U.S. Rep. Michael Guest became the second freshman Republican in Congress to have a bill become law after President Donald J. Trump signed the Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel Exercise Act last week. 

Guest, who was back in Mississippi’s Third Congressional District last week, gave a lot of credit to his staff for the success of the bill. 

“When I was sworn into office, we sat down and tried to look at what we could do to work with law enforcement and try to make a difference,” Guest said.

The bill instructs the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop and conduct a preparedness exercise aimed at preventing travel to and from the United States by suspected terrorists. 

Guest said according to briefings he receives in D.C., every day there are approximately 10 suspected terrorists who attempt to travel to the U.S. but are stopped. 

He said he vividly remembers Sept. 11, 2001, and calls it a “defining moment” for his generation. 

“It was an awakening for us,” he said. “We always felt secure at home. We saw that terrorists were able to use a weakness in out system to conduct attacks on American soil.”

Guest hopes with the passage of this bill, the government is able to prevent future planned attacks. 

“It’s important that we must remain vigilant,” he said. “There are terrorist groups out there who seek each and every day to cause harm to Americans. We need to identify any potential weaknesses in our system.”

The bill was the first legislation authored by a freshman Republican to pass the U.S. House of Representatives and the second to be signed into law after being delayed in the Senate for a couple of weeks. 

The bill was voted on the House floor, passing 394-7, with four of the notable “nay” votes coming from “the Squad,” a group of freshman Democratic representatives including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Guest said the Squad didn’t give any reason for voting agains the bill, but called it a “badge of honor,” due to their “extreme progressive beliefs.”

Guest also credited U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson for his support in getting the bill out of the House Committee on Homeland Security, which he chairs. 

The passage of the bill drew accolades from Republican leaders in Congress.

“Rep. Michael Guest has shown his class of new members of Congress are hard at work crafting important legislation to keep America secure and prosperous,” House Republican Whip Steve Scalise said. 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy added, “Republicans are doing what we came to Washington to do: get things done and put the American people first. Michael’s leadership has been front and center for not only passing his first bill through the House, but for being the first Republican freshman to do so – especially on issues relating to strengthening our country’s national security.  Our country and conference are in good hands with Michael’s leadership,”

The newest bill Guest is working on will provide grant money to federal, state and local law enforcement officials for any geographical area that borders Canada, Mexico, or the Gulf of Mexico. The legislation has been introduced but has not made it out of the House.

He said the funds will help ensure we have the “best-trained and best-equipped” law enforcement so they can do their job and come home to their families safely. 

Guest returned to D.C. on Tuesday and said a lot of discussions will be centered on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s call for impeachment. 

He said he disagreed with the way Pelosi was unilaterally declaring this investigation and that it does not follow impeachment proceedings in the past of Nixon and Clinton, which required a full vote of Congress and rules and powers granted to both the majority and minority parties. 

“I read the whistleblower’s report and the transcript with the Ukrainian president and there’s nothing to support a vote of impeachment against the president,” he said. “We will continue to make sure the Democrats are being held by the proper rules and proper standards. As long as we continue to focus on impeachment, we’re not focusing on the issues the American people elected us to tackle.”

Guest said Congress should pivot from impeachment to come together and pass bipartisan legislation “that will impact everyday Americans” such as infrastructure, immigration and healthcare.