Rep. Andy Biggs Making Progress on ‘America First Contract’

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ-03) announced an “America First Contract” last year, and has made substantial progress implementing it, which includes legislation he’d previously introduced. The 10-point plan consists of topics he is proposing legislation on, legislation by other members of Congress he supports, as well as other action items.

The Arizona Sun Times asked Biggs if he’s been able to make any progress getting any of the contract implemented, considering the Democrats control the presidency and until this year controlled the House of Representatives and still control the Senate. “America has had enough of the disastrous leftist policies of the Biden Administration,” Biggs said. “We must return to America First policies. My America First Contract gets us closer to restoring order in the nation. I’ve seen many elements of my contract already implemented but there is still much work to do. I look forward to further carrying out the contract in Washington.”

Biggs’ first item is reducing inflation and strengthening the economy. He introduced H.R. 7262, the Budget Process Enhancement Act, last spring. It would hold the salaries of members of Congress until a budget is agreed on.

His second item, securing the border, now has six bills listed, four which were sponsored by Biggs. H.R. 8951, Ending Catch and Release Act, was introduced in September and would change federal law to prohibit the Department of Homeland Security from releasing illegal immigrants into the U.S. Instead, if there was a good chance they would not qualify for asylum, they would be deported within 72 hours.

H.R. 1901, Stopping Border Surges Act, was a bill Biggs introduced in March 2021. It tightens up the qualifications to apply for asylum, such as amending the definition of “credible fear of persecution” to require that such fear can be established by statements that are more probable than not.

Biggs introduced H.R. 45, Grant’s Law, in 2017, which requires the Department of Justice to arrest and detain illegal immigrants who have committed deportable crimes. It is named after Grant Ronnebeck, who was shot and killed in Mesa by an illegal immigrant who was a convicted felon but free on bond while facing deportation.

H.R. 58, Fund and Complete the Border Wall Act, sets up a fund to build a U.S.-Mexico border barrier, and reduces financial assistance to countries whose nationals illegally cross the border by $2,000 per person.

Res. 582, Impeaching Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, for high crimes and misdemeanors, caused quite a stir when Biggs introduced it in 2021. It was proposed due to Mayorkas’ “actions regarding border security and immigration.”

Finally, Biggs introduced H.R. 9174, State Immigration Enforcement Act, in October. It would allow states, cities, and towns to enforce federal criminal and civil immigration laws.

The third item in Biggs’ contract is restoring transparency and parental choice in education. He sponsored H.R. 6603 in February 2022, Ending Common Core and Expanding School Choice Act, which eliminates the strings attached to federal funding for the education of disadvantaged children, such as Common Core standards.

Biggs supports six bills in this area sponsored by other members of Congress. They include two bills restricting CRT, Saving American History Act, Children Have Opportunities in Classrooms Everywhere Act, a resolution To Terminate the Department of Education, and School Act, a federal school choice bill.

The fourth item in Biggs’ list is reducing violent crime and preserving the rule of law. He focuses on stopping the defunding of police, including preventing federal money from going to jurisdictions that defund the police and jurisdictions that create sanctuaries for illegal immigrants.

Biggs’ fifth item is restoring election integrity. He introduced H.R. 37, the Voter Integrity Protection Act, in January 2021. It imposes additional immigration-related penalties for illegal immigrants who vote in an election for federal office.

H.R. 36, which he also introduced in January 2021, repeals the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which requires states to allow individuals to register to vote when they apply for a driver’s license. Biggs also supports H.R. 8223, the Citizen Ballot Protection Act.

Next, Biggs said for his six agenda item he wants to break up big tech. He would “remove liability protections of Section 230, and facilitate enforcement of antitrust laws against these companies.”

The seventh item is putting America first in foreign, energy and trade policies. He introduced H.R. 7197 in March 2022, which amends the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to limit the circumstances where the Department of the Interior can designate land used for national defense as critical habitats for endangered species.

Biggs introduced H.R. 3973 in June 2021, the List Act of 2021, making removing a species from the endangered or threatened species lists easier. Biggs supports H.R. 8224, which requires the Department of the Interior to proceed with offshore oil and gas lease sales, and H.R. 8176, Unleash American Drilling Act.

Biggs’ eighth item is reinstating good government practices. He introduced four bills in January 2021 to address this. H.R. 61, the Midnight Rules Relief Act of 2021, “allows Congress to disapprove multiple regulations under one joint resolution of disapproval [instead of one by one] if the regulations were submitted for review during the last 60 legislative days of the final year of a President’s term.”

H.R. 43, the Injunctive Authority Clarification Act of 2021, “prohibits federal courts from issuing injunctive orders that bar enforcement of a federal law or policy against a nonparty, unless the nonparty is represented by a party in a class action lawsuit.”

H.R. 46, the One Bill, One Subject Transparency Act, limits bills to one subject only. Finally, H.R. 63, Limiting Emergency Powers Act of 2021, terminates a national emergency declared by the President unless a joint resolution continues it.

Biggs’ ninth item is conducting oversight. It includes converting eight working groups into Investigative Committees in 2023 with Republicans in control of the House. Those include stock trading by members of Congress, abuse of authority by government agencies against political opponents, Due Process received or denied by those charged with political crimes, and inappropriate relationships of the Biden family with China and other foreign governments.

The other four groups he’d like to see the converted focus on the refusal of the Biden administration to secure the border, origins of COVID-19 and U.S. government participation in/funding of gain-of-function research in China, abuse of speech in the public square by big tech, and abuses of former Speaker Pelosi’s January 6 Committee.

A spokesperson for Biggs told The Sun Times said the subcommittees are being created, “The House has created the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic and a Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government in the 118th Congress,” said  Biggs’ Communications Director Matthew Tragesser. “Many of the 8 working groups in Congressman Biggs’ America First Contract are represented in these select subcommittees.”

He went on, “Many of the general House Committees in the 118th Congress have already held hearings on these issue areas or intend to as well. The House Oversight and Judiciary Committees, the committees Congressman Biggs sits on, have held hearings on numbers 2, 5, 6, and 7 already and will focus on the rest of the working groups throughout the 118th Congress. The bottom line is much is getting done already and House Leadership is adopting many items Congressman Biggs has called for in this contract.”

Biggs’ final item is using Republicans’ leverage in 2023. It contains ways to push back against the Biden administration, such as by “bringing Biden administration officials before congressional committees for hearings on their dangerous policies” and producing the results of investigations with referrals for prosecution.

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Rachel Alexander is a reporter at The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News NetworkFollow Rachel on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Andy Biggs” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0.


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