July 14, 2023
Investigating Threats to U.S. National Security in Latin America

I was proud to lead a bipartisan delegation of members on an official visit to Latin America—Brazil, Colombia, and Panama—to examine the genuine threats to U.S. national security stemming from these regions.

As Chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence, I have focused our efforts on uncovering threats to the homeland from all angles—including transnational criminal organizations in Latin America, the rising threat of the Chinese Communist party, and of course human and drug trafficking through our southern border. Our visit provided a direct look into the epicenter of many of these threats—and my eyes are opened.

In the Darién region of Panama, we met with migrants who had just made it out of the harrowing rainforest jungle. They all told me that they were headed for the United States because they believed the border is open under the Biden Administration. It was heartbreaking to see and learn about the murders, sexual and physical assaults, robberies, drug and human trafficking, and deaths that happen in this lawless region. Seeing a four-year-old boy with open wounds all over his legs, pregnant mothers, and young girls covered in cuts and bruises from the dangerous trek was heartbreaking.

In Colombia, we met with the Colombian National Police Director, General William Salamanca, and other high-ranking officials to underscore the importance of cooperation in combating the illicit drug trade, migrant smuggling, and criminal organizations. Similarly, in Brazil, we met with the Federal Police, Vice Admiral Gilberto Kerr, and other senior-level officials to discuss efforts to mitigate and disrupt the nefarious activities posed by criminal organizations.

Another equally concerning issue we examined is the rising threat of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the region. The CCP is pouring resources and trade into the area to exert its influence and undermine the United States. In fact, we know that Chinese nationals are traveling to South America as the first stop on their journey to illegally enter America.

I am more motivated than ever in calling on the Biden Administration to reverse their open-border policies and rhetoric that are emboldening hundreds of thousands of migrants to make the life-threatening journey through this area every year. We cannot ignore the massive security crisis that awaits on our doorstep.

On the campaign trail, President Biden promised to kill the fossil fuel industry, and that’s about the only promise we can count on him to keep.

This week I introduced the Limiting Incredulous Zealots Against Restricting Drilling (LIZARD) Act to strike President Biden's latest attack on oil & gas by listing the dunes sagebrush lizard as an endangered species so he can shut down drilling in the Permian.

Not only is listing the sagebrush lizard under the ESA an incredible threat to oil, natural gas, wind, and solar production developed in the Permian Basin, but it is unnecessary. As of December 31, 2022, through state and private conservation efforts in New Mexico alone, 1,905,120 acres have been enrolled in a Candidate Conservation Agreement (CCA) and Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) by the ranching community and 2,230,066 acres have been enrolled in the CCA and CCAA by the oil and gas industry to protect the dunes sagebrush lizard.

These enrollments have resulted in a net acreage conservation gain for the species’ habitat. The associated financial contributions have helped fund dozens of reclamation and conservation programs to support the species while still affording the development of natural resources and human existence in the region.

The President wants to control private property in Texas. Not on my watch. My legislation protects energy security and jobs in the Permian by nullifying his latest attack.
Voting for a Fully-Funded, Non-Woke Military

In Congress, we have a great responsibility to ensure our men and women in uniform have the necessary tools and resources to defend the homeland.

Today, I was proud to vote for the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes the largest pay raise for our troops in decades while refocusing the Department of Defense on keeping our country safe.

The NDAA includes a $40 million MILCON investment at Fort Cavazos, and a 5.2% pay raise for troops—the largest increase in decades. We passed amendments to prohibit critical race theory from being taught to military children, stop the Pentagon from paying for abortions, and ban drag shows on military bases. 

It is time for our military to refocus on lethality, and this bill sets our country on the right course.

I am proud that this NDAA includes my amendments to require the Pentagon to alert local, state, and federal officials no less than 90 days before housing migrants in military bases in their communities, develop and implement policies that create a unified datalink strategy, provide more expansive training opportunities for our service members, and more efficiently counter unmanned aerial systems. It also includes my bipartisan amendments to expedite the delivery of KC-46As to Israel and provide training to Israeli Air Force pilots, aircrew, and maintainers, and promote awareness and interest in the United States service academies to inspire the next generation of leaders in our country address our nation’s recruiting shortfalls.”
Read all six of my amendments:
  • Pfluger (R-TX) – Amendment #42 – Requires the Secretary of Defense to notify local, state, and federal elected officials not later than 90 days before the Department of Defense uses, creates, or repurposes a military base to house migrants
  • Pfluger (R-TX) – Amendment #212 – Requires DOD to develop and implement policies to adapt Link-16 system management and certification to align with agile development practices
  • Pfluger (R-TX) – Amendment #213 – Requires DOD to expand Tier 1 training exercises
  • Pfluger (R-TX) – Amendment #214 – Requires DOD to report on incidents involving unmanned aerial systems and related training exercises
  • Pfluger (R-TX) – Amendment #215 – Requires DOD to expedite KC-46A deliveries to Israel and provide immediate training slots for Israeli pilots, maintainers, and air crew
  • Pfluger (R-TX) – Amendment #216 – Requires DOD to invest personnel into going into districts to increase awareness of what a future in military service provides to their future
Securing Our Elections

This week I was proud to co-sponsor the American Confidence in Elections (ACE) Act, the most conservative election integrity bill seriously considered in the House in over 20 years. The ACE Act equips states with election integrity tools, implements key reforms in D.C., and protects political speech.
  1. Gives state and county election officials access to federal databases, like the Social Security death list so they can keep their voter rolls maintained. 
  2. Makes it easier for states to use REAL ID as a photo voter ID that confirms citizenship. 
  3. Prohibits federal funds from going to states that allow non-citizens to vote. 
  4. Makes common-sense reforms in D.C., including preventing non-citizen voting and requiring voter list maintenance. 
  5. Supports our military voters overseas by working to ensure their ballots count. 
  6. Protects free speech and donor privacy. 
  7. Repeals Biden Executive Order on Promoting Access to Voting, which directed federal agencies to engage in political activities. 
  8. Reduces funds to states that permit ballot harvesting. 
  9. Prohibits congressional campaigns from receiving taxpayer dollars. 
  10. Curbs the use of private money, like Zuckerbucks, from funding election administration. 

We must have confidence that our elections are free, fair, and trustworthy.
Gold Star Children Take Your Child to Work Day

Gold Star Children—those who lost a military parent in combat or another tragedy—are nothing less than heroes who have endured a tremendous sacrifice for our country. I was proud to host several Gold Star Children in my office this week for "Take Your Child to Work Day." Their courage in honoring their fallen parent while embracing new opportunities is inspiring.
Thank you for reading. It is the honor of my lifetime to serve you in Congress. Please follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for daily updates.
Rep. August Pfluger
Member of Congress