HICE IN THE HOUSE
Dear Friends,

Today, I led my fellow Republicans in a hearing at the House Natural Resources Committee to set the record straight about Democrats’ baseless claims that a “peaceful protest” was unjustly cleared from the area near the White House several weeks ago.

As you know, in the wake of George Floyd’s horrifying and tragic death, our nation’s capital was rocked by a wave of unruly protests that escalated into violent and destructive riots. Tragically, this wave continues even today in other major cities across America. In D.C., the most contentious point of the chaos was across from the White House in Lafayette Square.

Over the weekend of May 29 - May 31, Lafayette Square looked like a warzone. Acting U.S. Park Police Chief Gregory Monahan today told the House Natural Resources Committee that it was “one of the most violent protests that I’ve been a part of in my 23 years with the United States Park Police.” By Monday, the park was devastated, the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church – often referred to as the “Church of the Presidents” – had been set ablaze, and 51 police officers were injured.

U.S. Park Police and U.S. Secret Service resolved to put an end to the anarchy by clearing the Square and erecting fence barriers. By the evening of June 1, officials had amassed sufficient law enforcement personnel and enough fencing materials to execute their plan. At 6:23 p.m., the order was given and the protestors – after being warned multiple times – were cleared out of Lafayette Square. As the fencing began to be erected, President Trump demonstrated genuine leadership and courage by walking across the Square to visit St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Instead of condemning the violence and destruction, Democrats and the mainstream media seized on this moment to accuse President Trump of clearing the Square for a photo opportunity. Even nearly two months later, Democrats are still attempting to push this bogus narrative. Today’s hearing completely ignores all those bad actors responsible for hijacking a peaceful protest, and it unjustly vilifies the officers who upheld law and order in our nation’s capital.


To watch my opening statement, click here, and to hear my questions for Acting chief of the U.S. Park Police, Gregory Monahan, click here.
HONORING THE LEGACY OF JOHN LEWIS

There is no question that all of us who served with John Lewis mourn the passing of this towering figure who dedicated so much of his life to fighting for freedom and equality. A son of Alabama sharecroppers, John Lewis demonstrated that, in America, a single man – even one from the humblest of origins – can influence the course of history.

Rising to a major leadership role in the civil rights movement, Lewis worked hand-in-hand with Martin Luther King Jr. and so many other heroes who sacrificed their lives to ensure that all Americans of all races may live in liberty. Their cause was rooted in truth and peace. He wrote: “Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge. Release all bitterness. Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won.”

Lewis knew that it is right and necessary to fight to create a better America and confront the sins of society --- but it must be done peacefully and through nonviolent means… or else we sow the seeds for further sin and future discord.

I deeply respected John Lewis for his courage and dedication, and I always counted him as a friend. The U.S. House of Representatives will be a poorer and less vibrant place in his absence. Yesterday, I was grateful to join the ceremony to honor the life of this great Georgian and civil rights icon as he was placed in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda for public viewing. My wife Dee Dee and I continue to have his family and friends in our prayers.

To read my statement for the official Congressional Record, please click here.

HOLDING CHINA ACCOUNTABLE

Across the spectrum, China continues to pose a serious threat to America. As a former pastor, I have been particularly alarmed by China’s brutal treatment of religious minorities.

In recent years, Christian churches have been routinely razed to the ground, Christian imagery is forcibly replaced with Communist Party propaganda, and citizens are imprisoned for their religious beliefs. This campaign is known as “thought reform.” According to a Communist official quoted in the Associated Press: “Thought reform is aimed at Christian families in poverty, and we educated them to believe in science and not in superstition, making them believe in the Party.” Equally concerning is the systemic oppression of the minority Uyghur Muslim population in Western China, where over one million Uyghurs have been forced into labor and prison camps, subjected to ideological “reprograming,” and forbidden from engaging in religious practices. Communist regimes allow for the worship of just one entity – the Communist Party and the State.

I believe the cause and pursuit of religious liberty to be the highest calling. I have led and joined my colleagues on numerous initiatives fighting for the right of conscience and supporting those persecuted religious minorities all over the world, but, particularly in China. Until the right to practice religion without fear of persecution is guaranteed, I will not stop fighting.


DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW
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As always, I’m humbled to serve you in Congress, and my team and I are here to help. Please contact my office with any questions, comments, or concerns.

Sincerely,

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In This Edition
- HICE IN THE HOUSE
- HONORING THE LEGACY OF JOHN LEWIS
- HOLDING CHINA ACCOUNTABLE
- DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW
 
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