Congressman John Joyce talks infrastructure bill, what people are saying on the street and the Chambersburg Police Department

August 4 – Congressman John Joyce joined Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen Tuesday morning on First News to talk about issues he faces in his job as a representative of the people.

Jansen asked the Congressman, “Was it smart for Republicans to make this bipartisan infrastructure bill? Are they handing Joe Biden a win that they can crow about? Are we going to be bitten back in the end here when Nancy Pelosi’s already said you’re not going to get this unless you play ball and give us everything we want in the budget bill?”

Joyce said, “It’s quite concerning what’s going on the Senate right now and I will carefully look at that. I share those concerns. I’m so afraid that what’s going to happen is they’re going to roll the Green New Deal into an infrastructure package, that there’s going to be so much of what AOC wants to see in this package. That was quite deferential of you to call Pelosi my leader. Yes, she’s the speaker, but she doesn’t represent the values that we have here in south central Pennsylvania and I’m so concerned that by correlating, by having this collaboration with the Democrats that we’re compromising too much. We’ve seen that most recently in the House. Case in point, the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment for over four decades stopped your and my tax dollars from funding abortions. It was a bipartisan, it was always included and Pelosi has changed the rules. Pelosi is changing the rules. Right now what she’s putting over to the Senate will make me very carefully look at the package that comes through. I’m ready to go back to Washington, evaluate their final package, but I’ll tell you, it’s not looking good for conservatives right now. The compromise is past the line in the sand from what we see to this point, but I will evaluate each and every page and make sure that I am the responsible steward of our tax dollars in Washington. So far, I’m concerned.”

Jansen laughed, “I’m sorry, on radio you can’t see me putting that in air quotes when I say ‘your leader’ because I only mean it in the sense that sadly she has the power right now. And only because where are principled Democratic Congress people? Where are they? Why are none of them willing to ever stand up and go against? There’s only a small majority from the Democrats and yet they seem to be fine with this unbelievable spending, with this unbelievable changes to our Democracy and threats to people’s rights. Where are the principled Democratic Congress people?”

Joyce confirmed, “They have not shown up yet. I look forward to being able to work with those who are principled but so far, they’re absent.”

Jansen continued, “And then of course, Joe Biden kind of messed up when he said ‘I’ll veto this unless we get what we want on the budget bill’ and then of course had to correct it a day later when everybody reminded him, remember you said that that wasn’t going to be connected, that the two weren’t going to be connected. Does anybody really believe anymore when they say they’re not connecting all these things and pulling all the strings and getting everything they want?”

Joyce said, “Case in point, just last week, they ran through a bloated, partisan spending bill and what did that bloated bill do? It did not fund our military. It did not fund our Department of Homeland Security, which right now is so important. It is so concerning that this funding bill allows money to relocate and renovate facilities in California, the largest Planned Parenthood affiliate in the country, which performs thousands of abortions each year. This budget plan that they put through it is for non-defense agencies and it drastically increased by 30 or 40% over current funding. The budget increase for the White House was over 39% and a 22% increase for the office of Vice President Kamala Harris, allowing Biden and Harris to hire even more unelected bureaucrats. That’s what they pushed through last week. You know I voted against it. The bottom line, the takeaway message is Americans can’t afford this and we in central Pennsylvania don’t want this out of control spending. This is a funding policy that we don’t want, we don’t need and I will not vote for.”

Ryan wondered what the Congressman was hearing from people on the streets? What are their concerns?

Joyce said, “Yesterday I was up in Cumberland and in Franklin County and ended in Fulton County and what many people brought into the discussion was the escalating crime crisis. The crime crisis that we’re seeing in Washington, DC, that we’re seeing in Philadelphia.”

At the Fulton County fair, people were asking if they could bring their families to Washington. They were concerned with the crime.

Joyce said, “I talk about the increase homicide rate in Philadelphia, up over a third. Individuals are keenly aware of that and they know that this spike in crime is attributed to the Democrats support for the radical defund the police movement. And because of these failed policies, our cities are less safe, our families are less safe and Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi’s America does not stand with law enforcement. They’re more concerned about social work than protecting the individuals. This is not the time to be talking about defunding the police. This is a Biden crime crisis and it’s a failed Democratic policy. People are aware of this. Two individuals had seen the floor speech that I made last week on the House, demanding that the Democrats condemn those who are attempting to defund the police. People were very encouraged by that. We’ve seen a dramatic increase in ambush-style attacks on law enforcement. Those were up over 90% since last year and these attacks have been deadly. Tragically we’ve lost law enforcement officers. Over 150 in the line of duty. This isn’t the time to play games. It’s not the time to cut funding for our police. I’m glad to see the Chambersburg Police Department recently received a grant to help purchase body cameras to protect the law enforcement officers during traffic stops and interactions with the public. We have to continue to fund law enforcement from every level of government.”

Ryan said, “You’re absolutely right and the Chambersburg Police Department, the last thing they need out of the Democrat Party is any reimagining or defunding.”

Jansen said, “The sad truth is what is it with this new ideology that’s sweeping the country? I know people, they’re almost tired of hearing me talk about it, but it’s part and parcel of what you’re talking about because we have a fantastic police department here in the Borough of Chambersburg and yet, and yet, in a comprehensive plan that our borough will be being updated on tonight, they bring out a focus group, I believe manipulated by liberal progressives who chose the focus group who actually put statements up in their presentation, Chambersburg Police are racist. No they are not. We’ve got to get this lie out of the system. Why do people think police officers are committing suicides in greater and increasing rates? Because they’re being lionized and demonized at exactly the same time. I believe our military is facing similar types of psychological pressures and a lot of it is coming from this illogical approach that somehow America and the systems that make up America are inherently bad. Really? Are we really not going to understand how this psychologically impacts people? Especially our military and police heroes?”

Joyce said, “I visited Chief Ron Camacho and the Chambersburg Police Department several times and I’ve seen or heard or sensed no evidence of any racism within that department. Chief Camacho runs an exemplary police force in Chambersburg. In fact, it’s not only respected throughout the state, but it’s respected throughout the country in the way he runs that and the team that he has assembled there is exemplary. The concerns that you and I have about Critical Race Theory, we know that that’s a mounting threat. It’s a threat to American society and I voted against liberal legislation that would stifle free speech and advance their false narrative about racism. I have not seen that in local law enforcement. I have not sensed it and I have not heard about it. We really have to work together to reject the Democrats and their quote woke and their out of touch re-education agenda. Whether it’s in the military or in law enforcement or in our schools. The military is a fighting force and it’s not a social experiment. This is not the time to push these liberal ideas through into the military, into law enforcement and into education. I agree one hundred percent that Critical Race Theory is a top threat to our education system. We cannot allow federal government to teach our children these liberal lies. The Critical Race Theory and the New York Times 1619 project, they teach American history through a lens of half-truths and total lies. This cannot be the standard of our children’s education. We have to stand up to them and we have to stand up to them now. We can’t allow the left to continue to influence our kid’s education with a revisionist form of history. All of this is at the expense of the taxpayers. I’m there in Washington to stop that and I will continue to vote against the liberal views and this liberal Critical Race Theory.”

Jansen pointed out, “And just to clarify, we’re not talking about the graduate level theory of Critical Race Theory taught in law schools. That’s not what you’re referring to. You’re using a term of what’s come out, it’s a practice. It’s an ideology. It’s critical theory applications as used today in education. We’re seeing it in the military. We’re seeing it with our police. We’re seeing in corporations. We’re seeing it in popular media. We’re not talking about a theoretical graduate level study class. We’re talking about these ideological applications that have come, roots partially from that, that are now being applied today. I don’t know why people can’t seem to wrap their heads around that, but we keep getting that push back.”

Joyce said, “I understand that and we have to realize that we can’t allow this threat to continue to infiltrate at the levels that you just elicited, whether it’s education, law enforcement or military. I will be the backstop to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Listen to the full audio here: