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The Leader’s Floor Lookout: Week of December 4, 2023

Here’s what to watch for on the House Floor this week:

Preserving Americans’ Right to Choose Their Car

Across the globe, the United States stands as a beacon of freedom – freedom of expression, of religion, and of self-determination. Time and time again, however, federal agencies under the Biden Administration are taking those freedoms away with rules that make life harder on everyday Americans.

In April 2023, the Environmental Protection Agency reported a proposed rule called “Multi-Pollutant Emissions Standards for Model Year 2027 and Later Light-Duty and Medium-Duty Vehicles” that places extreme standards on pollutants and greenhouse gasses for vehicles in an attempt to make all new vehicles electric by 2032 and to force Americans to switch to EVs.

Electric vehicles are considerably more expensive than gas vehicles and much less reliable in cold weather and with our current grid stability, making them an unrealistic option for most American families.

Additionally, the Chinese Communist Party controls over 90 percent of the processing and refining supply chain capacity for the minerals required to power electric vehicles, meaning American manufacturers currently rely on one of our biggest adversaries and the world’s number one polluter, China – also posing a risk to our national security.

We cannot allow the Biden administration to take choice out of consumer hands, force unaffordable options on Americans, and risk our national security by making us reliant on our adversary for power.

Rep. Tim Walberg’s legislation, H.R. 4468, the Choice in Automobile Retail Sales Act of 2023, protects consumer choice by prohibiting Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency from finalizing, implementing, or enforcing any proposed rule with regards to emissions from vehicles.

House Republicans will always work to ensure that Americans get to choose their cars based on what’s best for them, not the Biden Administration.

Keeping Foreign Adversaries Out of Our Colleges

The future of any nation is determined by our next generation of leaders – many of whom are educated and shaped at American colleges and universities. Because of this, institutions of higher education in the United States are targeted by foreign countries that seek to exert their influence over students, faculty, and research being conducted. 

Adversaries such as the Chinese Communist Party increase their influence on campuses by providing American academic institutions with large donations, expensive gifts, and investments – all which come with strings attached.

Meanwhile, American universities and colleges often fail to report these gifts to the Department of Education, as required by law, bolstering foreign influence in our education system and slashing necessary transparency.  

new report from Network Contagion Research Institute found at least 200 academic institutions had withheld information on $13 billion in contributions from foreign nations. Additionally, a 2019 Senate report found that around 70 percent of all institutions failed to comply with section 117 of the Higher Education Act, which requires reporting gifts and funds from foreign regimes. 

Many contributions have been traced to adversaries like the CCP whose mission is to undermine American interests, infect our political discourse, and shape young minds to their design. As these dangerous adversaries attempt to infiltrate and influence American higher education, we must demand American education institutions stop hiding their dealings with foreign regimes to allow for transparency and oversight.

H.R. 5933, the DETERRENT Act, introduced by Rep. Michelle Steel, holds American institutions of higher education to a stricter standard on reporting gifts, donations, and investments made to them by foreign adversaries, lays out the punishments institutions will face if they fail to comply, and protects American education from harmful and dangerous foreign influence.

House Republicans won’t stop fighting to keep foreign influence out of our institutions of learning. 

Protecting Taxpayers from Repaying Loans They Didn’t Take Out

Earlier this year, after the Supreme Court rejected their unconstitutional student loan giveaway, the Biden Administration introduced a new income driven repayment plan for student loans called Saving on Valuable Education (SAVE) – a backdoor attempt to provide free college through executive overreach.

Under this irresponsible plan, most undergraduate borrowers with typical debt levels and almost 90 percent with certificates or degrees would get at least some of their loans forgiven; 91 percent of new student debt would be eligible for reduced payments and eventual "forgiveness."

By allowing borrowers to not have to pay any money back or drastically cutting the amount they do have to repay, Biden’s SAVE would recklessly incentivize college students to borrow billions of dollars each year with the expectation that they will not have to pay off their debt. Additionally, the Biden plan does nothing to address the soaring cost of higher education and, if anything, incentivizes colleges and universities to continue their unsustainable price increases.

"Forgiving" loans or allowing borrowers to not pay back the money they used doesn’t make the owed money go away – it shifts the burden of repayment from the person who took the loan and made a commitment to American taxpayers who have already paid their loans or didn’t take one out to begin with. 

Biden’s unfair income driven repayment plan is estimated to cost taxpayers up to $559 billion—making it the most expensive regulation in history. American taxpayers shouldn’t have to bear the consequences of Biden undermining a concept as simple as ‘you should pay back the money you borrow.’

Rep. Lisa McClain’s legislation, H.J. Res. 88, prohibits the Department of Education’s radical rule titled Improving Income Driven Repayment for the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program and the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program which creates a new income-driven repayment plan that would force American taxpayers to repay student loan debt that doesn't belong to them.

House Republicans won’t stand by as the Biden Administration continues their unjust and illegal pursuit of transferring student debt to hard working Americans for political brownie points.