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U.S. Rep. Mrvan addresses national security concerns during virtual forum

U.S. Rep. Frank Mrvan speaks during a virtual forum on Jan. 30.
screenshot from Congressman Frank J. Mrvan YouTube video
U.S. Rep. Frank Mrvan speaks during a virtual forum on Jan. 30.

U.S. Representative Frank Mrvan (D-Highland) is concerned that Congress's failure to agree on a long-term spending plan and the potential sale of U.S. Steel could have national security implications.

During a virtual forum on YouTube on Tuesday, Mrvan said he worried that the temporary funding measures don't give enough direction and oversight to the Department of Defense and intelligence agencies. "There are active military conflicts occurring involving Russia and Ukraine, which is a direct threat to the viability of democracy," Mrvan noted. "And I also remain very concerned about the conflict occurring between Israel and the terrorist organization Hamas."

Mrvan said he supports the Biden Administration's request for more funding for Ukraine and Israel, humanitarian aid for Gaza and more border patrol agents. Mrvan also called for the increased use of technology to protect the border wall, as well as other ports of entry.

"When we talk about the ports of entry, that's where the fentanyl and the drugs are coming in, and so, we have a port, an international port in Portage, Indiana. We want to make sure that that's secure," Mrvan added.

He said he also supports the bipartisan immigration deal being negotiated in the Senate.

Mrvan also wants the Biden Administration to closely examine the Nippon Steel Corporation's planned purchase of U.S. Steel. He noted that much of the steel produced in Northwest Indiana is used for military equipment.

"I remain very cautious about this historical precedent of foreign companies buying our national security assets and about the prior trade actions of Nippon," Mrvan said.

He touted some examples of bipartisan collaboration involving federal, state and local governments, like a clean hydrogen hub that will include BP's Whiting refinery. "This project will create over 16,000 construction jobs right here in Whiting, Indiana," Mrvan added.

He also sees it as an opportunity for Northwest Indiana's steel mills to shift away from using coal, resulting in cleaner air and water.

Michael Gallenberger is a news reporter and producer that hosts All Things Considered on 89.1 FM | Lakeshore Public Media.