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Committee Cliff Notes: Weekly Recap – Week of November 13, 2023

Here’s a recap of key moments from House Republican committees during the week:

Armed Services

On Monday, November 13, Chairman Mike Rogers (R-AL) released a statement ahead of a meeting between President Biden and Xi Jinping. In the statement, Chairman Rogers said, “President Biden needs to clearly lay out the steep consequences China will face if their aggressive behavior in the South China Sea continues. Xi needs to understand that the United States will not be intimidated, and we will continue to support our allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific. President Biden must also stand up for our military’s ability to freely operate in the South China Sea – China’s dangerous harassment of our pilots and sailors needs to come to an end.”

On Wednesday, November 15, the Committee on Armed Services held a full committee hearing regarding the final report of the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States. In his opening statement, Chairman Rogers (R-AL) noted, “The FY22 NDAA established the Commission to assess the long-term strategic posture of the United States and to provide Congress with recommendations to improve our nuclear deterrent. We did this because for the first time since the dawn of the atomic era, the United States must deter two nuclear peer adversaries simultaneously.”
Education and Workforce

On Tuesday, November 14, the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development held a hearing called "Confronting the Scourge of Antisemitism on Campus." Jewish students, faculty, and staff are facing threats and intimidation on college campuses. This is unacceptable. The Committee’s hearing highlighted the rise of antisemitism on college campuses, the failure of universities to respond, and their legal obligations to protect Jewish students. Chairman Burgess Owens (R-UT) led the hearing by describing and denouncing cases of anti-Jew hatred on campus: “Swastikas graffitied on campus. Jewish students being segregated in classrooms by their professors. Jewish students at New York City’s Cooper Union being forced to lock themselves in the college library, and later escorted out a back door.”

Energy and Commerce

On Tuesday, November 14, the Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials held a hearing called "Clean Power Plan 2.0: EPA's Effort to Jeopardize Reliable and Affordable Energy for States." The hearing focused on how the EPA’s proposal will threaten states’ abilities to provide affordable, reliable energy to power local economies, keep people safe, and preserve their livelihoods. Under the Clean Power Plan 2.0, the EPA has introduced policy proposals to set strict, costly, and untested standards on both new and existing natural gas and remaining coal generators. The changes will have a chilling effect on American natural gas and coal—which account for about 60% of U.S. electricity generation—making life unaffordable for Americans and increasing risks for blackouts.  

On Tuesday, November 14, the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a hearing called "Leveraging AI to Enhance American Communications." The members discussed AI’s potential to enhance the performance of next-generation networks and vastly improve internet speeds. Members also discussed how a national data privacy standard is key to the responsible deployment of AI. 

On Wednesday, November 15, the Subcommittee on Health held a markup of 21 legislative proposals to improve patient access to care and support providers. The following legislation was forwarded to the Full Committee:  
  • H.R. 5372, the Expanding Seniors’ Access to Lower Cost Medicines Act of 2023 (Joyce), was forwarded to the Full Committee by a voice vote.  
  • H.R. 2880, the Protecting Patients Against PBM Abuses Act (Carter), was forwarded to the Full Committee by a voice vote.  
  • H.R. 5393To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to ensure fair assessment of pharmacy performance and quality under Medicare part D, and for other purposes (Griffith), was forwarded to the Full Committee by a voice vote.  
  • H.R. 5385, the Medicare PBM Accountability Act (Landsman), was forwarded to the Full Committee by a voice vote.  
  • H.R. 5386, the Cutting Copays Act (McGarvey), was forwarded to the Full Committee by a voice vote.  
  • H.R. 4881To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to limit cost sharing for drugs under the Medicare program (Malliotakis), was forwarded to the Full Committee by a voice vote.  
  • H.R. 5389, the National Coverage Determination Transparency Act (Guthrie), was forwarded to the Full Committee, as amended, by a voice vote.  
  • H.R. 133, the Mandating Exclusive Review of Individual Treatments (MERIT) Act (Buchanan), was forwarded to the Full Committee, as amended, by a voice vote.  
  • H.R. 5396, the Coverage Determination Clarity Act of 2023 (Bucshon), was forwarded to the Full Committee by a voice vote.  
  • H.R. 5371, the Choices for Increased Mobility Act of 2023 (Joyce), was forwarded to the Full Committee by a voice vote.  
  • H.R. 5555, the DMEPOS Relief Act of 2023 (Miller-Meeks), was forwarded to the Full Committee by a roll call vote of 16 Yeas to 12 Nays.  
  • H.R. 1691, the Ensuring Patient Access to Critical Breakthrough Products Act of 2023 (Wenstrup), was forwarded to the Full Committee by a roll call vote of 21 Yeas to 6 Nays.  
  • H.R. 5388, the Supporting Innovation for Seniors Act (Balderson), was forwarded to the Full Committee by a voice vote.  
  • H.R. 5380To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to increase data transparency for supplemental benefits under Medicare Advantage (Sarbanes), was forwarded to the Full Committee by a voice vote.  
  • H.R. 3842, the Expanding Access to Diabetes Self-Management Training Act of 2023 (Schrier), was forwarded to the Full Committee, as amended, by a voice vote.  
  • H.R. 5397, the Joe Fiandra Access to Home Infusion Act of 2023 (Fitzpatrick), was forwarded to the Full Committee, as amended, by a voice vote.  
  • H.R. 6366To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act with respect to the work geographic index for physician payments under the Medicare program, and to revise the phase-in of clinical laboratory test payment changes under such program (Hudson), was forwarded to the Full Committee by a voice vote.  
  • H.R. 6369To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to extend incentive payments for participation in eligible alternative payment models (Schrier), was forwarded to the Full Committee by a voice vote.  
  • H.R. 6371, the Provider Reimbursement Stability Act of 2023 (Murphy), was forwarded to the Full Committee by a voice vote.  
  • H.R. 6364, the Medicare Telehealth Privacy Act of 2023 (Balderson), was forwarded to the Full Committee by a voice vote.  
  • H.R. 1352, the Increasing Access to Biosimilars Act of 2023 (Hudson), was forwarded to the Full Committee by a voice vote.

Financial Services

On Friday, November 10, the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry (NC-10) and Congressman Ritchie Torres (NY-15), led a bipartisan group of lawmakers in a letter to the United States Department of the Treasury (Treasury) urging the agency to revise its proposed implementation of unworkable digital asset tax reporting requirements as enacted in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The letter was signed by several of the bipartisan cosponsors of the Keep Innovation in America Act, including Congressman Warren Davidson (OH-08), Congressman Eric Swalwell (CA-14), Majority Whip Tom Emmer (MN-06), Congressman Wiley Nickel (NC-13), Congressman French Hill (AR-02), Congressman Byron Donalds (FL-19), and Congresswoman Erin Houchin (IN-09).
On Tuesday, November 14, Chairman McHenry and the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy, Andy Barr (KY-06), sent letters to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Reserve Board of Governors (Fed), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). The Chairmen are demanding answers on the role of U.S. regulators in unaccountable and opaque global governance bodies, where Biden-appointed officials are ceding authority over American financial regulation while putting our financial system at a competitive disadvantage.

On Tuesday, November 14, the Financial Services Committee held a full committee markup and passed eleven bipartisan pieces of legislation in the wake of the barbaric attack on Israel by Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists and ongoing geopolitical turmoil. Included among the bills reported to the House for consideration are measures to further penalize Hamas and Iran for their role in perpetuating violence against Israeli civilians, conduct oversight of the Biden Administration’s sanctions against and dealings with the Iranian regime, and ensure that any humanitarian assistance to Iran is not used to finance acts of terror.
  • H.R. 5921, the No U.S. Financing for Iran Act of 2023 (Huizenga)
  • H.R. 5923, the Iran-China Energy Sanctions Act of 2023 (Lawler)
  • H.R. 6245, the Holding Iranian Leaders Accountable Act (Hill)
  • H.R. 6323, the Iran Counterterrorism Act of 2023 (Kim) 
  • H.R. 6322, the End Financing to Hamas and State Sponsors of Terrorism Act (Steil)
  • H.R. 5945, the Freezing-HAMAS Act (Meuser)
  • H.R. 6000, the Revoke Iranian Funding Act of 2023 (Nunn)
  • H.R. 6015, the Iran Sanctions Accountability Act of 2023 (Luetkemeyer)
  • H.R. 6367, the Armed Conflict Migration Act of 2023 (Cleaver)
  • H.R. 6370, the OFAC Licensure for Investigators Act (Beatty)
  • H.R. 6365, the Stopping Illicit Oil Shipments Act of 2023 (Waters)
On Tuesday, November 14, Chairman McHenry, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Bill Huizenga (MI-04), and the Subcommittee Chairman Barr sent a letter to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). In light of recent reports regarding widespread and entrenched misconduct by FDIC employees, the Chairmen are demanding the OIG expeditiously provide a briefing on the FDIC’s workplace culture.

On Wednesday, November 15, the Financial Services Committee held a full committee hearing to conduct oversight of the prudential regulators. Republican lawmakers addressed the regulators’ harmful Basel III endgame proposal, ceding of regulatory authority to global governance bodies, failure to adhere to statutory rulemaking processes, and a trend towards politicization at the agencies.

On Wednesday, November 15, the Subcommittee on Digital Assets, Financial Technology and Inclusion, led by Chairman French Hill (AR-02), held a hearing called "Crypto Crime in Context: Breaking Down the Illicit Activity in Digital Assets." Lawmakers questioned witnesses to better understand the degree of illicit activity in crypto finance; understand how we can use blockchain technology to combat illicit activity; examine the analytical tools are currently available to combat this activity; and explore gaps that may prevent and detect illicit activity.
On Wednesday, November 15, Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-NC), and Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) led a letter with a bipartisan group of colleagues to the prudential regulators—the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Reserve Board of Governors (Fed), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). The lawmakers urged the regulators to clarify that SAB 121 is not enforceable considering the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) finding that it constitutes a “rule” for purposes of the Congressional Review Act (CRA).
On November 15, Chairman Patrick McHenry (NC-10), Majority Whip Emmer, Subcommittee Chairman French Hill (AR-02), and Congressman Ritchie Torres led 53 of their colleagues on a bipartisan letter to President Biden and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to inquire into the size, scope, and duration of Hamas’s crypto fundraising efforts. This letter embarks on a fact-finding mission intended to gather information that can inform congressional actions. 

On Thursday, November 16, Chairman McHenry issued a statement regarding allegations of widespread and entrenched misconduct within the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), including by Chairman Martin Gruenberg. The statement also announced an investigation by the Committee into Chair Gruenberg’s alleged misconduct.

Foreign Affairs

On Tuesday, November 14, the Committee on Foreign Affairs held a full committee hearing called "Examining the Biden Administration’s Afghanistan Policy Since the U.S. Withdrawal." The committee was honored to hear from Anna Corbett, whose husband has been detained by the Taliban for over a year, at Tuesday’s hearing examining the admin’s Afghanistan policy since the U.S. withdrawal. The hearing featured testimony from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan, where members questioned him on the administration’s disastrous Afghanistan policy, which has led to the growth of terrorism, the loss of rights for Afghan women and girls, the taking of American hostages, and the theft of humanitarian aid.

On Tuesday, November 14, the Subcommittee on Oversight & Accountability held a hearing called "Go-to-Zero: Joe Biden’s Withdrawal Order and the Taliban Takeover of Afghanistan." This hearing examined how President Biden’s April 14, 2021 Go-to-Zero order to unconditionally withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan undermined the Afghan military, emboldened the Taliban, and ultimately led to the collapse of the Afghan government. Both Afghan witnesses recounted the withdrawal from their perspective and conveyed a depth of fear and despair that resounds louder than any of its anguished pleas, sorrowful apologies, and futile promises. 

On Wednesday, November 15, the Subcommittee on Europe held a hearing called "The Future of Nagorno-Karabakh." Witnesses from USAID and the State Department testified before the subcommittee on Europe to discuss the future of Nagorno-Karabakh and the geopolitical situation in the South Caucausus. A lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan is imperative, and U.S. engagement is essential to that end.

Homeland Security
On Tuesday, November 14, the Subcommittee on Border Security and Enforcement and the Subcommittee on Emergency Management and Technology held a joint hearing entitled “The Broken Path: How Transnational Criminal Organizations Profit from Human Trafficking at the Southwest Border.” Members discussed how the border crisis has allowed criminal cartels to prosper by exploiting the most vulnerable individuals. Transnational criminal organizations charge migrants thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to be smuggled across the border, with many being unable to pay and subsequently being forced into sex, drug, and labor trafficking rings. 

On Wednesday, November 15, the Committee on Homeland Security held a full committee hearing entitled “Worldwide Threats to the Homeland.” The hearing featured testimony from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray, and National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) Director Christine Abizaid.

In the hearing, members received confirmation of the urgent national security threat posed by the nearly 1.8 million known gotaways and the rising number of individuals on the terrorist watchlist apprehended crossing the Southwest border—especially as America’s enemies, including Iran-backed Hamas and Hezbollah, have been emboldened to spread their malign influence following the October 7 terrorist attacks on our ally, Israel.

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
The United States is at its highest risk of a terrorist attack in nearly a decade. FISA Section 702 is critical for our national security, and Congress cannot let it expire. 

This week, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s FISA Working Group released its report outlining reforms to FISA Section 702.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner and Ranking Member Jim Himes participated in Politico’s annual Defense Forum.

They discussed the international threats facing the United States and the need for Congress to support both Israel and Ukraine.

Our open southern border is a national security risk. 

National Intelligence Enterprise Subcommittee Chairman Brian Fitzpatrick held a joint hearing with the Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence Chairman August Pfluger about countering terrorism in a shifting geopolitical landscape

On Tuesday, November 14, the Subcommittee on the Administrative State, Regulatory Reform, and Antitrust held a hearing called “Oversight of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division,” to examine the mission and programs of the Antitrust Division.

Natural Resources

On Tuesday, November 14, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing titled “Examining the Biden Administration’s Abandoned Mine Lands and Active Mining Programs.” Recent decisions by the administration have led to an increase in delays and requirements for coal mining communities and tribes. Many coal communities, tribes and states are concerned that these new requirements will lead to greater federal overreach and control of previously state-run regulations. This hearing was an opportunity for representatives from these communities to testify on the Biden administration's bureaucratic overreach and for members to learn more about the struggles they are facing.

On Tuesday, November 14, the Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries held a legislative hearing on the following bills:
  • H.R. 4219, the Southwestern Power Administration Fund Establishment Act (Graves)
  • H.R. 5770, the Water Data Improvement Act (Neguse)
  • H.R. 6107, the Urban Canal Modernization Act (Simpson)
  • H.R. 6127, the Modernizing Access to Our Public Waters Act or MAPWaters Act (Moore)
The bills considered at this hearing would improve access to public waters, address maintenance needs of our aging irrigation infrastructure, reauthorize important groundwater monitoring programs and ensure federal powers will be able to uphold statutory obligations. These bills are essential to ensuring that Americans have access to up-to-date water resource management and infrastructure and make it easier for people to enjoy our public waters. 

On Tuesday, November 14, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a legislative hearing on the following bills:
  • H.R. 4235, the Wildfire Technology Demonstration, Evaluation, Modernization, and Optimization Act or the Wildfire Technology DEMO Act (Kim)
  • H.R. 4353, the Civilian Conservation Center Enhancement Act of 2023 (Salinas)
  • H.R. 4717, the Locally Led Restoration Act of 2023 (Lamborn)
  • H.R. 5582, the White Oak Resilience Act (Barr)
  • H.R. 5665, the Promoting Accessibility on Federal Lands Act of 2023 (Stansbury) 
  • H.R. 6070, To amend the Military Lands Withdrawal Act of 1999 to clarify the authority of Department of Defense to conduct certain military activities at the Nevada test and training range, and for other purposes (Amodei)
  • Discussion draft of H.R. ____, the Biochar Innovations and Opportunities for Conservation, Health, and Advancements in Research Act or the BIOCHAR Act (Westerman)
This hearing was on seven bills that will improve forest management, enhance our ability to combat wildfires, protect national security, increase access and promote new research of emerging technologies. In particular H.R. 6070 would make sure that the department of defense continues to use the Nevada Test and Training Range to help maintain its strategic importance.

On Tuesday, November 14, the Subcommittee on Indian and Insular Affairs held an oversight hearing titled “Opportunities and Challenges for Improving Public Safety in Tribal Communities.” American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) experience violence at a higher rate than other communities with more than four in five AI/AN adults reporting they have been a victim of some form of violence in their lifetime. Congress is considering various solutions to these problems, including improving recruitment and retention through further incentives already in use by other federal law enforcement agencies. During the hearing, committee members heard from tribal leaders about the successes, opportunities and challenges in tribal areas, as well as possible solutions.

Oversight and Accountability

On Tuesday, November 14, the Committee on Oversight and Accountability held a full committee hearing called “Oversight of the U.S. General Services Administration.” Members examined the operations of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and explored how the agency can achieve significant savings for taxpayers. Under the Biden Administration, federal telework levels remain elevated with agencies’ D.C. headquarters offices sitting mostly empty. During the hearing, members pressed Administrator Robin Carnahan on GSA’s own headquarters being only 11 percent utilized, despite the agency’s “full re-entry” plan that encouraged employees to return to the office. Members concluded that GSA, as the federal government’s primary real estate agent and property manager, must rein in spending across the federal government and work to ensure taxpayer funds are not wasted on empty, underutilized office space located largely in expensive metropolitan areas. 

On Tuesday, November 14, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic conducted a 9.5 hour transcribed interview with EcoHealth Alliance President Dr. Peter Daszak. EcoHealth Alliance — an American non-profit whose alleged mission is to prevent pandemics — used taxpayer dollars to fund highly-dangerous gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology that likely led to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.


This week, the House Rules Committee met to discuss measures to prevent a government shutdown (H.R. 6363), responsibly invest in the health, education, and well-being of the American people (H.R. 5894), support law enforcement and protect our communities (H.R. 5893), and permanently freeze the $6 billion the Biden Administration released to the Iranian regime in September (H.R. 5961). In discussions related to government funding and appropriations measures, members reiterated their commitment to restoring fiscal sanity and preventing a massive take-it-or-leave-it omnibus right before the holidays. They also repeated the importance of ensuring Iran – a known state sponsor of terrorism – doesn’t get access to monies that could support their malign activities.

Science, Space, and Technology

On Wednesday, November 15, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a full committee markup of the following legislation:
  • H.R. 6213, the National Quantum Initiative Reauthorization (Lucas)
  • H.R. 6131, the Commercial Space Act of 2023 (Babin)
The markup will reconvene after Thanksgiving to vote on H.R. 6213 and H.R. 6131. 

Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party

On Monday, November 13, Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI), of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, wrote to the Secretary of the Army, Christine Wormuth, urging the Army to provide a plan for defending Guam, a US territory, from Chinese military aggression.
On Tuesday, November 14, Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party wrote to the American organizers of a November 15th 'welcome dinner' for U.S. executives to dine with communist dictator Xi Jinping in San Francisco. "It is unconscionable that American companies might pay thousands of dollars to join a 'welcome dinner' hosted by the very same CCP officials who have facilitated a genocide against millions of innocent men, women, and children in Xinjiang."

On Wednesday, November 15, Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party unveiled a report on its investigation into the illegal People’s Republic of China-tied biolab discovered in Reedley, CA. The members were joined by Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), whose district includes Reedley, CA, Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA), and Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL).

Small Business

On Tuesday, November 14, the Committee on Small Business held a full committee hearing called "“Oversight of the SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurial Development.” This hearing focused on the inefficiencies within the Small Business Administration including duplicative programs and taking funding away from success programs and redirecting them to programs with a lower return on investment. Members highlighted to Associate Administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development, Mark Madrid, the importance of being good stewards of taxpayer dollars and using them in an efficient and effective manner. 

Transportation and Infrastructure

On Tuesday, November 14, the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation held a hearing called "Guardians of the Sea: Examining Coast Guard Efforts in Drug Enforcement, Illegal Migration, and IUU Fishing.” On November 15th, the Committee approved 13 pieces of legislation, including a number of bills focused on addressing the federal government’s inefficient and costly use of office space, the effects of growing crime around public buildings, getting federal workers to return to the office, improvements to federal disaster preparedness and response programs, and more.

Veterans Affairs

On Tuesday, November 14, the Subcommittee on Health held an oversight hearing titled "Emerging Therapies: Breakthroughs in the Battle Against Suicide?” This hearing examined the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) psychedelic assisted therapy clinical trial program and also the research that the private sector has been conducting in this emerging field. The witnesses in attendance were: Dr. Carolyn Clancy, Assistant Undersecretary for Health at the Office of Discovery, Education, and Affiliate Networks, Department of Veterans Affairs; Dr. Ilse Wiechers, Deputy Executive Director at the Office of Mental Heath and Suicide Prevention, Department of Veterans Affairs; Dr. Rachel Yehuda, Patient Care Director at Bronx VA Medical Center, Department of Veterans Affairs; Jonathan Lubecky, clinical trial participant; Dr. Frederick Barrett, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research; Mike Mellette, Chief Operating Officer at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psycdelic Studies; Dr. Rajeev Ramchand, Co-Director at RAND Epstein Family Veterans Policy Research Institute; Brett Waters, Co-Founder and Executive Director at Reason for Hope; Juliana Mercer, Director of Veteran Advocacy and Public Policy at Healing Breakthrough. Witnesses spoke on the benefits of these clinical trials, barriers to expansion of the clinical trials, and funding and training areas of concern.  Bi-partisan member questioning highlighted the potential of these therapies in reducing veteran suicides and stressed the need for focused VA clinical, evidence-based approaches while specifically emphasizing against legalization outside of a medical setting or casual use of psychedelics.

On Wednesday, November 15, the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity held a markup on the following legislation:
  • H.R. 522, the Deliver for Veterans Act (Moylan)
  • H.R. 2830, the Veteran Improvement Commercial Driver License Act of 2023 (Edwards)
  • H.R. 3601, the Student Veteran Work Study Modernization Act (Cartwright)
  • H.R. 3722, the Daniel J. Harvey, Jr. and Adam Lambert Improving Servicemember Transition to Reduce Veteran Suicide Act (Nunn)
  • H.R. 3738, To amend title 38, United States Code, to establish in the Department of Veterans Affairs the Veterans Economic Opportunity and Transition Administration, and for other purposes (Wenstrup)
  • H.R. 5785, To amend title 38, United States Code, to modify the requirements of the Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship (Budzinski)
  • H.R. 5913, the Consolidating Veteran Employment Services for Improved Performance Act of 2023 (Van Orden)
  • H.R. 5914, To amend title, United States Code, to improve the processes to approve programs of education for purposes of the educational assistance programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and for other purposes (Van Orden)
  • H.R. 5956, the G.I. Bill Improvement Act of 2023 (Kiggans)
  • H.R. 6193, To amend title 38, United States Code, to waive the fee for a housing loan guaranteed by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for a veteran with a service-connected disability who applied for such loan before receiving a disability rating from the Secretary (Levin)
The bills considered would provide more support to disabled veterans and increase suicide prevention measures through the TAP and Solid Start program. These bills would also create a 4th administration within VA to provide more accountability and transparency within VA’s education benefits while reducing bureaucracy.  

On Wednesday, November 15, the Subcommittee on Technology Modernization held an oversight hearing titled “Electronic Health Record Modernization Deep Dive: System Uptime.” The Subcommittee examined the struggles with the Oracle Cerner electronic health record (EHR) system when all or part of it is unavailable, inaccessible, or unusable. Although Oracle Cerner and VA have made some improvements to the EHR, data from an independent company and VA employees themselves depict the situation as dramatically worse than what VA and Oracle Cerner report in their official data. Senior officials from VA and the Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization (FEHRM) Office testified. Subcommittee members questioned witnesses about how EHR instability affects VA employees and veterans, discrepancies in data between what VA and Oracle Cerner report versus what independent data shows, and the future EHR deployment at the James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago. The VA witnesses acknowledged that during the EHR program’s “reset,” they will be addressing the issues with EHR uptime and technical system performance, which is one of several areas that is receiving dedicated attention before deployments can resume at full pace. VA and FEHRM witnesses stated that the two agencies will continue to work collaboratively with one another to improve system reliability and operations based on lessons learned to ensure success and patient safety. Chairman Rosendale made clear the need for the two departments and Oracle Cerner to put the blame shifting behind them and address the problems of the EHR regardless of who may have created them. 

Ways and Means

On Wednesday, November 15, the Committee on Ways and Means held a full committee hearing called "From Ivory Towers to Dark Corners: Investigating the Nexus Between Antisemitism, Tax-Exempt Universities, and Terror Financing." Tax-exempt charities operating in the United States have close links to terrorist financing, the Ways and Means Committee learned in a hearing examining the nexus between these so-called “charities” and the explosion of antisemitism on college campuses since the October 7th Hamas attack on Israel. Witnesses testified about the pattern of tax-exempt charities being shut down for funding terrorism and then re-establishing under a different name. One prominent example is American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), an organization founded by several senior leaders of the Holy Land Foundation, a tax-exempt charity that funneled $12.4 million from Americans to fund Hamas before it was shut down by the U.S. government in the early 2000s. AMP helped start and continues to provide support for Students for Justice in Palestine, a student organization banned on several campuses for intimidating and bullying Jewish students. During the Committee hearing, a Cornell student shared her story of fearing for her life from violent death threats the same day college administrators falsely claimed students were safe. The refusal to condemn antisemitic intimidation, harassment, and violence fits into a broader pattern of colleges protecting speech preferred by left-wing administrators and professors rather than the actual principles of free speech.