Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, who has been named as the chief deputy whip for the incoming GOP majority in the House, Friday on Newsmax called on the United States to pressure China about the shipping of fentanyl through Mexico and accused the Chinese of pushing the deadly drug as a strike against the U.S. military-age population.
"They view this as a way to undermine our military preparedness and it's inexcusable," the Pennsylvania Republican said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "We should be putting pressure on China and securing that southern border."
Reschenthaler based his argument about the Chinese on a visit he made to the country in 2019.
"I brought this up, unlike President [Joe] Biden, who did not, and the response I got from a very high individual in the Chinese Communist Party was that it's because Americans are weak and that because we're weak-willed, we get addicted things like fentanyl," said Reschenthaler.
He added that about 300 people die every day from fentanyl overdoses, but the government isn't paying attention.
"That would be like a major airliner going down once a day," Reschenthaler said. "If it happens twice that would be news coverage. But because it's viewed as this issue with just the heartland of America, flyover country, we can't get the ruling elite to pay attention."
Meanwhile, China is seizing on the "disastrous withdrawal" from Afghanistan and is broadcasting the weaknesses of the U.S. to other world leaders, said Reschenthaler.
"They're saying, 'Look, the Americans, they will not be there with you. They're also weak. They're a paper tiger,'" said Reschenthaler. "We're seeing this mantra over and over again. So I would argue that a lot of the problems we're having on the international stage from the invasion of Ukraine to aggression in the South China Sea by China, it's directly attributable to Biden being weak and vacillating and giving up Afghanistan."
Western China, meanwhile, is where the Chinese are "committing some of the worst human rights" violations against the Uighur population, said Reschenthaler, adding that when the U.S. surrendered the nearby Bagram air base in Afghanistan, "we gave up the ability to apply pressure to China."
"We also are now further away from Iran and other problem areas," he said. "We should never have given up the Bagram airbase at a minimum. But we still should have been there supporting the Afghan military, which was doing a very good job up until they withdraw, in beating back the Taliban. It was only until we withdrew that they collapsed. They were never trained to be self-sufficient. They always were trained that they would have intel and air power from the United States."
Congress, meanwhile, must focus on oversight and investigation, particularly on the "failure" of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to secure the border, Reschenthaler said.
"That will do a lot to roll back what the Democrats have done over the last two years, but we're going to have to use that rule of oversight and investigation to bring sunlight to a lot of these issues within the administration," said Reschenthaler.
He acknowledged that wide-sweeping legislation won't pass as long as Democrats hold the Senate and the White House, but "we can block a lot of their bad ideas. So expect to see a lot of defense from the Republicans in the next two years."
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