As President Joe Biden travels across the Middle East, where the Iran nuclear deal is sure to come up, he leaves a country battered by rising food and fuel prices. American consumers are asking serious questions of the Biden administration. Short on answers, Biden is instead focused on reviving an Iran deal that has been criticized across the political divide — from The Heritage Foundation to the opinion pages of Newsweek and The Atlantic. Sold as a deterrent against Iranian nuclearization (powered by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a designated terror group), the deal actually just delays the process with a “sunset” provision, which begins to expire after 2025. The lifting of more than $130 billion worth of sanctions, meanwhile, only emboldens the IRGC to threaten the U.S., Israel and other Western democracies. This is the same IRGC responsible for hundreds of U.S. military deaths. And Biden’s response is to reward the terrorists? Technically, the American people don’t even know Biden’s response to Iran. Robert Malley, U.S. special envoy for Iran, refuses to testify before Congress. His modus operandi is the closed-door briefing mixed with backroom dealmaking. Without public hearings on the matter, Americans are left guessing on negotiations that impact national security and global energy policy. Whereas President Donald Trump remained a steadfast ally of Israel, brokering peace between Jews and Arabs, his successor sides with Palestinian leaders who regularly terrorize the Israeli people. Rather than operating from a position of strength, Biden opts to beg Saudi Arabia to increase oil production in order to decrease U.S. energy prices. The nation once denounced as a “pariah” by none other than Biden himself is somehow now America’s only hope for lower gas prices. Therein lies Biden’s real reason for going overseas: Saudi Arabia currently lays claim to the largest spare capacity of the major oil producers, meaning that U.S. dependence has reached an unprecedented level under anti-energy Democrats. So much for human rights. The entire Biden foreign policy agenda is built on a false premise — that America should be a laggard rather than a leader. Biden officials refuse to treat energy independence like the top priority that it has become. They are all too willing to set lofty targets for decarbonization, but far less willing to expand domestic oil and gas production in a time of crisis. The federal government continues to impose restrictions on federal oil and gas lease sales, slow down permitting for fossil fuel projects, and punish producers with burdensome climate disclosures. In the process, Biden Democrats are crushing everyday consumers who struggle to make ends meet. Pain at the pump is real, and Biden seems content to prohibit the painkillers. In his first week in office, Biden paused new oil and gas leasing on federal territory, extinguishing nearly 25 percent of U.S. oil and gas production. Now he has the audacity to scapegoat oil and gas companies for not producing enough after decades of vilifying them. Americans can see through the duplicity and desperation. Coping with record-low approval ratings, Biden Democrats are in deep, deep trouble. They are bracing for a red tsunami in 2022. But November is still months away. Americans need help now. The U.S. needs leadership from the White House now. The U.S. needs to be energy independent, but Washington, D.C., stands in the way. Until White House leadership changes, nothing else will. Economic bleeding will continue. Energy dependence will be our reality — that and pointless photo shoots in the Middle East. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.