Committee Cliff Notes: Weekly Recap – Week of November 6, 2023
Washington, November 10, 2023
Here’s a recap of key moments from House Republican committees during the week:
On Wednesday, November 8, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), and Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-MS), released a statement responding to Russia’s withdrawal from the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty. In the statement, the members said, “The administration’s response has been nothing but a superficial half-measure.”
On Wednesday, November 8, Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL) released a statement, following reports that Putin had called for closer cooperation with China and Russia on military space weapons. Chairman Rogers stated, “Our adversaries are working to rapidly weaponize space. The possibility of Russia and China joining forces against us in space is only the latest example of why we must continue our efforts to strengthen and expand our space capabilities. We must ensure freedom of action in space and counter efforts by those like China and Russia who seek to attack our forces in and through space.”
Education and Workforce
On Wednesday, November 8, the Committee on Education and Workforce held a full committee markup on H.R. 5933, the Defending Education Transparency and Ending Rogue Regimes Engaging in Nefarious Transactions (DETERRENT) Act (Steel). The Committee passed the DETERRENT Act, legislation that brings clarity to foreign gift reporting requirements for colleges and universities and protects American education from malicious foreign influence. It comes on the heels of new reporting from NCRI which found that over 200 American colleges and universities received $13 billion in previously undisclosed contributions from foreign regimes which has helped fuel antisemitism on college campuses.
On November 7, 2023, Chairman Patrick McHenry (NC-10) issued a statement slamming the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) notice of proposed rulemaking regarding digital wallets and payments applications that stretches the Bureau’s authority to eliminate consumer choice and stymie the development of innovative products and services.
On Tuesday, November 7, the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy—led by Chairman Andy Barr (KY-06)—held a hearing called "The Tangled Web of Global Governance: How the Biden Administration is Ceding Authority Over American Financial Regulation." Republicans examined how the Biden Administration’s financial regulators are allowing unaccountable foreign forums to dictate U.S. policy and put our financial system at a competitive disadvantage.
On Thursday, November 9, the Financial Services Committee—led by Chairman McHenry—held its Member Day for the 118th Congress. The Committee heard from Members across the House of Representatives about the issues that matter to their constituents in the jurisdiction of the Committee.
On Tuesday, November 7, the Committee on Foreign Affairs held a full committee markup on the following legislation:
On Wednesday, November 8, the Subcommittee on Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations held a hearing called "United Nations’ Bigotry Towards Israel: UNRWA Anti-semitism Poisons Palestinian Youth." This hearing focused on the hostility of the UN toward Israel – shown at every level of the UN and its various agencies – and examined this anti-Israel bias considering the current situation in the Middle East. The hearing also opened dialogue to the harm this does to Israel and explored U.S. and Israeli efforts to combat it as tensions rise in new and virulent forms around the world.
On Wednesday, November 8, the Committee on Foreign Affairs held a full committee hearing called "Friend and Ally: U.S. Support for Israel After Hamas’ Barbaric Attack." State and Defense Department officials testified before the committee to discuss the circumstances surrounding Hamas’ unprovoked attack on Israel, Israel’s response, U.S. support to Israel, and the potential for broader regional conflict and terrorist attacks against U.S. interests. American lives and the security of our country are at significant risk if we do not stand by Israel and project strength in the face of growing terrorist threats.
On Wednesday, November 8, the Committee on Homeland Security held a full committee markup on the following legislation:
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
On Tuesday, November 7, FBI Director Christopher Wray spoke with members of the House Intelligence Committee. He emphasized that the United States is currently at its highest risk of a terrorist attack in nearly a decade.
HPSCI Chairman Mike Turner shared his concerns about the risks facing the United States following Hamas’ terrorist attack against Israel.
On Tuesday, November 7, the Subcommittee on Crime and Federal Government Surveillance held a hearing entitled “Oversight of the Bureau of Prisons,” to examine the Bureau of Prison's (BOP) operations, management, and staffing challenges. The hearing also examined the status of programs and legislation enacted in previous Congresses, including President Trump's First Step Act.
On Wednesday, November 8, the Judiciary Committee held a full committee hearing called "Free Speech on College Campuses," to examine the current state of the First Amendment on the campuses of American colleges and universities. The hearing also examined the rise in antisemitism, anti-Israel sentiment, and violence towards students supporting Israel.
On Wednesday, November 8, Committee on Natural Resources held a full committee markup on the following legislation:
Oversight and Accountability
On Wednesday, November 8, the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation held a hearing called “Advances in Deepfake Technology.” Subcommittee members discussed with subject matter experts how deepfake technology can be used by bad actors and hostile nations to distort reality and create harmful images. They also explored ways to authenticate and identify artificial images. Subcommittee members also discussed potential legislative options to protect against the harm that deepfake images can cause.
On Monday, November 6, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic sent a letter to New York Governor Kathy Hochul requesting information related to her state’s disastrous COVID-19 nursing home policies and her predecessor's “must-admit” mandate after repeated obstruction by former Governor Cuomo and the Hochul Administration.
The Rules Committee advanced consideration of H.R. 4664, the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2024. Members emphasized how the legislation reprioritizes funding to meet our most pressing needs and ensures responsible stewardship of valuable taxpayer dollars. They highlighted how the measure is fiscally responsible and cuts spending, rejects billions of dollars in requests from the Biden Administration, right-sizes federal agencies, fights opioid abuse, and rescinds $14 billion obligated to supercharge the IRS. Bringing forth responsible appropriations and cutting government bloat is a critical step in the House Republican Commitment to America—and H.R. 4664 is essential to upholding those priorities.
Science, Space, and Technology
On Wednesday, November 8, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a full committee markup on the following legislation:
On Wednesday, November 8, the Committee on Small Business held a full committee hearing called "Burdensome Regulations: Examining the Effects of Department of Energy Regulations on America’s Job Creators.” During the hearing, members heard about the impacts of DOE’s regulations on small businesses including on transformers, gas stoves, ceiling fans, and more. Witnesses highlighted how the costs to comply with federal regulations are often greater than estimated by agencies as it not only costs money to comply, but it also takes time to transition, leading them to miss profits.
On Tuesday, November 7, Committee on Veterans Affairs held an oversight hearing titled “Veterans Serving Veterans: The Impact of America’s Businesses on Veteran Employment and Opportunity.” To highlight the impact of businesses hiring veterans, the Committee heard from Home Depot, Walmart, Verizon, and Hiring our Heroes on ways the private sector can benefit from hiring and retaining veterans, and what improvements Congress needs to make to streamline the process. The Committee also heard about how the Transition Assistance Program does not properly prepare servicemembers for the private sector. Finally, the Committee heard from veteran-owned small businesses about current problems with access to capital, and how inflation and increased regulation has negatively impacted starting a veteran-owned business.
On Wednesday, November 8, the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs held a legislative hearing on the following bills:
Ways and Means
On Tuesday, November 7, the Committee on Ways and Means held a full committee hearing called "Ensuring that 'Woke' Doesn’t Leave Americans Broke: Protecting Seniors and Savers from ESG Activism." At a Ways and Means hearing exploring the infiltration of ESG (environmental, social, and governance) ideology into America’s financial system, witnesses exposed how the Biden Administration’s climate alarmism is allowing ESG activists to threaten the $33 trillion Americans have saved in pensions, annuities, IRAs and 401(k) plans. Increasingly common and pervasive ESG mandates are forcing seniors and savers to pay more in management fees, while earning less. Over the past year, according to a Ways & Means Committee staff analysis, the 20 largest ESG funds lost money and performed nearly 19 percentage points worse than the benchmark S&P 500 index.