Rep. Byron Donalds details his first year in Congress and how 'crazy' 2021 was

Rep. Byron Donalds on his first year in Congress and how ‘crazy’ 2021 was

Florida lawmaker lays out the three issues Republicans should run on in 2022.

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla. sat down with Fox News Digital to discuss his first year in Congress and what fellow Republicans should aim for ahead of the 2022 midterms. 

Donalds began by saying the most surprising thing he learned as a freshman lawmaker was “how little the members talk to each other” and that despite how it appears on TV, they’re “hardly” in committee rooms since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., allows the chamber to attend hearing virtually. 

“The members see each other on the floor, but other than that you don’t really see the other members of Congress,” Donalds said, adding that there’s “very little communication across the aisle.”

When asked what legislative accomplishment he could point to in 2021, the Florida Republican cited “small business legislation” he hopes will be brought to a vote hoping to help small businesses access cybersecurity resources, something he calls “common-sense legislation.”

Photographer: Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images
(Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Donalds, who was speaking at Turning Point USA’s AmericaFest in Phoenix told Fox News his New Year’s Resolution in Congress is “do no harm,” comparing it to doctors taking the Hippocratic Oath.

“Right now, the last thing our country needs is for Washington to act and for Washington to do something,” Donalds said. “We’ve had so much of that the last two years because of the pandemic. It’s time really now for Washington to take a step back, take a pause, let’s just keep the lights on, make sure we’re doing the things we have to do, but no more.”

The lawmaker blamed the American Rescue Plan for the ongoing labor shortages and that extending unemployment and child tax credits, insisting it did not need to get passed since there was still unspent CARES Act money from the Trump administration. 

Donalds, an outspoken critic of vaccine mandates, told Fox News “the way out of the pandemic is information” and knocked the Biden administration for ignoring natural immunity. 

“People just don’t like being told what to do. This is a thing in human nature. People don’t like being forced into doing something,” Donalds said. “So what the White House should’ve done is say, ‘Hey, listen. The vaccines are here. They work. They’re helpful. Here’s the information on them. Here’s all the different things we know about them.’ … And I think if you just give people all the information, you don’t have to resort to mandates. Because people are going to do the one thing they always do- that is they’re going to care of themselves.” 

Photographer: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Looking ahead to the 2022 midterms, the Florida representative told Fox News the three issues Republicans should run on in order to retake the House and Senate are securing the border, fiscal responsibility and deregulation. 

And to summarize 2021, he chuckled and called it a “crazy, crazy year.”

“The mandates have been crazy. I mean, the fact that you literally had cities would just shut down for no reason. Just the insane economic policies, the fight to defund the police, the fight to vaccinate children where there’s been no need to, the fact that children couldn’t be returned to school, critical race theory has basically been exposed for what it is, Afghanistan has fallen, our border is wide open, the Chinese have hypersonic missiles, our military’s gone woke, the fact that energy prices continue to go up and the president is asking OPEC to drill more – like why are we asking them for something we have ourselves, so when I say ‘crazy,’ crazy,” Donalds said. 

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