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The Republican Recap: Week of March 11, 2024

Here’s a recap of what Republicans achieved on the House Floor this week:

Cutting the CCP Out of TikTok and Protecting American Data ✅

TikTok, which is controlled by ByteDance and tied to the Chinese Communist Party, poses a significant national security threat to the United States. ByteDance, a Chinese company with an internal Chinese Communist Party committee, must comply with China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law requiring Chinese companies to “support, assist and cooperate with the state intelligence work” – which means they must provide any information requested to the Chinese government, including highly sensitive data collected on American users.
ByteDance has demonstrated their willingness to use TikTok to spy on Americans, and allegedly provided its internal CCP committee members with a “god credential” to view all data collected on TikTok users, including Americans. In 2022, leaked audio from internal TikTok meetings exposed that “[e]verything is seen in China” and ByteDance has confirmed using TikTok to monitor American journalists’ physical location. Just last week, TikTok demonstrated its ability to weaponize its roughly 150 million American users against U.S. national security interests, launching a propaganda campaign to attempt to disrupt an Energy and Commerce Committee markup of legislation that would force them to sever ties with the CCP.

House Republicans passed bipartisan legislation that places the choice in TikTok’s hands: Either they can sever their ties with the CCP or no longer be available in the United States. Refusing to divest would suggest China’s real purpose behind TikTok in America is to spy on Americans and use the platform for China’s own interest. We must ensure the Chinese government cannot weaponize TikTok against American users and our government through data collection and propaganda.

H.R. 7521, the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Gallagher, protects our national security from the threat posed by foreign adversary owned applications like TikTok by requiring such applications to cut ties with the foreign adversary or no longer be available on U.S. This legislation was reported out of the Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously by a 50-0 vote and is on strong legal footing. President Biden has stated he will sign the legislation if Congress sends it to his desk.

“Today, a bipartisan group of members came together to address the grave national security risk posed by TikTok. We speak with one voice and carry the same message as the Directors of the DIA, FBI, CIA, NSA, and the head of U.S. Cyber Command — TikTok cannot continue to operate in the United States under its current ownership structure. We look forward to working with our colleagues in the Senate to pass this critical, bipartisan legislation and deliver it to the President’s desk,” said Rep. Mike Gallagher.

What Members Said:

Today we take a stand against the Chinese Communist Party and their efforts to turn content creators in America into foot soldiers for the CCP. You know, we aren't banning a company, as the high paid lobbyists for ByteDance – which is owned by China – would lead you to believe. We aren’t infringing on constitutionally protected speech or growing the size of government. All we're saying is break up with the Chinese Communist Party,” said Rep. Kat Cammack. “As a constitutional conservative, I don't want my government or Big Tech to have unfettered access to my private data. So why in the hell would we want and allow the Chinese Communist Party to have access to our private data? The CCP is an adversary of the United States and this legislation narrowly, thoughtfully and directly addresses the national security threat and protecting Americans data and by extension, their First Amendment rights.”

Click here or on the image above to view Rep. Cammack's remarks.
Rep. Ashley Hinson highlighted how H.R. 7521 forces TikTok to cut ties with Communist China, protecting our kids, our national security, and our cybersecurity.  

Condemning Biden’s Open Border Policies ✅

Since President Biden took office, he has done everything in his power to dismantle United States border security. On his first day, Biden used his pen to stop construction of the border wall, revoke President Trump’s executive order to ensure meaningful enforcement of border laws, end restrictions on immigration from countries associated with terrorism, and sign other executive orders incentivizing migrants to cross illegally. And those are just a few examples: The Biden Administration has purposefully undermined U.S. border security on more than 60 occasions.

Under President Biden, 7.2 million illegal immigrants have entered our country, which is more than the population of 36 states, including 169 people on the terrorist watch list. Not only does this pose a threat to our national security, but communities across America are suffering the tragic consequences of Biden’s open border policies daily, as we saw with the tragic murder of Laken Riley by an illegal immigrant with a criminal record.

President Biden could secure the border today the same way he created this crisis: With a pen. He chooses not to, putting criminals before the safety of the American people. Meanwhile, House Republicans passed a bill over nine months ago to stop the flow of migrants and keep our communities safe: H.R. 2, the Secure the Border Act. But the Democrat-led Senate and the White House refuse to take up any meaningful border legislation, instead trying to shift blame and pretend to take action with a Senate open border bill that does nothing to actually close the border.

Rep. Monica De La Cruz’s legislation, H. Res. 1065, condemns President Biden and his Administration for their disastrous open border policies and holds them accountable for creating the worst border security crisis in U.S. history.

“The current state of our nation's border security is unsustainable,” said Rep. Monica De La Cruz“The policies put forth by the Biden administration have resulted in the worst border security crisis in our nation's history, endangering our communities and straining our resources.” 

What Members Said:
“Every day, we see a new horror story in the news, a new headline about some violent crime committed by an illegal alien: 22 year old nursing student, Laken Riley brutally murdered by a Venezuelan illegal immigrant; Travis Wolfe, one day away from celebrating his 12th birthday, killed by an illegal immigrant driving the wrong way; a 16 year old Texas teen, Lizabeth Medina, stabbed to death by an illegal immigrant from Mexico with a criminal background. Laken Riley, Travis Wolfe, and Lizabeth Medina would still be here today. Every crime committed by an illegal alien is preventable – every murder, every rape, every robbery is preventable. Criminal violence is the current outcome that we are seeing every day due to Biden's open border policies,” said Rep. Keith Self. “How many horrific headlines must we endure before Biden closes the border and stops the carnage against Americans?”

Click here or on the image above to view Rep. Self's remarks.
Rep. Jerry Carl emphasized that H. Res. 1065 holds Biden accountable for his failed immigration policies, resulting in more than 8 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. soon.  

Ensuring Federal Office Space is Utilized Efficiently to Cut Costs ✅

To assess the utilization of federal agency headquarters, the GAO conducted a review of 24 agencies that occupy 98 percent of federal real property and found that most federal agencies use 25 percent or less of their buildings’ capacity – wasting federal money as well as creating a higher impact on the environment. 

Currently, the federal government owns over 500 million square feet of office space in federal office buildings, costing billions of dollars every year to maintain and operate whether or not the space is being used, in addition to around $5 billion to lease office buildings annually. 

By reducing underutilized federal office space, we could lower these costs and cut down on wasteful Washington spending. This week, House Republicans passed legislation that ensures these spaces are used more efficiently and responsibly.

H.R. 6276, the Utilizing Space Efficiently and Improving Technologies Act of 2023, sponsored by Rep. Scott Perry, requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the General Services Administration (GSA) to identify the utilization rate of public buildings and federally-leased spaces, ensure it averages at least 60 percent over the course of a year, and put forward a plan to consolidate federal agency headquarters so building utilization is over 60 percent.

“Right now, American Taxpayers are forced to pay $2 billion a year for office space – almost half the size of Disney World – that D.C. bureaucrats refuse to use,” said Rep. Scott Perry. “President Biden is grasping onto more than 11,000 acres of old, unused buildings, and won’t force federal employees into offices already paid for by the American People. It’s time we end this wasteful use of hardworking Americans’ tax dollars and sell these unused public spaces.”

What Members Said:
“This legislation which was introduced by the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Perry directs the Office of Management and Budget or OMB, and the General Services Administration or GSA to establish standard methodologies to measure occupancy in public buildings and federally leased space. It also requires FSA and OMB to take steps to reduce or consolidate space if utilization falls below 60 percent. Currently, federal office space utilization averages an unbelievably low 25 percent or less for most major agencies. This bill which I'm proud to support would ensure our federal workers are utilizing the workspace taxpayers are paying for,” said Rep. John Rose. 
Click here or on the image above to view Rep. Rose's remarks.
Conference Chair Elise Stefanik pointed to how H.R. 6276 cuts government wasted by forcing agencies that are not using 60 percent of their space to consolidate.