State of Our Union

Floor Speech

Date: Feb. 9, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GROTHMAN. Mr. Speaker, I am honored to be able to be the last Congressman to speak in this historic State of the Union week here in Congress.

There are several comments that have to be made about the State of the Union because if you are just going to listen to what President Biden had to say, you would have a very warped and distorted view of what is going on in America today.

I think the most harmful thing he said is he one more time talked about the talk and implied that America's police force is a racist police force and a stain on America's reputation. That is a lie. It is a lie. It has been disproven year after year, study after study.

Nevertheless, President Biden, I think in an effort to scare Black Americans into voting for him, claims that we have a horrible racist society in general and a racist police problem in particular.

I will mention two articles which came out right after the unfortunate events, the tragic events, the horrific events that happened in Minneapolis 2 years ago, for those of you back home to google. One article is by a very perceptive gal by the name of Heather Mac Donald, appearing in The Wall Street Journal, and one is by a gentleman, who happens to be Black, appearing in the City Journal at that time.

They both looked not at the number of people who died across the board but looked at a percent of people who committed felonies, a percent of people who committed crimes who wound up in a confrontation with police and wound up passing away. In both instances, they found that, if anything, Black Americans were less likely to die in a confrontation with police.

Again, I will mention these articles, ``The Myth of Systemic Police Racism,'' Heather Mac Donald in The Wall Street Journal in June 2020, and ``Stories and Data,'' Coleman Hughes, in the City Journal of June 2020.

This is something that is a stain on America. Joe Biden is doing all he can to divide America by using his State of the Union Address to claim that the police are racists.

Does this have an effect? It has an effect. It has an effect twice.

First of all, I think it has an effect in that it causes some people to believe him. After all, we have a White President. Why would he be lying and telling us we have all these racist police if we don't? And the effect is that it is causing, sadly, some anger in the Black community, which is resulting in more and more deaths of police.

I thought of this when, earlier this week, I think maybe on the exact day that we had the State of the Union, if not the day earlier, one more policeman, who happened to be White, was murdered in Milwaukee.

Is this myth that is going out there, talking about racist police, racist police, racist police, causing more police to die? I don't know, but it is something to look at.

I think it also causes the police, understandably, to be less aggressive and less effective because they are always afraid of being called out for being racist.

If President Biden is lying and telling everybody that we have all these racist police, it is surprising that the police themselves are a little more afraid to be aggressive or engage in I guess what I will call traditional policing.

Last year, in Milwaukee, a city which is just adjacent to my district, the number of murders went up I think about 25, to an all- time high. It was the third year in a row that we had an all-time high number of murders in Milwaukee, and that is despite the fact that the population is drifting down. Why are we at an all-time high number of murders in Milwaukee?

Generally, I think the police, first of all, are not adequately funded. To a certain extent, they are not adequately funded because politicians like Joe Biden get out there and tell us how horrible and racist the police are. Is it any surprise that the Milwaukee City Council would not want to hire many police?

Secondly, the Milwaukee police are afraid to go into certain neighborhoods, sometimes high-crime neighborhoods where they are especially used because they are afraid if they do confront the criminal element, they will get labeled as racist. Rather than worry about some cheap politician like Joe Biden calling them racist over time, why not just stand back, not be aggressive, and not get labeled?

In any event, I felt of all the lies of President Biden, his drumbeat of racism in society in general and racism with regard to police is the most damaging.

Mr. Speaker, the next thing that I thought was very scary for the country as a whole, I think probably the biggest crisis that has developed in the last 2 years, is the crisis at the border. Admittedly, if you don't live in Arizona or don't live in Texas, you might not see the full import of the crisis.

President Biden implied that this is, at best, something that just miraculously happened out of nowhere and, at worst, was happening because the Republicans aren't doing enough to help him close the border.

I would like to leave America with some numbers. These are both numbers from December. In December 2020, a grand total of 21,000 people crossed the border. In December 2022, 2 years into the Biden Presidency, 238,000 people crossed the border, an increase of 11 times.

This is not something that just happened. It was a problem when we had 28,000 people crossing the border under the Trump administration. When it goes up by a factor of 11, it is not because the Republicans aren't negotiating. There are all sorts of things we negotiate whenever we put together the annual budget, and a given number of Republicans vote for it.

No, it is because Joe Biden changed the policy at the border. He is making it much easier for immigrants to cross the border. For whatever reason, he wants to apparently change America by entering in the people who receive no instruction, no education on our Constitution and the values that you are supposed to adapt if you are an American citizen. As a result, we are over 11 times as many people crossing the border as 2 years ago.

He didn't mention at all the number of people that are deported for committing crimes. The number of people we are deporting right now is about one quarter the number of people who were deported when President Trump was in office, as well.

Now, President Trump wasn't a perfect man, but I will tell you, even at the time, a lot of people were not being deported. What we have is, we have a President who, even after people prove themselves unfit to become Americans by committing crimes, they are not deported.

I want the American public to ponder those numbers. We have gone from 20,000 a month to 238,000 a month.

I also want to point out the huge number of unaccompanied minors coming across the border. There was a time when the mainstream media felt it was horrific if, even for a few days while their parents were being processed, children were without their parents.

We have gone in the last 2 years from around 2,000 to around 8,000 every month of unaccompanied minors crossing into our border.

Where are their parents?

We apparently don't care. We are told: we find sponsors for these young people.

I am told by the Border Patrol that particularly the Central American countries do not like the current policy of the United States of taking in unaccompanied minors here. After all, they believe that is the future of their countries. They do not like us grabbing all their minors.

Where are the advocates?

We let over 8,000 young children into the country every year and we may have no idea whatsoever where their parents are.

Do their parents know where the new sponsors are?

Do we know if these children are being human trafficked?

What do we know? Nothing.

There are 8,000 children, not without their parents for 2 or 3 days, but could be without their parents for the rest of their lives.

I hope America takes away the moral stain on our Nation of allowing the separation of 8,000 or 9,000 minors every month from their parents. I hope the American public does not fawn to the idea that somehow the reason we have 230,000 people every month crossing the border is because of Republican inaction.

Good grief, in the last 2 years, we didn't have the House, we didn't have the Senate, and we sure didn't have the Presidency. The reason for that is because he has changed policy from what it was 2 years ago.

It is not rocket science to get back down to 20,000. You just have to go back to what the laws were 2 years ago, but President Biden clearly doesn't want to do that. He wants as many people coming here as possible. Like I said, the clearest evidence of that is not only letting everybody here, but he is not even deporting people who break the law.

In any event, that is, I think, what we have to look at when we look at the southern border and the policies that are going on down there.

The next thing that I don't think he spent anywhere near enough time on--but it should be required to be addressed by, quite frankly, every politician, in part, because of his inaction at the southern border and, in part, because of his hatred of the police or as labeling police as racist--we now have over 100,000 fentanyl deaths in this country every month. As I have said before, we have more people dying of illegal drug use in this country every month, twice as many people as died in the Vietnam war collectively.

Now, I am old enough to remember the Vietnam war. I remember the media pounding, pounding, pounding that we had to get out of Vietnam because, by the time it was over, 57,000 Americans had lost their lives.

We are now at 180,000 deaths from illegal drugs each year and what do we get?

We get less focused on the border than ever before, we get attacks on the police for fear of being called racist, and, as a result, that number keeps going up and up and up.

When I think of all the parents who have lost children, people who have lost their siblings, people who have lost their parents because of these drug overdoses--frequently people who are taking drugs don't know fentanyl is in the drugs--I think, why isn't the government doing anything?

To be honest, it kind of stumps me.

Why does the Biden administration not care that over 100,00 people are dying?

Why doesn't the news media make that a banner headline? Wouldn't you think?

Over 9,000 people are dying every month of illegal drug overdose, most of it fentanyl, the press doesn't report about it.

I am more than appalled that President Biden didn't spend more time talking about the huge drug problems we have in America and the huge number of deaths rather than focusing on, what I would consider in some cases, rather minor issues.

The final thing to talk about is President Biden mentioned Ukraine. He did not talk about what we are going to do to end that war. And as more people die over there, admittedly not Americans, but as more people die, one would hope that the Western nations, and the United States in particular--who didn't seem that concerned when the war began, after all, it was predicted that next month Russia is going to invade, blah, blah, blah--but President Biden didn't seem to care that the war was starting.

Then the war started, and we really haven't made much of an effort to end the war. At the end of every war, unless there is complete victory on one side or the other, usually every side gets something and loses something, and has to sell the fact that all these people died for a reason or for a purpose.

The United States is not, from what I can see, making an effort to end this war. Again, we are told thousands of soldiers are dying every month. We know Russia is a very powerful country with regard to nuclear weapons, but also tactical nuclear weapons, the ability to shut down electricity, the ability to use hypersonic missiles.

Nevertheless, it seems as though the Biden administration would be perfectly happy if this war were going on another 2 years from now. That is just intolerable.

As I said, it is a human disaster for Russia and Ukraine, and the possibility that this war will bleed into the United States--or, even more likely, bleed into Poland and bleed into Germany--is something that should concern us all.

But for whatever motivation--and one can only guess at motivations, this is where conspiracy theories come in--the powers that be in the United States--the one-world-government types--don't seem to be bothered by this war at all.

It is something that demands more speculation, and the next time President Biden wanders into some microphones, he should be asked a little bit more: Do you have a plan for wrapping this up?

The answer to which appears to me right now is that, no, he does not.

There are a few issues that I think we should have spent more time on addressing, or that President Biden should have spent more time on addressing. I hope just because it is not a State of the Union Address doesn't mean he can't give speeches. He runs around the country.

First of all, I would call upon President Biden to apologize to the police of the country and admit that the studies that are out here in The Wall Street Journal and in the City Journal are accurate and the police are not racist.

Please, President Biden, stop lying to the American public and tell the American public that Black people are not disproportionately being harmed by the police.

I hope President Biden does something on the border. Above all, he has got to change his policy and send more people back to Mexico, although more Border Patrol agents wouldn't hurt. If he cared about drugs, more drug-sniffing dogs wouldn't hurt.

But, please, President Biden, pay a little attention to what is going on at the border before we lose this country.

I ask you to spend a little time seriously focusing on the fentanyl crisis. We should not be losing over 100,000 citizens every month.

Please, I realize we can't do it, but you can allow Israel or Turkey or France--push them a little bit--to work towards some sort of final agreement with Russia. I think it is obvious Russia probably regrets invading Ukraine given the huge number of people whom they have had die. I can't help but think Ukraine, being the smaller country, the number of people who die is a bigger proportion of their population. Plus I believe they have had tens of millions--or at least they claim-- a significant number of civilians who have died in the war.

I think economically it is going to take both Russia and, in particular, Ukraine quite a while to recover from this. It would be nice if President Biden displayed a little bit of humanity. He didn't try to stop the war right before it started. His intelligence agencies predicted it. There were things he could have done. He didn't do them, but I wish now he would step forward and display a little humanity there.

Mr. Speaker, I am grateful for this time to speak, and I yield back the balance of my time.