Congressman John Joyce talks about the 9/11 memorial services, the $3.5 trillion spending bill and Biden’s vaccine mandates

CHAMBERSBURG — Congressman John Joyce joined Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen Tuesday morning on First News to discuss issues affecting the county and the country.

First, he spoke of his attendance at the 9/11 memorial events over the weekend.

Joyce said, “I was very honored to be part of that program. The opportunity to listen and hear family member’s stories and the impact what occurred 20 years ago and how it still affects them. It was very poignant to finish the weekend at Letterkenny Army Depot. It was so good to see a tent with standing room only individuals. Over 200 individuals who came to honor those who lost their lives on that tragic day. The day that the terrorists had the most deadly attack in American history. Warren Elliott organized an incredible program where the piece of the steel which has been at Letterkenny Army Depot’s chapel and the memorial garden there for 9/11. A piece of the steel from the twin towers was brought to Franklin County and stands as a memorial. Stands, reaching up to heaven. Emphasizing the important role that Letterkenny Army Depot and the military and the military employees, the civil employees that are at Letterkenny what they’ve done to stand up and fight against terrorism. This battle isn’t over and I think that message resonated that we will continue to fight that battle on our lands and on foreign soil as well. I thought it was a great event and I salute all those who organized it. If you haven’t been out to see that melted piece of steel at the Letterkenny Army Depot chapel on the memorial grounds for 9/11 that they established there, take a moment and drive out there and see that.”

The congressman was up late last night with his Energy and Commerce committee trying to work through the $3.5 trillion spending bill in the House.

Joyce said, “It’s a socialist spending bill and it’s legislation that should be called building more inflation because that’s what it’s going to do. This bill will not build up American families like the Democrats are lying to us and saying. Instead it’s going to weigh down and burden working class American families for generations to come. The Democrats just in Energy and Commerce want to spend more than $1 trillion to create even more government control over the energy industry and over our nation’s healthcare. It’s one of the most expensive pieces of legislation in American history and there’s been almost no input from committees. This is being rammed through until the wee hours of the morning, having 24 hours to examine this. Pelosi is pushing this and the squad is behind her and there’s very little input from anywhere else.”

One of the amendments discussed last night was the Cow Tax Amendment, which would exempt farmers from the methane taxes.

Joyce said, “In our district alone, I have the privilege to represent nearly 20 percent of Pennsylvania dairy farms. These dairy farmers are some of the hardest working individuals that I have ever met, but the cost of this methane tax per dairy cow would be an astonishing $6,500 per cow. Family owned dairy farms would be unable to sustain such a tax increase. It’s a debacle.”

Joyce sponsored an amendment to exempt the dairy farms from the methane tax.

“But the Democrats wouldn’t hear it,” Joyce said.

Ryan asked, “Is that over the lifetime of the cow?”

Joyce confirmed, “It’s over the lifetime of the cow and farmers understand how to be frugal and work hard, but there’s now way that they’re going to be able to sustain that and provide us with the dairy products which we need, which America thrives on, which our children need to grow and be strong. Those numbers were absolutely astonishing. The American Farm Bureau provided us with those and they blocked my amendment.”

One Democrat from the state of Oregon did reach across the aisle and vote for Joyce’s amendment.

Joyce said, “It’s showing that there is a crack in their armor that we’re able to do that.”

Another issue discussed was an amendment that would block the funding for 911 infrastructure to any state entity that would defund the police.

Philadelphia has seen a 35% increase in the homicide rate.

Joyce said, “If states were serious about stopping crimes, they would be providing more money to our police, not threatening to take away their money. Not threatening to take away their need for bullet proof vests or new vehicles or more training. Again, the Democrats turned away from that amendment and early in the morning voted against that as well.”

Jansen brought up the idea of systemic racism and critical social justice and how “we see Democrats just doing this, putting their ideology into law and trying to force the rest of us then to have to live by their unproven ideology and yet you try to put these ways to stop it in and you get criticized for it. They try to tell you that’s not happening in schools when we have evidence all over the country that this indoctrination is happening to children.”

Joyce said, “Listen to the parents. The parents tell us that it is definitely being forced down the kids’ throats. These half lies, this mistruth that’s being pushed out there talking about our founding fathers as being racist. Talking about every individual as being inherently racist. This was an opportunity to bring that dialogue to our conference and have that discussion. It was amazing. So many of the Democrats said they never even heard this from their constituents. They didn’t think this was an issue. We provided information that the National Education Association made this one of their platforms. How this is definitely part of what we’re seeing in public education today. It’s something that I wanted to address. We did it calmly. We did it succinctly. We put Democrats on alert that we will not tie funding to this if they will not address that Critical Race Theory is a problem in the United States. It’s a problem that I’m hearing from constituents time and time again. We were not able to make sense to the Democrats that could do this. They turned away from the impact that Critical Race Theory is having in public education today. It’s gravely disappointing that they wouldn’t listen to the facts that were right in front of them and it’s so important because we’re seeing this permeate into the military, we’re seeing it permeate into all forms of society right now.”

There will be more meetings today to dissect the spending bill.

Ryan asked, “Why are we even at 3 (trillion dollars) when Joe Manchin says it’s dead on arrival?”

Joyce said, “Nancy Pelosi’s agenda is to keep pushing this as hard as she can. Hopefully there will be a stop-gap in the Senate, but they’re pushing this hard. It is the socialist way to continue to control our lives and to spend our future right down the drain.”

Discussion then turned to the fact that Joe Biden mandated vaccines for private businesses and Governor Wolf has tried to mandate masks for school children through the Secretary of Health and now the Chambersburg Borough is looking to vaccinate any new employees. What is going on?

Joyce said, “This vaccine should not be forced upon anyone. We still have the freedoms in the United States and somehow Biden seems to be ignoring that with this mandate of anyone with 100 or more employees requiring their employees be vaccinated or tested on a weekly basis. The cost of this alone is absurd, but most important he is violating your constitutional rights. This is going to be tied up in the courts. There are so many individuals who understand that their freedoms are being violated and that’s what Joe Biden is doing.”

Testing that shows that people have immunity should be valid.

Joyce contends, “Biden doesn’t want to hear that. He’s on the throes of pushing this vaccine. He doesn’t understand the science and I’m afraid his administration doesn’t either. Right now we see the effects of what Biden did with this rapid pull out from Afghanistan. We mourn the lives of the 13 individuals who were killed by the Taliban as they were doing their duty as military members in Afghanistan facilitating the exit, but it was a reckless exit of what Biden did. It was ill-prepared and very poorly executed.”

Some of the Afghanistan refugees have developed measles, a more infectious disease than COVID.

Joyce said, “Biden, so ill-prepared to be the Commander in Chief of the best military force in the world is exposing our military to measles. This is unacceptable. The entire draw down of our military from Afghanistan has been wrought with so many mistake and Biden and Blinken are to blame for this. There is no question in my mind about that.”

In terms of locally with the federal vaccination requirements through OSHA, what is Joyce hearing from employers here?

Joyce said, “We will continue to advocate for these employers. OSHA is not an arm of the military. OSHA has no rights to come in and test and evaluate that you’re following an executive order that has not yet been tested in the courts. When we come back into session, we want hearings to have Biden and his administration come in front of us and tell us exactly what science they’re using to enforce this mandate, what science they’re using to have individuals be vaccinated against their own civil rights, to have individuals who many of them already have that immunity and why aren’t we providing the opportunity for that testing to occur so that we can get through this pandemic. We can successfully get through this, but mandates are not the answer, vaccine passports are not the answer, either. We are going to continue to ask for that. Unfortunately, Pelosi has not brought us back into session. She’s more concerned about putting another fence up around the United States Capitol. I’m so embittered by that. We all understand that’s an empty gesture and it’s cost the taxpayer’s dollars that she’s rolling the fence back out as we speak to surround the United States Capitol, surround the people’s House. This is an opportunity where I can come to Washington and fight for your constitutional rights and I will continue to do that.”