By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
December was busy in Washington
Ron Estes
Congressman Ron Estes

Each month I want to provide you with regular updates about what’s going on in our nation’s capital and throughout the 4th District of Kansas. Here’s what happened in December.

Addressing the border crisis

Since Biden became president, there have been more than 6.4 million illegal crossings at the southern border and there have been 1.7 million known gotaways who have evaded U.S. Border Patrol. These staggering numbers make every town a border town. 

Recently, the Biden administration has worsened this crisis by allowing New York City to house thousands of migrants in an active community park in Brooklyn that is on National Park Service land. Additionally, the lease is legally dubious and bypassed standard environmental reviews. That’s why the House passed the Protecting Our Communities from Failure to Secure the Border Act of 2023 to revoke the lease and stop the Biden administration from turning national parks into housing for illegal immigrants.

The legislation even picked up Democrat support, with six Democrats voting with all but one Republican in favor of the bill.

Additionally, Customs and Border Protection suspended operations at two major international rail crossings for multiple days in December in order to make officers available to process the record number of migrants illegally entering the United States – all right before the busy Christmas season.

Biden’s open border policies continue to wreak havoc on Americans, not just in border towns, but in communities across the country. We need to secure our borders immediately. I joined my colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary Mayorkas demanding answers into how this decision was made.

Stopping the flow of funds to Iran

In the weeks since the vicious attacks committed against Israel on Oct. 7, it has become increasingly clear that Iran played a role in these acts of terrorism.

I voted in favor of legislation to effectively freeze the $6 billion of Iranian funds that were released as part of the Biden administration’s negotiated hostage exchange in September. The bill received broad bipartisan support, with 90 Democrats voting with all but one Republican in favor of the bill.

Despite claims to the contrary, the $6 billion handed over by the administration is fungible and can be used by Iran to support acts of terror, like the attacks launched against Israel on Oct. 7. Moreover, since the October invasion, there have been more than 70 attacks on U.S. troops in the region. U.S. funds should be kept far out of reach from those who would commit such acts against the U.S. and our allies.

Protecting choice and affordability

Americans are paying more for nearly everything these days. Despite claims that prices have decreased, inflation is still up more than 17% since Joe Biden took office. So it seems absurd that the Biden administration would be trying to force Americans to purchase electric vehicles by 2032 through their proposed “Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Year 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium-Duty Vehicles” rule when the infrastructure is not in place and it is impractical for some Americans to own an EV.

And according to further research, there are downsides to EVs as well. The carbon output of creating a lithium battery, which is vital for EV vehicles, releases the same amount of carbon dioxide as a standard gas-powered car traveling 33,000 miles. Material inputs for just the drivetrain of an EV are six times what is required for an internal combustion engine. And cobalt, an essential material for EV batteries, currently has a limited supply, making it nearly impossible to meet the aspirational demand.

Simply put, the rush to all EVs is not something most Americans want or can afford, nor is it practical for rural Kansans.

In December I voted for the CARS Act to protect choice and affordability by stopping the Biden administration’s ban on new gas automobiles – ensuring families can choose a vehicle that works for them.

Authorizing an impeachment inquiry

The House voted to authorize an official impeachment inquiry into whether sufficient grounds exist to impeach President Biden. The House of Representatives exists to serve the American people and provide checks and balances on the other branches of government. Authorizing a formal impeachment inquiry simply aids this process and ensures we can pursue all of the evidence and bring to light all of the facts.

An impeachment is a serious matter, and all we’re after at this stage is the truth. A formal impeachment inquiry will help us get that and provide transparency to the American people.

This comes after the Ways and Means Committee on which I serve held a hearing where we voted to release additional evidence from the two IRS whistleblowers that shed new light on how the president benefited from his son Hunter’s business dealings. Through the whistleblowers and the impeachment inquiry thus far, we’ve learned more about President Biden’s awareness of and role in his son’s business dealings.

What we’ve discovered is in direct contradiction with what Biden has said on multiple occasions – he had no knowledge of, nor ever spoke to his son Hunter about his business dealings. The documents the Ways and Means Committee released show that then-Vice President Biden used multiple email aliases and private email addresses to communicate with Hunter’s business partners. 

This evidence confirms the need to keep moving forward with our impeachment inquiry to uncover all of the facts and ensure that the same standard of justice is applied to all Americans – regardless of who they are or what their name is. 

Connect with me

Interested in receiving regular updates about what’s going on in Congress? Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter please don’t hesitate to reach out to my District Office in Wichita at 316-262-8992 if you have questions, concerns or need help with a federal agency.

Ron Estes, one of only a handful of engineers in Congress, worked in the aerospace, energy and manufacturing sectors before representing Kansas’ 4th Congressional District since 2017. He is a fifth-generation Kansan, former state treasurer, and serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means, Budget Committee, and Education and the Workforce Committee.