foreign workers are exempt from payroll taxes making them at least 10-15 percent cheaper than a comparable American worker.
“What country creates a program, but not a law, that rewards its businesses to fire citizen workers and replace them with foreign labor to pay the foreign labor less? The United States,” said Gosar in a press release. “The program is called OPT and it reflects a complete abandonment of our own workers.”
“At a time when American college graduates are struggling to find a job and many are saddled with student loans, our government should not be incentivizing foreign employees over Americans. This badly flawed government program should be eliminated,” said Gosar.
According to Rosemary Jenks, Director of Government Relations for NumbersUSA, the OPT Program “invented entirely through executive action, has become one of the largest guest worker programs in the United States. OPT openly undercuts American workers, particularly higher-skilled workers and recent college graduates, by giving employers an actual tax incentive to hire compliant, inexpensive foreign labor under the guise of “student training.”
“Landing that first job out of college will only become more difficult for young Americans as our universities formalize the role they play in crowding out opportunities once reserved for American graduates. For this reason, OPT must be eliminated. I praise the efforts of Congressman Paul Gosar in drafting the Fairness for High Skilled Americans Act and encourage his colleagues in both the House and Senate to join him in protecting opportunities for America’s STEM graduates,” stated Kevin Lynn, Founder of U.S. Techworkers.
Congressman Gosar first introduced the Fairness for High-Skilled Americans Act in the 116th Congress and has twice signed amicus briefs in support of American workers in their lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to eliminate OPT.