“They’re going to try to go as far left as they can on everything.”

Barrasso Critiques Senate Democrats’ Agenda

WASHINGTON, DC — The Ripon Society hosted a breakfast discussion this past Thursday with the senior Senator from Wyoming and Senate Republican Conference Chair John Barrasso.

The discussion focused on the current state of affairs in the Senate and what can be expected this summer from the Democratic majority. He began his opening remarks by touching on the current priorities and concerns for his constituents back home.

“Most of us were home over Memorial Day ,” Barrasso stated. “I heard about inflation, with prices up and it costing about 15 bucks more to fill your gas tank now than when Biden took over. I heard from small business owners about the ‘help wanted’ signs you see everywhere you go now because they can’t find workers. When the government pays people more to stay home than to work with all the incentives and the bonuses, what do you expect? These people aren’t lazy. They’re logical.”

Energy production is also a top area of concern in the Cowboy State, according to Barrasso.

“We are handing over our energy dominance that President Trump brought us as a nation by killing Keystone and approving the Nord Stream 2 pipeline…When you export energy, you’re exporting influence and you have a connection. Now, what we’re seeing is Putin with a pipeline to Germany that allows for Europe to become more dependent upon Russia. Putin has to be smiling, there’s just no question about it.”

Barrasso then moved on to the Senate Democrats’ agenda, which, he says, has no desire for Republican buy-in and bipartisan cooperation.

“There’s a 50-50 Senate, which should be a mandate to move to the middle. Instead, they seem to be heading as far to the left as they can. Senate Democrats recently had a meeting and there was a discussion. One of the Democrat senators told me that he said, ‘Look, we can do all this spending and taxes, but we’re going to lose the House or the Senate, or maybe both in two years.’ To which Bernie [Sanders] said, ‘Oh, we’re going to lose them. We’ve got to do everything now. This is our only chance!’

“That’s where they are. They’re going to try to go as far left as they can on everything. We see it. This is the month that John Thune calls ‘Senator Schumer’s designed-to-fail month,’ because everything he’s bringing up is a hot button issue for them, and we’re going to stop all of it. We did with the so-called Paycheck Fairness, which doesn’t really do what it says. You’re going to have gun legislation going after the Second Amendment. There’s a whole host of things they’re going to bring up in June and Schumer wants all of these to fail so then he can then say, ‘Look what they’re doing. They’re stopping the president. We need to overturn the filibuster. We need to do this by way of simple majority. Get rid of the filibuster.’ All of this is intended to ramp up animosity against Republicans and get the Democrats all in line. They’re not in line now.”

After his initial remarks, Barrasso took a number of questions from the audience, starting with the future of the Republican Party heading into 2022 and 2024.

“I’m looking forward to a very successful 2022. Mitch McConnell came under a lot of criticism for saying at one point he wanted to make sure that Barack Obama was a one-term president. I want to make Joe Biden a one-half-term president. And I want to do that by making sure they no longer have the House, Senate, and White House.

“Joe Biden will never veto a bill. He’ll go down in history as a president who has never vetoed a bill because he will sign whatever Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi put on his desk, period. He’s not going to get anything he doesn’t agree to sign. He’s just along for the ride right now. And they’re running the show and their party is being driven further and further to the left. When you have a party that is proposing to defund the police and have less security in our country, that’s a story that writes itself.”

Next, Barrasso was asked about the infrastructure talks going on in Washington and where the parties are with regard to paying for the proposals.

“How do you pay for all of this? Indexing the gas tax doesn’t bring in much now, but if we had indexed the gas tax in 1990-something, we wouldn’t have an issue now… But there’s a lot of money out there that, as Roy Blunt who’s on the Appropriations Committee is pretty clear about, is orphaned money from the first five bipartisan coronavirus relief bills that are pretty specific in how they need to be spent — and it’s never going to be spent. We have to repurpose that. There’s a lot of money in the more recent Joe Biden coronavirus bill that is either unneeded or unrelated to coronavirus that is meant to basically pay off and bail out big cities. The money isn’t even going to go out for another couple of years.”

Finally, Barrasso, who is the top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, was asked about whether he and his Republican colleagues in the Senate have been looking at climate change and if any work will be done to address it this year.

“Climate change is real,” Barrasso stated matter-of-factly. “I believe in it. Mankind is contributing to it. From a scientific standpoint, if you put carbon dioxide in a closed environment, the temperature goes up. We get all of that. But the policies of this administration seem to be driven by climate alarmists who want to do things dramatically, unilaterally, and immediately.

“You can shut Europe and the United States down tomorrow to get to zero emissions, but global emissions are going to continue to go up and up and up and up because of what China and India are doing.”

“Liberals don’t like nuclear power, but yet it is the only zero-carbon source of energy. Twenty percent of electricity in the United States comes from nuclear power right now. That has to solve it. You cannot build enough wind turbines and solar panels to power this country or this economy with the energy we need.”

Barrasso continued.

“We have to try to make energy as clean as we can and as fast as we can in ways that don’t hurt consumers. Everything I’ve seen so far raises the cost for consumers and they hate that. They ask, ‘Why are we going to sacrifice today when China and India are not?’ We have to focus on protecting the planet long-term, but without hurting ourselves and our economy today.”

To view Barrasso’s remarks before The Ripon Society breakfast discussion Thursday morning, please click on the link below:

The Ripon Society is a public policy organization that was founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One of the main goals of The Ripon Society is to promote the ideas and principles that have made America great and contributed to the GOP’s success. These ideas include keeping our nation secure, keeping taxes low and having a federal government that is smaller, smarter and more accountable to the people.