Last fall, I, along with my Republican colleagues, renewed our Commitment to America that our focus in the new Congress would be policies that build an economy that’s strong; a nation that’s safe; a future that’s built on freedom; and a government that’s accountable to the American people. Now, with the issue of who will be the House Majority Leader, the new Republican majority hit the ground running to deliver on our commitment.
Wasting no time, the U.S. House took action to cut spending, improve national security, and protect newborns, while establishing new committees to address our competition with China and restore government accountability.
On Monday Jan. 9, House Republicans passed a transformational Rules Package to restore the People’s House. These rule changes will establish the most member-driven, open, transparent, and accountable House of Representatives in recent history.
For too long, power has driven the legislative process, shutting members of both parties out and resulting in massive bills being drafted behind closed doors then rushed to the floor for a vote. The rules adopted last week empower every member to have their voice heard on behalf of their constituents.
Committees will once again be the primary drivers of legislation, allowing members more opportunities to work with their colleagues on legislation before it is brought to the floor for a vote.
Bills must focus on a single subject and members given 72-hours to review final text before casting their vote. By repealing proxy voting and remote committee business, members will be required to meet, debate, and vote in-person. These changes are good steps to begin restoring trust in the People’s House.
House Republican’s first bill vote of the 118th Congress was to rescind the funding allocated in the so-called Inflation Reduction Act to hire 87,000 IRS agents. Not only would these additional staff members make the IRS larger than the Pentagon, Border Patrol and FBI combined, according to analyses, these additional agents would be focused on enforcement and result in 1.2 million more audits per year with nearly 700,000 of those falling on taxpayers making $75,000 or less. Too often I’ve seen IRS audits used for political purposes, often targeting conservative individuals and organizations.
On Tuesday, I voted to establish two new select committees. The Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party passed with broad bipartisan support. This committee will investigate and submit policy recommendations on the status of the Chinese Communist Party’s economic, technological, and security progress, and its competition with the United States.
The Select Committee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government will investigate and study the FBI, DOJ and DHS’ actions collecting information on American citizens, abuses of powers and any issues related to the violation of the civil liberties of American Citizens.
For the last four years, the U.S. House has failed to fulfill the constitutional duty to conduct rigorous oversight of the Executive Branch. Restoring accountability and rooting out corruption and abuses of power, while providing transparency to the American people are among my priorities.
I was thrilled that on our third day, my Republican colleagues joined me in voting to pass a bill I have introduced for several years - the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. This common-sense bill ensures infants born after a failed abortion have the same legal protections and medical care as any other newborn. We also passed a resolution I co-sponsored condemning the attacks by radical activists on pro-life facilities, organizations, and churches last year.
Our final vote of the week was to pass legislation that protects national security. The Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act would prevent the Secretary of Energy from selling our Strategic Petroleum Reserves to any entity affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party or any entity that intends to export it to China.
The American people made their voices heard last fall, and Republicans listened. Just one week into the 118th Congress, and I’m taking swift action with my colleagues to fulfill our Commitment to America.