The Leader’s Floor Lookout: Week of November 13, 2023
Washington, November 12, 2023
Here’s what to watch for on the House Floor this week:
Freezing Funds That Enable Iranian Backed Terrorism
In August 2023, Biden struck a deal with the Iranian government to unfreeze $6 billion and release Iranian prisoners in exchange for the release of five Americans. While it is imperative we work to free Americans being held by adversaries around the globe, releasing $6 billion to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism was another deadly Biden foreign policy failure – something made clear about a month after the deal was consummated.
Over 1,200 people were killed and more than 240 taken hostage in the barbaric Iranian-backed Hamas attacks against Israel on October 7th – the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust.
While the Biden Administration scrambles to deny any wrongdoing by claiming the funds unfrozen weren’t used in the Hamas attacks, the fact is releasing any money to Iran frees up funds they can use to support terrorism. Even the Iranian President stated that the money “belongs to the Iranian people, the Iranian government, so the Islamic Republic of Iran will decide what to do with this money.”
The United States cannot play any part in Iran having access to billions of dollars while they continue to back heinous attacks against our allies and support terrorist groups that call for “Death to America.”
Rep. Michael McCaul’s legislation, H.R. 5961, the No Funds for Iranian Terrorism Act, re-freezes the funds released to Iran involved in the 2023 hostage deal between the United States and Iran and ensures these $6 billion remain permanently off limits to the Iranian regime.
House Republicans are making sure we permanently prevent Iran from having access to these funds, which would free up more money for them to continue their malign activities.
De-Weaponizing Federal Agencies and Making Communities Safer
Under the Biden Administration, federal agencies like the FBI and ATF are targeting parents who speak up at school board meetings and disabled veterans who use a pistol brace on their firearm, while letting fentanyl continue to flow unabated across the border and illegal immigrants roam free with no monitoring.
House Republicans are bringing forward a bill that uses the power of the purse to halt the weaponization of the FBI, including defunding Attorney General Garland’s memorandum that targets parents speaking at school board meetings, and end the overreach of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) by defunding the ATF’s rules on pistol braces and privately made firearms.
Additionally, the bill supports state and local law enforcement and provides critical resources to combat illegal drugs flooding our country, making communities across the country safer.
It’s imperative that we rein in Washington bureaucracy and hold the Department of Justice, the ATF, and other agencies accountable for their invasive overreach. Instead, we must direct funds to protecting our communities from drugs like fentanyl, countering China, boosting the U.S.’s competitive edge on the world stage, investing in cutting edge research and technology, and supporting American innovators and manufacturers.
H.R. 5893, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2024, sponsored by Rep. Hal Rogers, provides FY24 appropriations to the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice (DOJ), the science agencies, and several related agencies to end the abuses of power at the DOJ, rein in wasteful bureaucracy, prioritize our national security, support state and local law enforcement, counter the flow of fentanyl and other opioids, and maintain America’s competitive edge.
House Republicans are fighting for American families by keeping federal agencies like the FBI and the DOJ out of your home and dangerous drugs like fentanyl out of your community.
Investing in Public Health and Education
When it comes to investing in health, education, and our workforce, House Republicans are fighting to ensure funding goes to programs we need, not controversial and wasteful social justice initiatives.
Our bill responsibly funds programs that help improve the public health, safety, and lives of the American people, including critical medical research and programs for drug abuse prevention and treatment. At the same time, it holds agencies with a history of poor performance or controversial activities accountable and invests in education to develop our future workforce and maintain our competitive edge.
Additionally, the bill prioritizes biodefense, programs supporting rural America, targeted education programs including for children with special needs, and Congressional oversight responsibilities.
It also protects religious freedom and equality by halting Biden’s regulation to force schools to let biological boys compete in women’s sports programs against girls and prohibiting federal funding from going toward enforcing gender identity politics or hormonal and surgical procedures to look like the opposite sex.
H.R. 5894, the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2024, sponsored by Rep. Aderholt, provides FY24 appropriations to the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education; and related agencies, to prioritize medical research, promote American values, protect life, and combat the opioid
epidemic – all while reining in wasteful bureaucracy.
It’s past time to ensure that American taxpayer dollars are going to the programs they need: medical research, counter-drug initiatives, specialized education for special needs, and workforce development – not gender reassignment surgeries or diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Reforming Washington’s Appropriations Process and Averting a Shutdown
For too long, responsible spending has been a foreign concept to Washington, sticking the American people with a national debt that now exceeds $33.6 trillion.
House Republicans are on a mission to cut wasteful Washington spending and reduce our out of control debt. Already, the House has passed seven of the 12 single-subject spending bills to fund over 75 percent of the government – meanwhile, the Democrat Senate has only passed 17 percent of funding in a minibus.
In order to ensure the government stays open and accessible to Americans while we fight to save our economy from more reckless spending, House Republicans are bringing a continuing resolution to the floor that extends funding but at the same time reforms Washington’s broken system.
The resolution allows sufficient time to pass the remaining funding while preventing an irresponsible “Christmas omnibus” by extending four appropriations bills until January 19 and the remaining eight until February 2. It also separates supplemental funding debates so that we can continue fighting for fiscal responsibility and maintain oversight of foreign aid.
H.R. ___, the Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act, 2024, provides further continuing FY24 appropriations to federal agencies that fall under the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, and Energy and Water appropriations bills through January 19, 2024, and remaining agencies through February 2, 2024.
It’s vital that Washington changes its trajectory and starts reining in spending to reduce the debt, but also that the government remains open to serve the American people – this legislation would accomplish both.