District Update January 8, 2024     


Dear ,

I hope you and your family are doing well. Below, please find a few updates on legislative items Congress will be looking to address when the second session of the 118th Congress begins this week.

Government Funding Framework Reached

Yesterday, House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced they have come to an agreement on the topline spending numbers of a government funding deal for Fiscal Year 2024. Essentially, the total amount comes out to the spending levels negotiated to in the Fiscal Responsibility Act last May. Though the FRA wasn't perfect, it began the process of solving Washington's unsustainable spending problems by constituting the largest deficit reduction in American history.

While Speaker Johnson successfully negotiated $16 billion in additional spending cuts, this budget agreement largely resembles the legislation we already passed nearly eight months ago — proving that the partisan gamesmanship that got us to this point wasn't worth it. It's my hope that my brothers and sisters in Congress learn from this lesson, put aside their personal qualms, and get back to serious legislating.

Examining the Crisis at Arizona's Southern Border


After a 30-day closure, the Lukeville Port of Entry in Arizona reopened at 6 a.m. Thursday, January 4. In a post on X by Bill Melugin with Fox News, who has extensively covered the crisis at our southern border for years, migrants hurried through the crevice in the border wall, with a man filming the end of the successful crossing. We have already seen the Department of Justice release evidence of a smuggling ring, where transports of so-called “packages” or “pieces” of human migrants cost $8,000 per delivery. 

People from all over the world are crossing our borders, half of them being family groups, and they are coming for a wide variety of factors, according to WBUR. These migrants are hearing from their friends that now is the prime time to cross the border. While the Senate is focused on tightening up the U.S. asylum system, my colleagues and I continue to emphasize the importance that this is not a push for further funding, it’s a push for better policy. 

House Republicans' Plan to Fix the Border Crisis


Speaker Johnson recently returned from his trip to the Eagle Pass Point of Entry, along with 60 other House Republicans, and reminded Americans of why the Biden administration supplemental funding request continues to fall well short of actually fixing the crisis. If you take a deep dive into the funding allocations of the $14 billion supplemental request, only around $2.3 billion would go directly to Border Patrol operations, per a memo released by Speaker Johnson. Over $3 billion of those requested funds would be allocated to directly helping illegal migrants, which presents a blatant disregard and negligence toward our taxpaying citizens. 

House Republicans passed a FY24 Homeland Security appropriations bill that increased border security funding ABOVE the President’s budget request, including both ICE Custody Operations and Border Patrol agents at a level more than ever previously appropriated. With united opposition from my brothers and sisters on the Left, alongside a veto-threat from the President, the Biden administration’s requested funding fix has led us to a record number of illegal migrant crossings.

  FY21 FY22 FY23 FY24
Average monthly encounters at the Southwest Border by fiscal year (FY) 163,043 230,549 266,762 308,933

H.R. 2 shows that House Republicans are serious about finding a permanent solution for our country. It mandates that the administration not only enforce the law, but also gives them the tools to end the chaos. The ‘Secure the Border’ Act takes away the option from the administration to ignore current law. For far too long, we have seen exploitations of asylum requirements by the current administration. Current law says the first country of refuge is where you apply for asylum. We now have physical evidence that various populations are crossing multiple countries before arriving at the United States. Locking up the border isn’t going to be fixed with money — it’s going to be fixed with policy.

The Speed of Our Growing Debt


On Friday, January 5, 2024, the Treasury Department released data regarding the average interest rates paid on outstanding public debt (gross or total national debt).  Based upon that data it is clear that the interest cost of servicing the current national debt during the current fiscal year will approach $1.1 trillion.  This number is likely to grow as the debt continues to increase.

Daily Debt Monitor Text Message Sign-Up


Be sure to sign up to receive my “Daily Debt Monitor” text messages that track real-time updates of our national debt at the end of each day. Subscribing is easy — head to schweikert.house.gov, scroll past my newsletter sign-up, and fill out the required information underneath the ‘Daily Debt Monitor’ table.

I hope these updated numbers can provide some further insight as to why I continue to be so adamant about reducing our outrageous government spending.

What I’m Reading & Why It Matters


According to the Wall Street Journal, the FDA has allowed Florida to be the first state to import drugs from Canada. The state will begin importing low-cost drugs that treat chronic conditions such as asthma. The FDA has mandated that Florida must report quarterly measurements of cost-savings as well as any safety concerns in their allotted, two-year time frame.

In other health care news, a new service that provides telehealth appointments for prescription drugs, LillyDirect, is now offering home-delivery methods for its anti-obesity drug, Zepbound, alongside some other drugs. This is notable because typically, drug manufacturers don't get involved with prescribing medication to their patients, let alone handling delivery methods. We've seen the anti-obesity drug market ensure severe competition as of late, but LillyDirect has also partnered with third-party pharmacies, ensured a seal of legitimacy, incorporated savings programs for copays, and even created discounts for the uninsured parties. Both of these health care innovations promote the necessary competition between major pharmaceutical companies. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this update on my latest work in Washington, D.C. and Arizona’s First Congressional District! If you have any comments or concerns, I encourage you to reach out to my office.





David Schweikert


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