WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) questioned Secretary of State Antony Blinken on why the United States is relying on dictators and our adversaries for energy, when we could be using American energy to power our nation and help our allies.
Senator Barrasso also questioned Secretary Blinken on the ongoing crisis at the southern border and the administration’s plans to address the surge of illegal migrants attempting to enter the country.
On Relying on Dictators for Energy:
“Mr. Secretary, welcome back from Ukraine. You have obviously dealt with issues relating to energy and you’ve heard a lot from the members of the Republican side today. That energy – the way Russia uses energy – is a weapon and the impact it has brought to Ukraine.
“Senator Rounds asked a question on energy, and you stated that ‘we need to accelerate transition to renewables’ and you said, ‘you can’t weaponize the sun, can’t weaponize the wind.’
“But you also can’t run a modern economy on sunshine and whether it’s a windy day or not.
“I will say, from the first days in office, the Biden administration has failed prioritize energy security. Which I have always said is part of our national security.
“Under your leadership, the State Department is looking to cut deals with dictators in order to access more energy resources.
“The State Department is in negotiations to remove sanctions on Iran’s energy sector as part of the Iran nuclear deal.
“State Department officials also traveled to Venezuela to meet with Maduro to discuss removing sanctions to access additional crude oil.
“You personally called on OPEC + to increase production to ‘stabilize global energy markets, to make sure that there remains an abundant supply of energy around the world.’
“The State Department then went to Qatar and other foreign countries to ask them export more liquefied natural gas to Europe.
“All of this is happening at the same time the administration you serve on has made it harder to produce American energy. I heard about it again this week back home in Wyoming.
“Energy security is critically important. Our adversaries would love to see us more dependent upon them to meet our own energy needs at home in America.
“We should not be removing energy sanctions on brutal dictators. It is unacceptable to bankroll the terrorist activities of Iran. It is a mistake to go to Venezuela and ask for more energy.
“It is dangerous to rely on Russia for energy resources – oil, gas, coal, and uranium. We need to increase production of American energy resources.
“Our nation has plenty of energy to power our nation and to provide our allies and friends with a stable energy supply.
“Can you explain why the administration is more focused on buying energy from our enemies than finding ways to increase American energy exports and production here?”
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s remarks on relying on dictators for energy.
On the Crisis at the Southern Border:
“Let me move to the crisis at the southern border. Last month, 220,000 illegal immigrants were apprehended at the US-Mexico border.
“In 2021, after President Biden was sworn into office, there were 1.9 million apprehensions. We are currently on pace for over 2 million this year.
“President Biden tasked the vice president with addressing the crisis at the southern border. The president is talking about removing Title 42 because apparently COVID is behind us.
“Although since you started testifying this morning, there has been news reports that Senator Wyden, Senator Murphy from this committee, and the vice president are all right now with COVID.
“During the vice president’s visit to Guatemala last year, Vice President Kamala Harris sent a message to illegal immigrants attempting to enter the United States.
“She stated, ‘I want to be clear to folks in this region who are thinking about making that dangerous trek to the United States-Mexico border: Do not come, do not come.’
“She went on to say, ‘I believe if you come to our border, you will be turned back.’
“Do you agree with the those statements by the vice president that if you come you will be turned back?”
“That’s not happening. And it’s not going to happen. And that is how you go from more illegal immigrants coming into the country in the first 14 months of President Biden in office than the previous four years of President Trump in the White House.
“So now we are at a point where we are facing a crisis that the administration appears to be sending a different message with revoking Title 42.
“It’s a critical border control tool. As you mentioned, for public health – to protect the public. What we are going to see is a massive surge.
“The head of Homeland Security from this administration said they are not prepared. The head of Homeland Security from President Obama’s term said we are not prepare to handle what’s coming this way.
“So, Elizabeth Warren explained on CNN this weekend, she said, ‘the Biden administration is putting plans in place to deal with people who are asking for amnesty and relief at the border.’
“Can you please describe the plans the Biden administration is putting in place, that Senator Warren alluded to, to deal with the surge of migrants attempting to enter our country?”
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s remarks on the crisis at the southern border.