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There's one word that accurately describes the last two years of our homeland security under unilateral Democrat rule: disastrous. From our southern border to our cyber security, the United States is in a state of crisis. As the newly selected chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, we will fight to secure our homeland. We will work day and night to keep the American people safe and hold President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas accountable. 
Our southern border has seen a breakdown of law and order, a humanitarian crisis, and has become a gateway for narcotics coming from Latin America and China. Undoubtedly, Biden's open borders policies have been the worst border policies in American history. In less than two years, the Biden administration has overseen the illegal border crossings of nearly 4 million people. And because this same administration has gutted our Border Patrol's ability to operate at maximum efficiency, 900,000 of those individuals are "got-aways." This is a national security crisis, and House Republicans will address it as such.  
First and foremost, we will fight to give our Border Patrol the tools they need to stop the unprecedented amount of human trafficking and flood of drugs pouring across our southern border. Screening and surveillance technology are at the top of the list. Any way we can make CBP agents a force multiplier will produce drastic differences at the border. Creating incentives for hiring and bolstering retention within the Border Patrol is also essential. We will also work with the Judiciary Committee to end migration loopholes that are exploited on a daily basis. Flawed policies such as the Flores settlement, the Biden Administration's handling of unaccompanied alien children, and the winding down of Title 42 are just some of the ways that our asylum process is being abused. 

Let's be clear: We cannot secure our border without taking it back from the cartels. Biden and Mayorkas have willingly surrendered complete operational control to the cartels. I've traveled to the southern border repeatedly — I've seen what the cartels are willing to do. And unfortunately, their handiwork is already being felt nationwide — every state is now a border state.  

Joe Biden at border

President Joe Biden walks with U.S. Border Patrol agents along a stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso Texas, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023.  (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

In my home state of Tennessee, the price of fentanyl has dropped from $95 to just $28. That's what happens when our communities are flooded with massive amounts of opioids. During one of my visits to the border, CBP agents showed me the location where countless women and children are trafficked, raped and killed. The cartels control our border. Just this year, CBP agents seized a record-shattering 14,000 pounds of fentanyl, enough to kill every American nearly 12 times over. 

Finally, we will investigate the man who has allowed all of this to happen: DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. When House Republicans questioned him on the security of our border, he lied to us and the entire United States Congress. When the head of Homeland Security is willing to lie before a body directly chosen by the American people, he has disqualified himself for any and all public service.  
Equally as important is the threat our nation faces from cyber attacks. While the Biden administration has taken initial steps to address the threat of future attacks, much more is needed. In May 2021, the Colonial Pipeline was attacked. Today, 14 of our 16 critical infrastructure sectors have been hit by cyber attacks, all of which occurred under Biden's watch. 
The threats facing our fourth border (along with Mexico, Canada and the Carribean) are very real and very dangerous. We cannot afford to let our adversaries surpass us. We’ve seen a considerable increase in cyber attacks on critical infrastructure, not just from cyber-criminals but from foreign governments.

For the last two years, the Biden administration has left government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, and other critical sectors vulnerable to cyber attacks. This doesn't just affect corporations or government agencies; this directly impacts everyday Americans. Most of us carry sensitive personal information on our devices, not to mention the degree to which we rely on these vast networks for our food, energy and healthcare. With House Republicans in charge now, we will prioritize our cyber defense systems and pass legislation to ensure the safety of our cyber networks. 

If Democrats had wanted to stop these national security crises, they could have done so at any time. But the Democratic leadership in Congress and the Biden administration have chosen not to. They have chosen politics over national security. Now, it's time for House Republicans to end this crisis and secure our border, and I'm honored to lead this fight as Homeland Security committee chairman.