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The Republican Recap: Week of November 27, 2023

Here’s a recap of what Republicans achieved 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 on October 7th when over 1,200 people were killed and more than 240 taken hostage in the barbaric Iranian-backed Hamas attacks against Israel. 

Releasing any money to Iran frees up funds they can use to support terrorism. 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.

“No matter what assurances the Biden administration makes, the president of Iran has said he would use this money however he wants. Iran is the largest state sponsor of terror in the world, and money is fungible. We cannot give them another $6 billion that would enable their terror operations, including support for genocidal Hamas, which is at war with our ally Israel,” said Chairman Michael McCaul. 

What Members Said:

“Anybody in the world knows that Iran is the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism, including funding Hamas. So the idea that you can just take Hamas and keep it separate from Iran has always been a farce. Iran funds Hamas, and everybody knows it. So the idea that you would be negotiating in August or September to help Iran get $6 billion boggles the mind, prior to the invasion and attacks on Israel. After the attacks, the administration should be joining us in supporting this bill. We shouldn't even need the bill. The administration should be standing there saying we're not giving them the money anymore,” said Majority Leader Steve Scalise. 

Click here or on the image above to view Leader Scalise's remarks.
“FBI Director Christopher Wray recently confirmed that Iran is the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism, and has even attempted attacks on American soil. By imposing immediate mandatory sanctions on foreign financial institutions that facilitate the transfer of these restricted $6 billion in funds covered under that deal, the No Funds for Iranian Terrorism Act will ensure that that money remains permanently off limits to the Iranian regime. So I'm grateful that the House came together on a bipartisan basis to pass this legislation that I've co authored. I urge the Senate to give it prompt consideration and for the President to sign it,” said Rep. Kevin Kiley. 

Click here or on the image above to view Rep. Kiley's remarks.
Rep. Brett Guthrie highlighted how H.R. 5961 combats Hezbollah's terrorist activities and imposes strong sanctions on Hamas.  

Preventing Housing Illegal Immigrants in National Parks ✅

At a time when we need secure borders more than ever, Biden’s border crisis keeps getting worse. But instead of taking meaningful action to stifle the flow of illegal immigrants across our border, such as signing into law House Republicans’ Secure the Border Act, H.R. 2, the Biden Administration and Democrats’ solution is to house these immigrants in national parks and on federal lands.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced in August that the Biden Administration approved her plan to house 2,500 migrants at Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field, sparking bipartisan backlash, with Republican and Democrat local officials joining a lawsuit to block this unconstitutional misuse of federal lands.

These national parks are for Americans to experience our country’s natural wonders, learn our history, and enjoy the great outdoors – not housing unvetted migrants. American families shouldn’t suffer loss of access to national parks because of the Biden Administration’s failure to take action and secure the border. 

H.R. 5283, the Protecting our Communities from Failure to Secure the Border Act of 2023, introduced by Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, prohibits the use of federal funds to provide housing to illegal immigrants on land that falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal land management agencies.

“Turning our federal parks into encampments for unvetted migrants from all over the world is unfair to surrounding communities and the taxpayers who are being forced to foot the bill while our Mayor bankrupts our city and slashes services from our citizens,” Rep. Nicole Malliotakis said. "This crisis is unsustainable and unsafe and we're using every legal and legislative tool at our disposal, including the bipartisan passage of my legislation today, to stop the Biden, Hochul and Adams Administrations from taking more public spaces and cutting more services that are meant for our citizens. I urge Senator Schumer and the Senate to pass this bill and H.R.2 as swiftly as possible so we can put an end to this crisis once and for all." 

What Members Said:
“Since President Biden took office, there have been over 6.4 million illegal crossings of our southern border, including 169 on the terror watch list. Yet instead of implementing more border security and reinstating the policies that worked, this Administration is housing migrants in our schools and now in our national parks," said Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks. "Meanwhile, there are ICE facilities that are sitting empty, such as the Adelanto ICE processing facility in California. This 2000 bed facility, which is already fully funded, has sat empty since April of 2020 due to a court injunction. We must be fully utilizing the ICE facilities we already have that are prepared to care for migrants versus burdening our communities that don't have the proper resources or facilities.”

Click here or on the image above to view Rep. Miller-Meeks' remarks.
Rep. Gus Bilirakis underlined how H.R. 5283 complements H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act, that the Senate refuses to pass despite the disastrous consequences of Biden's border crisis. 

Protecting Small Businesses from Government Overreach ✅

On May 31, 2023, Biden’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published a rule that orders lenders to gather and report small business loan application data, including whether the firms are owned by women or racial minorities.

If this overreaching rule takes effect, smaller mom-and-pop banks would be forced to spend at least $100,000 to comply, and in turn, mid-sized lenders would likely fund fewer small businesses in order to not have to deal with these extra costs.

We cannot allow the Biden Administration to continue strangling American small businesses with burdensome and unconstitutional regulations. 

Sen. John Kennedy’s legislation, S.J. Res. 32, repeals the final rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau titled Small Business Lending under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (Regulation B) that requires financial institutions to collect and report credit application data for small businesses to the bureau and protects small businesses from government overreach.

“I applaud the House for passing S.J.Res.32 condemning the CFPB’s relentless attack on Main Street America,” said Chairman Roger Williams. “Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, and it is crucial that they can access affordable credit to support and grow our communities. During a time where small businesses are facing crushing inflation and increasing borrowing costs, it is important that we put an end to the CFPB’s broad, burdensome, and difficult to implement rulemaking. It is now Biden’s turn to listen to the American people and sign this bill into law instead of bowing down to out of touch unelected bureaucrats.” 

What Members Said:

“When you burden small business, you limit job growth, you limit economic gain, you limit economic opportunity, you limit American growth. With more regulation on businesses, it drives up the cost of doing business,” said Chairman Patrick McHenry. “This resolution would stop the CFPB small business data collection rule which is onerous, overly complex, and difficult to implement, but all American businesses would be burdened by it, and disproportionately the small businesses that create most of the jobs in America. This rule would stifle American businesses’ access to affordable credit, and it will facilitate the naming and shaming of lenders whose business practices are legal, non discriminatory, and safe and sound. But the progressive activists on the Left want to use that database so they can call out the things that they don't like for political activism. I don't think that's responsible. I don't think it's in the interest of the American economy, and it surely is not in the interest of consumer protection.”

Click here or on the image above to view Rep. McHenry's remarks.
Rep. Rudy Yakym emphasized how S.J. Res 32 protects small businesses from burdensome red tape and pushes back on federal overreach.