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Once the ballots are counted, lawmakers will settle down to doing the people’s business. If Republicans can retake the House and Senate, here’s how America’s approach to foreign policy may change.
1. The China Jihad
Expect the new Congress to take the gloves off on fighting back against Beijing. Last month’s Chinese Communist Party Congress produced what amounted to a clear declaration that Beijing intends to take down the United States. Lawmakers will find no comfort in the administration’s recently released national strategies, which declare China to be a problem of the first order and then offer no real solutions.
President Joe Biden is sticking to his mantra of “compete where we must, cooperate where we can.” This is akin to declaring Freddy Kruger is real and then taking a sleeping pill. The new Congress won’t stand for it.
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2. Border Security and Immigration
Biden’s open-border policies have seriously hindered his party’s chances of coming out on top at the polls. That lesson will not be lost on congressional leaders. Expect them to press for a return to sensible immigration enforcement policies. And don’t be surprised to see a Republican-led House try to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
3. Provide for the Common Defense
The Biden administration released its National Defense Strategy, Missile Defense Review, and Nuclear Posture Review all on the same day. Conservative leaders on the Hill received them with all the enthusiasm movie critics expressed for “Ishtar.”
Congress has been dissatisfied with Biden’s defense policies since day one. His proposed defense budget was so inadequate, even his own party refused to support it. Recently, The Heritage Foundation released its annual “Index of U.S. Military Strength,” which assessed the capability of our armed forces as lower than it has been in a decade — even though the threats they must contain have increased dramatically. Taking into account congressional attention to the report, Congress could well look to take defense policy into its own hands.
4. #StandwithUkraine — with a twist
Don’t expect a U-turn on U.S. policy regarding Ukraine. The new Congress won’t abandon Ukraine like Biden quit Afghanistan. That said, congressional leaders will draw a finer distinction between supporting the Ukrainian people and supporting Biden administration policies which have been both tentative and spendthrift. Expect conservative leadership in Congress to finetune both their talking points and their policy proposals.
The freshman class of legislators will have not spent much time delving into the issue. After all, virtually every congressional race focused on domestic issues. The newcomers will need their leaders to articulate better both why supporting Ukraine is in America’s interests and the realities of how our policies there are working and where they are not.
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Expect leadership to sharpen the points of concern about the Biden response to the Russian invasion. Military aid should, in fact, have flowed faster and been more robust. Americans also need reassurance that the Europeans are providing their fair share of assistance and that U.S. non-military aid is not being wasted or enriching kleptocrats.
Congress should insist on a much better plan for long-term reconstruction, one that will keep Ukraine from becoming another foreign aid-dependent basket case like Iraq and Afghanistan. Finally, Americans need to see a real and realistic long-term plan to safeguard U.S. interests against future Russian aggressions.
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That said, the new leadership in Congress will want to demonstrate to our allies that America is a reliable partner, one that makes good on its commitments and lives up to its responsibilities. At the same time, they will need to make clear that partnership is a two-way street, and the U.S. fully expects its allies to carry their fair share of the burden as well.
5. Global Climate Policy
More and more Americans are seeing climate-alarmism and progressive’s dystopian climate policies for what they are: a scam. Expect congressional leaders to fight back against the administration’s extremist energy and environmental. The Congress will want to restore American energy independence and put a stop to U.S. funding of a profligate and dangerous global green agenda.
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