PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Days after the 2022 elections, Rep. Neal Dunn is making plans for the next two years.

“We got to get the spending under control,” Dunn said. “That’s government spending. And a lot of government spending is just plain wasteful.”

Dunn said inflation is one of the biggest issues he believes will receive bipartisan attention. Dunn also hopes to address migration across the southern border.

“We’ve always maintained a big focus on the border and its related issues,” Dunn said. “Crime and drugs, drug overdoses.” 

Without controlling the Senate or White House, Dunn realizes it’ll be difficult to achieve Republican goals.

But he said House Republicans could force more money toward border security through spending bills. 

“Power is the power of the purse, right?” Dunn said. “I mean, that’s that’s you know, that’s the strongest power I think Congress has.”

Republicans could try to push issues by using the debt ceiling deadline as leverage for policies. But Dunn said that he expected the debt ceiling to go up temporarily. If it does not the federal government would likely shut down.

He also planned to address energy costs in the next couple of years. Home power costs have risen greatly for many Panhandle residents.

“Everybody needs energy, cheap energy, makes everything else cheaper,” Dunn said. “When your price of oil and gas is through the roof, transportation cost and manufacturing costs are going to be through the roof as well.”

He said the United States is not currently energy independent but hopes that changes soon.

“I think we can return to energy independence,” Dunn said. “That’s a tougher lift because the administration seems to be determined not to return to energy independence.”