Republican Rep. Jim Banks, who represents Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District, visited College Republicans at Indiana University and other local Republicans at the Indiana Avenue Starbucks on February 25, 2023, in Bloomington, Indiana. Banks is running for the United States Senate in 2024, hoping to replace Mike Braun, who is not seeking Senate reelection.
Banks graduated from Indiana University, was a member of the Indiana Senate from 2010 to 2016, and was elected as a U.S. representative in 2017.
The Bloomingtonian asked Banks a few questions about Inflation, the fentanyl drug epidemic, jobs and immigration in Indiana, and the alleged Chinese Spy Balloon, which briefly traveled over Southwest Indiana.
“Yeah, it’s not gonna get better, it’s gonna get worse. And inflation is a direct result of massive spending by the federal government. So we have to rein it in. We have a debt limit that we’re approaching here soon. And we have to use the leverage of the debt limit to pass something in Congress that will set us down a path toward fiscal responsibility once again. So in the last year, I introduced the only budget that was introduced in Congress that balances in six or seven years and that’s the most important thing that we can do to rein in spending, and rein in inflation at the same time,” said Banks.
On the fentanyl and meth drug epidemic:
“Well fentanyl is now the leading cause of death of Americans, my age, of working age in this country. 99% of it is manufactured in China, so first thing we need to do is hold China accountable for what they’re doing to flood our country with fentanyl. The fentanyl poisonings is happening all over communities like Bloomington, all over the state as a result of what China is allowing to happen. So sanction China, hold China accountable. Two, build the wall, the wall is all about stopping the flow of drugs coming into this country, and it helps the Border Patrol agents do their job to police the border. So start building the wall again. Three, declare war on the Mexican drug cartels. They’re getting richer than they’ve ever gotten before. And use the military use whatever it takes to go in and root out the Mexican drug cartels because they’re responsible for flooding it into our country too. Then, fourth, let’s do more to support, at the local level, treatment, prevention efforts. The drug epidemic in this country is devastating, it’s devastating families and communities. We can do more at the federal the state and local level to support treatment and prevention efforts too,” said Banks.
Editor’s note: Banks is talking about the chemicals being used in Mexico to make the drugs being made in China.
On Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s proposal to bring more immigrants to Indiana to fill job openings:
“Well, I think there are lots of ways that we can get the workforce active again, and one of them is to simply take away government handouts to people who don’t work. That’s the easiest thing that we can do to motivate people back into the workforce to make America productive, again, to fill jobs that will do so much to get our economy growing again. And that’s where I would start,” said Banks.
On the alleged Chinese Spy Balloon, which briefly flew over Southern Indiana, the location of Crane Naval base:
“Unbelievable that this president would pretend like a Chinese spy balloon doesn’t matter and allow it to fly from one end of the country to the other and not do anything about it. So it’s another example of this President’s negligence is incompetence, and really how dangerous this administration is that they’re turning a blind eye to the biggest threat that America faces today, which is the Chinese Communist Party. But the spy balloon is just skimming the surface from Tik Tok, which is owned by a company that that’s owned by the Chinese Communist Party, to Confucius Institutes on college campuses. What the Chinese Communist Party is doing is steal our jobs, what they did to give us COVID, then we’re not doing anything to hold them accountable for it is a travesty. We went from a President Trump, who understood that China was a threat to a president, and Joe Biden, who treats China as a friend and that’s to me that’s outrageous and dangerous,” said Banks.
Great to be in Bloomington. This is where I first got started in politics, College Republicans and volunteered on campaigns. I’m running for the United States Senate, and excited to get out around the state, especially coming back to Bloomington where I went to school, where I have so many friends and talk about politics with some of the College Republicans and others here who have an interest. So long campaign ahead, but 2024 is a big election cycle, and I’m excited to start my campaign running for the United States Senate by coming to Bloomington, said Banks.
Here is a link to an Associated Press article after Banks announced his Senate campaign: