Committee Cliff Notes: Weekly Recap – Week of November 27, 2023
Washington, December 1, 2023
Here’s a recap of key moments from House Republican committees during the week:
On Wednesday, November 29, the Quality of Life Panel received a briefing from United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Space Force child and youth program officials regarding service-specific child care services, programs, and future initiatives. Members questioned the officials on ways to improve child care services and received comprehensive updates on the state of military child care.
On Wednesday, November 29, members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees met at the “Pass the Gavel” ceremony to begin the conference process for the FY24 NDAA. In his opening statement, Chairman Rogers said, “Enacting an NDAA has never been more vital than it is today. America and our allies face unprecedented and rapidly evolving threats from China. As well as ongoing threats from Russia, Iran, North Korea, and terrorist organizations throughout the world. These threats are real.
On Wednesday, November 29, the Budget Committee held a full committee legislative hearing called "Examining the Need for a Fiscal Commission Reviewing H.R. 710, H.R. 5779, and S. 3262," exploring how each legislative proposal addresses fiscal stability and reform. Overall, the hearing looked to assess the alignment of the bills with the broader goals of achieving a sustainable fiscal future and improving federal programs' solvency. Other hearing goals included:
Education and Workforce
On Wednesday, November 29, the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing called "Bad for Business: DOL's Proposed Overtime Rule." Biden’s proposed revival of a 2016 Obama overtime rule is estimated to cost employers $18.8 billion annually or $6,000 per affected worker. The hearing was an opportunity to highlight how this rule will jeopardize job creators, especially small businesses, and put workers at risk.
On Thursday, November 30, the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions held a hearing called "Safeguarding Workers' Rights and Liberties." American workers have a right to earn a living without being forced to support labor unions financially. This hearing discussed the National Right-to-Work Act and why workers should be able to keep more of THEIR money. Witnesses provided powerful testimony about how their jobs and wages were threatened when they opposed being forced to pay union dues.
On Friday, December 1, the Committee on Education and the Workforce held a full committee hearing called "Member Day." From pre-k to retirement, this Committee impacts all Americans including the way they learn, work, and ultimately, succeed. The Committee is working to expand education freedom, establish a well-equipped, high-quality workforce, and allow job creators to thrive. This hearing was an opportunity for all members to share their views about the issues directly affecting students, workers, and job creators.
Energy and Commerce
On Wednesday, November 29, the Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials held a hearing called "America Leads the Way: Our History as the Global Leader Reducing Emissions." This hearing set the stage for COP28 as members highlighted America’s energy record of promoting freedom, raising the standard of living, and fighting poverty, while also maintaining some of the best environmental and labor standards in the world.
On Wednesday, November 29, the Subcommittee on Health held a hearing called "Understanding How AI is Changing Health Care." Members discussed the potential for AI to improve efficiency and quality in the health care system, which benefits patients, doctors, and hospitals. This is the fourth hearing in our series about American leadership in AI. We’re exploring the role of artificial intelligence across every sector of our economy, and why a national data privacy standard is the best way to protect people’s data privacy.
On Thursday, November 30, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing called "Unmasking Challenges CDC Faces in Rebuilding Public Trust Amid Respiratory Illness Season." Members discussed how the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) must begin rebuilding Americans’ trust during this respiratory illness season following multiple failures during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Thursday, November 30, the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a hearing called "Oversight of President Biden’s Broadband Takeover." The hearing allowed members to provide critical oversight to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Chair Rosenworcel and multiple other FCC commissioners have engaged in partisan efforts to expand the power of the FCC and micromanage Americans’ access to broadband. Their actions will reduce access, increase costs, and slow down broadband deployment.
Last week, the Chairman of the Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy Subcommittee, Rep. Andy Barr (KY-06), and Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, Rep. Bill Huizenga (MI-04), sent letters to FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg demanding he recuse himself from any ongoing independent investigation into the allegations and produce documents and witnesses for testimony in response to the Committee’s investigation. This follows the announcement of Committee Republicans’ investigation into allegations of misconduct at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
On Tuesday, November 28, House Small Business Committee Chairman and senior House Financial Services Committee member, Rep. Roger Williams (TX-25), testified before the House Committee on Rules in support of S.J.Res. 32 ahead of its consideration before the full House of Representatives. S.J.Res. 32 would rescind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) disastrous 1071 small business lending data collection rulemaking, which is overly complex, overly burdensome, and unworkable for small businesses and lenders across the nation.
On Wednesday, November 29, the Financial Services Committee, led by Chairman Patrick McHenry (NC-10), convened a full committee hearing called "The Semi-Annual Report of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection" with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Rohit Chopra. Republicans held Director Chopra’s CFPB accountable for its runaway rulemaking agenda, disregard for Congressional intent, and the continued politicization of the Bureau’s activities.
On Wednesday, November 29, Chairman Patrick McHenry was joined by all six Subcommittee Chairs in a letter to House and Senate Armed Services Committee leadership expressing opposition to the inclusion of outbound investment provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24). The lawmakers specifically reference their concerns with Section 1085 in the Senate-passed text, which would create a new bureaucracy to regulate Americans’ investments abroad, including in China. Committee Republicans argue that this provision furthers the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) goal of keeping Americans and western ideals out of the boardrooms of Chinese companies and neglects stronger, time-tested tools like sanctions and export controls.
On Wednesday, November 29, the Committee on Foreign Affairs held a full committee markup on the following legislation:
On Wednesday, November 29, the Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia held a public roundtable discussion with family members of individuals being held hostage by Hamas. This intimate setting allowed for a robust discussion of Hamas’ cruel atrocities and highlighted that we cannot forget the nearly 200 hostages still held captive. Their families are desperate to get them home and this roundtable gave them an opportunity to push for the secure release of all hostages and let their voices be heard.
On Thursday, November 30, the Subcommittee on Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations held a hearing called "An Urgent Appeal to Let Bishop Alvarez Go." The Ortega-Murillo regime continues its assault on freedom in Nicaragua by violently silencing opposition voices and targeting the Catholic Church. This hearing highlights their false accusations against innocent people like Bishop Alvarez, who has been wrongfully detained on baseless accusations and deserves to be free immediately.
On Thursday, November 30, the Subcommittee on Africa held a hearing called "Ethiopia: Promise or Perils, The State of U.S. Policy." Ethiopia is suffering from a humanitarian crisis, an economic crisis brought on by rampant inflation, a severe foreign currency shortage, and a sinking credit rating. This hearing examined the current state of United States policy towards Ethiopia.
On Thursday, November 30, the Committee on Foreign Affairs held a full committee hearing called "The U.S. Border Crisis and the American Solution to an International Problem." Expert witnesses – including Former Acting US Deputy Secretary of DHS Chad Wolf and America First VP Gene Hamilton – testified before the full committee to discuss the crisis at our southern border and solutions like Migration Protection Protocols (MPP) and asylum cooperative agreements. Regrettably, this administration has been derelict in its duty to protect America and it’s well past time to reinstate these policies.
On Thursday, November 30, the Committee on House Administration held a full committee markup on election integrity measures to block noncitizen voting, repeal the Biden Executive Order on Promoting Access to Voting, and bolster the committee’s longstanding Congressional Observer program. All eight measures passed will ultimately lead to greater participation at the ballot box.
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
This week, House Intelligence Committee Republicans kicked off its second annual “Beyond the SCIF” series. “Beyond the SCIF” is led by HPSCI Republicans to engage with experts, leaders, and think tanks in the national security field to create an open dialogue on threats facing our nation.
On Tuesday, Congressman French Hill kicked off the series at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. His panel focused on Chinese economic forecasting and its relevance to understanding China's foreign policy.
Later that day, Congressman Darin LaHood continued the series at the Council on Foreign Relations. He moderated a discussion about the importance of reauthorizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) as the United States continues to face threats to the homeland.
On Wednesday, HPSCI Chairman Mike Turner hosted a panel at the Atlantic Council about why the United States must continue supporting Ukraine as they defend themselves against Russian aggression.
On Tuesday, November 28, the Subcommittee on Emergency Management and Technology held a field hearing entitled “Emergency Preparedness: Examining Federal, State, and Local Coordination in Coastal Communities.” In this hearing, held in New Orleans, Louisiana, witnesses detailed how to improve local, state, and federal coordination, the roadblocks communities face when trying to access state or federal assistance, and the current implementation of grants in coastal communities for infrastructure improvement.
On Wednesday, November 29, the Committee on Homeland Security held full committee hearing entitled “The High North: How US Arctic Strategy Impacts Homeland Security.” Witnesses testified on the strategic importance of the Arctic region to not only the United States but our adversaries, as well as the urgent need to improve the USCG’s Polar Security Cutter Program, which has fallen behind in its goals of modernization and enhancement.
On Thursday, November 30, the Judiciary Committee held a hearing called “Compliance with Committee Oversight,” to examine the compliance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of State, and the Federal Trade Commission with the Committee's document requests and subpoenas.
On Thursday, November 30, the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government held a hearing called “Hearing on the Weaponization of the Federal Government,” to examine the federal government's involvement in social media censorship, as well as the recent attacks on independent journalism and free expression.
On Wednesday, November 29, the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held a legislative hearing on the following bill:
On Thursday, November 30, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a legislative hearing on the following bill:
Oversight and Accountability
On Wednesday, November 29, the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation held a hearing called "Safeguarding the Federal Software Supply Chain." Subcommittee members discussed ways the U.S. can better ensure federal software systems are protected from attacks by hostile foreign nations and other threat actors. Subcommittee members also explored the tools the federal government can use to prevent threat actors from infiltrating federal software systems.
On Wednesday, November 29, the Subcommittee on Government Operations and the Federal Workforce held a hearing called "Oversight of Federal Agencies’ Post-Pandemic Telework Policies: Part II" to review telework policies at federal agencies and examine how agencies are responding to the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) new healthy workplace guidance which called for more “meaningful in-person work.” The agencies at the subcommittee’s first telework hearing made a good faith effort to provide the information the committee requested. The four agencies testifying at this follow-up hearing – the Department of Health and Human Services, the Social Security Administration, the Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Agency for International Development – offered some of the latest and least responsive replies the Committee received.
On Thursday, November 30, the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs held a hearing called “Digging Deeper: Ensuring Safety and Security in the Critical Mineral Supply Chain.” Members emphasized how the Biden Administration’s overreliance on foreign critical minerals – including from Russia and China – is a national security risk and places the U.S. economy in a vulnerable position amidst worsening global supply shortages.
On Thursday, November 30, Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) announced that Dr. Anthony Fauci will appear before the 118th Congress for the first time for a two-day transcribed interview on January 8, 2024 and January 9, 2024. Additionally, Dr. Fauci has agreed to testify in front of the Select Subcommittee at a public hearing later next year.
The House Rules Committee advanced measures protecting our communities from the effects of President Biden’s failure to secure the border (H.R. 5283), fighting the White House’s aggressive use of regulatory power against the economy and small businesses (S.J. Res. 32), and freezing billions of dollars the administration released to the Iranian regime by (H.R. 5961). Members emphasized how far-left policies have left Americans and small businesses shouldering heavy burdens, both security-wise and economic. Representatives called on the White House to focus on securing our border and fixing a strained system instead of prioritizing migrants. They also advocated for community banks and small businesses by standing up against Democrat-led regulations that will make it harder for Main Street to access the capital they need.
Science, Space, and Technology
On Thursday, November 30, the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a full committee hearing called “The Role of Federal Research in Establishing a Robust U.S. Supply Chain of Critical Minerals and Materials.” Witnesses from the U.S. Department of Energy, Stanford University, San Jose State University, GreenMet, and K-Technologies joined to discuss the role that Federal research agencies can play in strengthening U.S. supply chains of the minerals and materials that are essential for U.S. energy independence and international competitiveness.
On Thursday, November 30, the Subcommittee on Investigations & Oversight and the Subcommittee on Environment Subcommittee held a joint hearing called "Missing the Target: CEQ’s Meritless Selection of SBTi." The hearing examined the Administration’s recently proposed regulation requiring that federal contractors disclose their greenhouse gas emissions to a foreign entity and set science-based targets to reduce their GHG emissions. The sole witness was Mr. Andrew Mayock, Federal Chief Sustainability Officer, Council on Environmental Quality. This was the Committee’s second hearing related to this investigation.
Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party
On Monday, November 27, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, released a memo on the influence operations of the Chinese Communist Party, known as united front work.
On Wednesday, November 29, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Chairman of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, delivered remarks at a gathering commemorating the one-year anniversary of the White Paper pro-freedom movement in China in front of the U.S. Capitol. Chairman Gallagher spoke alongside a bipartisan group of students and Chinese pro-democracy activists.
On Thursday, November 30, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, held a hearing called “Discourse Power: The CCP's Strategy to Shape the Global Information Space.” In the hearing, members explored the Chinese Communist Party's propaganda, censorship, and disinformation tactics, and how these efforts are supercharged by technology like TikTok, exploitative of our democratic openness, and more focused than ever on American public opinion.
On Thursday, November 30, the Committee on Small Business held a full committee hearing called “Member Day.” Members had the opportunity to discuss issues facing small businesses in their districts, which comprise 99.9 percent of all businesses in America.
Transportation and Infrastructure
On Wednesday, November 29, the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials held a hearing called "Getting on the Right Track: Navigating the Future of Intercity Passenger Rail in America” to examine the state and future of intercity passenger rail, with a focus on how to develop this mode in a way that is safe, efficient, cost-effective, and that meets the demands of consumers. Multiple members pressed the witnesses on California’s chronically delayed and overbudget high-speed rail project.
Also, on November 29, Committee leaders introduced H.R. 6494, the Promoting Innovation in Pipeline Efficiency and Safety (PIPES) Act of 2023. The bipartisan legislation reauthorizes the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) pipeline safety programs for the next four years and provides an efficient and effective framework to advance the safety of energy infrastructure across the United States.
On Thursday, November 30, Chairman Garret Graves and the Subcommittee on Aviation held a hearing called "Turbulence Ahead: Consequences of Delaying a Long-Term FAA Bill,” to discuss the importance of passing a long-term and comprehensive FAA bill and the consequences of delaying the legislation.
On Wednesday, November 29, the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs held a markup on the following legislation:
On Wednesday, November 29, the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs held an hearing titled "Examining the VA Appeals Process: Ensuring High Quality Decision-Making for Veterans’ Claims on Appeal.” The hearing examined whether VA is providing veterans with correct and fair decisions in their claims on appeal. Witness testimony revealed that, under the Biden Administration, Board leadership’s primary concern is issuing a high number of decisions on veterans’ claims on appeal. It was revealed that Board leadership failed to implement GAO recommendations and has failed to implement measures to ensure that these decisions are correct and fair for veterans. GOP Members uncovered that quality assurance and training shortcomings resulted in employees repeating the same errors over and over again. Witness testimony brought to light that 85% of veterans’ cases before the Veterans Court had to be sent back to VA for correction. So veterans had to wait even longer for correct answers on their claims, because VA fails to ensure answers are correct in the first place. And upon questioning, GOP Members discovered which VA leaders should be held accountability for quality assurance and training shortcomings.
Ways and Means
On Wednesday, November 29, the Subcommittee on Work & Welfare and the Subcommittee on Oversight held a joint hearing called "Strengthening the Child Support Enforcement Program for States and Tribes." State and tribal leaders, as well as tribal parents, testified during a bipartisan joint hearing of the Ways and Means Work and Welfare Subcommittee and Oversight Subcommittee that a legislative fix is needed to ensure that states and tribes continue to have the enforcement tools necessary to collect child support on behalf of children and families.
Currently, at least forty-two states utilize contractors to administer their Child Support Enforcement programs and to access the Federal Tax Refund Offset Program, allowing states to garnish past-due child support payments from federal tax refunds and send them to custodial parents to help in raising their children. These vital child support programs are one of the most cost-effective and vital programs for families, collecting nearly $5 for families every $1 spent on administrative costs. The IRS recently announced a change to a long-standing policy that will prohibit states from using contractors to access the Federal Tax Refund Offset program – which could impact millions of parents in those states receiving child support, starting in October 2024.
On Thursday, November 30, the Committee on Ways and Means held a full committee markup on the following bills: