MADISON, WI – U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (WI-02) spoke with Mehdi Hasan on Peacock this evening to discuss Ukrainian refugees, asylum seekers at our border, and defense spending.

“When you’re the greatest nation in the world, you have an obligation to the world to take in refugees like many other countries do. Donald Trump stopped much of that. Almost every single agency in my district that helped settle refugees went out of business during the Trump Administration, and Title 42 had far less to do with COVID, and a lot more to do with an extension of the wall and all of the other really divisive, hateful rhetoric that Donald Trump and some Republicans put forward. This is the right route so that we can actually allow people who have legitimate asylum claims to be able to legitimately be refugees in this country, like we have done for a very long time and as we should continue to do as the greatest democracy on the planet.”

“We have a COVID hangover. There’s no question. I think that is going away. And inflation is a huge issue. Both of those block us from talking about the massively great things we did. I’ve been in Congress down for a decade, I’ve never seen bills like the American Rescue Plan that put $1,400 into people’s pockets, got kids back into school safely, got shots in arms, and people into jobs. We passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. We’ve talked about infrastructure for years and years. We actually did it last year. This year, a bill that got almost no notice, postal reform is going to guarantee people continue to get six day delivery. That’s the number one thing I’ve had people contacting my office about.”

“I’ve been a small business owner for three decades, 34 years. I can tell you that the reason we have the inflation we have is everything opened up about the same time last year. We don’t make enough things in the US and demand was up. It’s like Economics, not even 101, Economics 99. If there’s scarcity prices go up. But you can’t blame Joe Biden for inflation in France or Australia or Germany or every other country that has inflation, and yet Republicans again put that lie out there.”

“The defense budget has becomes a jobs program. I mentioned we have good job numbers we can actually tout, but every single district has defense contractors. I do. I have a company in my district that makes a part as big as your pinky that goes into submarines and aircraft carriers. Every year they ask me to buy more than the Department of Defense asked for so they can put that little part in there. Unfortunately, many Members of Congress are caving to that as an economics jobs argument when in reality, we don’t even audit the Pentagon. Our most recent class of aircraft carrier when it gets the toilets clogged, it takes $400,000 worth of chemicals to flush down the toilet to unclog them. That literally is flushing money down the toilet — and yet we don’t have an audit of the Pentagon. We haven’t amphibious vehicles that only sink. That’s not the intention of the previous vehicle. We need to put less money to defense contractors and more money toward things that are really in the defense of this nation, like fighting pandemics, fighting climate change, and addressing cyber attacks.”

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