The Biden administration is showing a "lot of concern" over the potential of an invasion of Ukraine, but "it may be too little, too late" because the White House hasn't been "proactive enough," Rep. Bruce Westerman said Monday on Newsmax.
"I think this has been brewing for quite some time," the Arkansas Republican told Newsmax's "National Report," adding that the tensions go back as far as the Obama administration with the invasion of Crimea and the movement of troops into Belarus.
"I think this administration needs to be much more stern with Putin," said Westerman. "They need to look at economic sanctions. They need to be broadcasting the truth to Russia so the Russian people know that this is all drummed up by [Vladimir] Putin."
However, Westerman said he doesn't think the Biden administration "really cares" about what happens to U.S. energy prices, even with some reports saying the price of gasoline could reach as high as $7 per gallon.
"I'm the ranking member on the Natural Resources Committee," said Westerman. "I've seen from day one where the Biden administration started canceling leases on federal land that shut down the Keystone XL pipeline. It's been a war on American energy."
The United States could be energy independent, he added, but instead is spending "over $60 million a day of U.S. dollars that are going into Russia to bolster energy. It doesn't have to be that way."
But instead, the administration is focused on attacking American energy, and that enables Putin economically," said Westerman.
The congressman, meanwhile, has introduced bipartisan legislation, the IRS Priorities Act, to push the Internal Revenue Service to "get their priorities straight."
"I'm sick and tired of my constituents who are are being harmed by this administration, of this IRS' inability to do their job," said Westerman. "There are 8 million tax returns going back to 2019 and 2020 that haven't been processed yet. I have a constituent who thinks they're owed $12,000 from the IRS, yet their return hasn't been processed."
The proposed law is "very simple," said Westerman, as it forbids the IRS from hiring new enforcement agents until they can clear the tax return backlogs.
He is also the co-sponsor of a bill which focuses on investments for local police departments and the growth of drug trafficking.
"There's been a been a blind eye to what's going on on the southern border," said Westerman. "It's affected rural communities, so we wanted to get the resources out to rural enforcement."
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