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April 12, 2024

Schweikert: It’s Time for Members of Congress To Start Acting Like Adults

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative David Schweikert (AZ-01) delivered a speech on the House Floor last night to warn about the disinformation campaign being waged by foreign countries like China, Russia, and Iran through the weaponization of artificial intelligence. Rep. Schweikert also discussed the terrifying reality that the federal government recently crossed the threshold of borrowing $100,000 per second.

Excerpts from Rep. Schweikert’s floor speech can be found below:


Click here or on the image above to view Rep. Schweikert’s remarks.
On foreign governments weaponizing AI to spread misinformation:

[Beginning at 2:13]
“We don’t actually understand it, but we have a war going on, and it’s a war for hearts and minds and there are bad actors around this world. The number of data points we have here showing particularly China, Russia, Iran, and it’s getting weaponized at a level I don’t think any of us are intellectually ready for because AI is here. The plain language is here, and they’re moving off of just your Facebook page or your social media accounts. It is moving into now fake text messages, all sorts of other ways where they’re going to try to pollute and take down the West. And we are not the only ones. We have map after map of what China just did to Taiwan. Now, Taiwan actually has built a policy on how to help combat it. They get attacked on social media with fake stuff. They have teams that turn around and say, ‘Okay, here’s what they said. Here’s the documents. Look it up yourself.’ I don’t think we are ready for this.

“How do you and I and our brothers and sisters on the Left and anyone who actually cares about this country, how do you have honest debates, honest discussions about that? In my case, I am fearful of the crushing debt. We’re going to walk through that. But other policy things, when you actually lay out facts, you lay out the information of what’s going on, and 90 seconds later there is a bot that basically is putting out absolute crap. How do you hold a society together but you can’t even agree on the baseline facts to build the debate from when article after article — some of these are huge. I brought the executive summaries. I mean, some of the ones we have gone through are hundreds of pages of tracking entire troll farms. There’s one document here saying that China may be spending multiple billions of dollars in influence operations here in this country to basically distort reality. And the point I’m going at right now, this seems like a weird place to go for a guy who wants to talk about the numbers of what’s happening in our government. I’m incredibly frustrated because I do not know how we have an honest debate when we have a disinformation wave coming at us from functionally governments, let alone the private troll farms that do it just for clickbait to make money.”

On inflation’s impacts on the Phoenix-Scottsdale area:

[Beginning at 21:31]
“Why is the public so cranky? Seriously. I tried to have this conversation with folks at home, and I am blessed. I represent the Phoenix-Scottsdale area. If you have to represent a district, I represent one of the most beautiful spots, particularly in the winter months. I represent a fairly prosperous district. I represent a really well-educated district, a really entrepreneurial district. And yet a lot of my folks who if you see on the surface, they’re doing fairly well in life, and they’re stressed out of their minds because in my district, we have had the highest inflation in the continental United States. If you do not make 23.6% more money today than you did the day President Biden took office, you are poorer. So no matter what economic data this Body of Congress wants to talk about over and over and over. This is what matters when you actually look at the data of those who are non-supervisory or supervisory. Today they are poorer even when you put back in wage growth. Our brothers and sisters in America are poorer today, and in my district it’s worse. And I have a prosperous district. You want to understand why people are struggling and angry and frustrated. Maybe an honest conversation that we made them poorer.”

On debt growth outpacing economic growth:

[Beginning at 28:08]
“But if you have someone who says we’ll just grow ourselves out of borrowing $100,000 a second, they are not good at math. Here’s the basic, simple rule. GDP — the size of the economy in 2023 — grew $1.5 trillion. Yay. But you do understand for that growth, you only get 17-18%, maybe even 19% of that in tax receipts. So in the growth, that’s wonderful, but it is not dollar-for-dollar. And so I will get people and say, ‘Okay, you guys borrowed $2.5 trillion. But the economy grew $1.5 trillion.’ Yes, it did grow [by $1.5 trillion], but I only get 17-18-19% of that in tax receipts. Do you understand the scale of growth you’d have to have for the tax receipts to come close to the borrowing?”

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