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The Republican Recap: Week of May 6, 2024

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

Keeping Illegal Immigrants Off the Decennial Census ✅

In Article I, the Constitution requires the government to conduct a census of the population every ten years, upon which the apportionment of U.S. House Representatives and presidential electors for each state is based. 

While only citizens of the United States are able to vote for their preferred candidates for federal offices, the current practice for apportionment wrongly includes noncitizens from the census count, such as illegal immigrants, in a state’s population for the purpose of calculating how many Representatives and electors are allocated to each state. This unfairly benefits states with higher noncitizen residents over states with a lower concentration of noncitizens, resulting in the former getting a higher apportionment of Representatives and electors and hence a stronger voice in the federal government. 

Without Congress taking action to change this practice, the more than 7.2 million illegal immigrants who have entered our country under President Biden will be included in the 2030 census for congressional and federal representation. This is common sense: It is unfair to include noncitizens and illegal immigrants in apportioning the number of House Representatives and electors allocated to each state.

Rep. Chuck Edwards’ legislation, H.R. 7109, the Equal Representation Act, requires the decennial census to include a citizenship question, and excludes noncitizens from the population on which the apportionment of U.S. House Representatives and electors for each state is based. 

“Including the count of non-U.S. citizens in determining how many congressional seats and electoral votes each state has is skewing the representation of Americans in their federal government. The mere presence of illegal immigrants in the U.S. is influencing electoral outcomes, and the Equal Representation Act that the House passed would protect our democracy by making sure that American citizens – and American citizens only – have a say in determining the direction of our country,” said Rep. Chuck Edwards.

What Members Said:
“The census informs how our government divides up congressional districts and Electoral College votes. Mr. Speaker, it helps to ensure American voters have equal representation – American voters. That process should not factor in people who are not citizens or are not eligible to vote. You can see why my Democratic colleagues would have a problem with this bill: Factoring illegal aliens in the process skews things in their favor,” said Rep. Tim Burchett. “If the census does not include the citizenship question, states with more illegal aliens will get more congressional districts and more electoral college votes. We have a history of saying that elections are sacred and that free, fair and secure elections are the cornerstone of this great Republic, Mr. Speaker. It's time to act like it and prioritize the dadgum representation of our people. Americans are sick and tired of this administration weaponizing different parts of our government, and they don't want to see something like the census being used against them.”

Click here or on the image above to view Rep. Burchett's remarks.

Rep. Laurel Lee highlighted how under current practice, the more than 7 million illegal immigrants residing in the U.S. will be included in the 2030 census for apportioning congressional and federal representation.  

Protecting Consumer Choice from Biden’s War on Home Appliances ✅

In 1975, Congress established the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) to increase American energy production, encourage efficient energy use, and bolster national energy security. Under the EPCA, the Department of Energy (DOE) sets efficiency standards for 60 product categories – but these standards must be cost-effective, significantly save energy, and be technologically feasible. 

Unfortunately, President Biden’s DOE has consistently abused their authority to push a radical energy agenda on American families and consumers, attempting to implement conservation standards that are neither economically justifiable nor significantly more energy efficient. Additionally, the Biden DOE’s proposed standards aim to shut down the use of natural gas and force electric appliances on the American people, regardless of cost, performance, or availability – putting their radical Green New Deal agenda before the needs of hardworking Americans. 

These overreaching rules take away consumer choice, burden American families, and force Americans to use expensive appliances that do not perform as well. While the Biden Administration fights to unleash a stream of new burdensome regulations for a multitude of vital home appliances like dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators, air conditioners, and dryers, House Republicans passed legislation to protect consumer choice and keep government agencies out of your home.

H.R. 6192, the Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act, introduced by Rep. Debbie Lesko, prevents the Secretary of Energy and the DOE from implementing new or amended energy efficiency standards for appliances that are not technologically feasible and economically justified.

“Thanks to a Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, we again took action against the Biden Administration's unconstitutional efforts to commandeer Americans’ freedoms and opportunities for consumer choice. I am grateful for the leadership of Speaker Mike Johnson and Leader Steve Scalise in ensuring that this bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives. Together, we told President Biden to take his hands off our home appliances!” said Rep. Debbie Lesko. 

What Members Said:

“Sadly, the Biden Administration's war on American energy is now reaching inside Americans’ homes. Through sue and settle agreements with radical environmental activists, the Department of Energy has reached backroom deals to impose new regulations on dozens of appliances that Americans rely on every single day,” said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. “These new mandates are forcing people to spend more on less reliable options. This comes at a time when Americans are already being crushed by rising costs thanks to Bidenflation. Continuing to double down on policies like this, the Biden Administration is showing just how out of touch they are with the financial struggle the vast majority of Americans are feeling. Americans simply cannot afford President Biden's rush to green agenda. The bill led by Mrs. Lesko seeks to protect Americans from federal mandates that result in minimal energy savings while significantly driving up costs for consumers.”

Click here or on the image above to view Rep. Rodgers' remarks.

Rep. Rick Allen emphasized how President Biden's war on American energy has not only led to higher prices at the pump, but now home appliances are on the chopping block.  

Overturning the SEC’s Block on Banks Holding Crypto Assets ✅

In March of 2022, Biden’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published Staff Accounting Bulletin 121 (SAB 121), which requires entities that hold and safeguard cryptocurrency or digital assets to present an associated asset and liability on their balance sheets to indicate that obligation.

By requiring banks to hold these assets on-balance sheet, SAB 121 essentially prevents banks from offering custody services for digital assets because of prudential capital and liquidity requirements for on balance sheet obligations. This means that currently, very few banks are able to offer custody services for digital assets, reducing customers’ options for well-regulated custodial services and forcing many consumers to turn to non-bank market competitors that may not be subject to the same degree of regulatory oversight. 

By blocking banks from holding crypto-assets for their customers, SAB 121 promotes unregulated activity that can leave consumers vulnerable to significant harm instead of allowing banks subject to prudential regulations to offer safe crypto custody services. Once again, Americans pay the price for the Biden Administration’s executive overreach.

H.J. Res. 109, introduced by Rep. Mike Flood, overturns the rule submitted by the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to “Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 121,” which essentially prevents banks from offering crypto or digital asset custodial services to consumers, as SAB 121 breaks with the banks’ historical practice of treating all custody assets as off-balance sheet.

“Since President Biden took office, his administration has made it a point to test the limits of, and take shortcuts around, the public rulemaking processes. Staff Accounting Bulletin, or SAB, 121 is one such example. It set a disturbing precedent and is not the appropriate vehicle to promulgate accounting guidance for digital asset custodians. I appreciate the broad support of my colleagues in the House for H.J. Res. 109 and urge the Senate to take action to deliver a full repeal of SAB 121,” said Rep. Mike Flood. 

What Members Said:

“This staff accounting bulletin is misguided. It requires that money be set aside for that category of assets of digital assets in custody. It's part of a broader attack by the Biden Administration to treat digital assets differently from all other assets. And that doesn't make any sense to House Republicans,” said Rep. French Hill. “Under Mr. McHenry’s leadership and Mr. Thompson's leadership of the Ag Committee, we have a fit-for-purpose approach that, in fact, directs the SEC and the CFTC how to handle digital assets. Unfortunately, this accounting bulletin is in the wrong direction. That's why we have the Congressional Review Act. That's why we're using Article One authority under the Constitution to say this is the wrong direction and that we will all come to this House floor and say it should be repealed and sent back.”

Click here or on the image above to view Rep. Hill's remarks.

Majority Whip Tom Emmer celebrated passage of H.J. Res. 109, which overturns the illegal SAB 121 rule that would prevent banks from safeguarding digital assets for their customers.  

Correcting the Rosemont Decision and Supporting Critical Mining Projects ✅

In May 2022, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court decision repealing an approved mine plan for Rosemont Copper-Mine Project, changing decades of precedent to require discovery and determination of a commercially developable or valid mineral deposit before an operations plan can be approved. This faulty decision is commonly referred to as the “Rosemont decision.”

By restricting the U.S. Forest Service’s ability to approve mining support facilities necessary for federal land mining operations, the Rosemont decision ignores specified U.S. Forest Service regulations that authorize approvals of operations “on or off a mining claim,” as long as these operations reach environmental and regulatory standards.

This misguided and harmful decision threatens hardrock mining and critical mineral projects across Western states rich with minerals, such as Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, and Idaho, by banning mining support activities including waste storage and processing, and forcing all such activities to happen on mineral-rich lands. These critical mineral projects and hardrock mining are crucially important to securing our manufacturing and energy futures, as well as decreasing our dependence on imports from foreign adversaries.

Rep. Mark Amodei’s legislation, H.R. 2925, the Mining Regulatory Clarity Act of 2024, undoes the damaging Rosemont decision, allows mining operations to continue as they have historically under the law, and protects the communities and jobs supported by this industry.

“Securing our domestic mineral supply chain is not only critical to our nation’s economic success, but to our national security. Now more than ever, we must ensure we are doing all that we can to increase domestic mineral production and protect the ability to conduct responsible mining activities on federal lands. H.R. 2925 will reinstate much-needed clarity to allow vital mining projects to move forward,” said Rep. Mark Amodei. 

What Members Said:

The Western Caucus highlighted how H.R. 2925 corrects the harmful Rosemont Decision and protects American mining.  

Rep. Greg Murphy pointed to how the Rosemont Decision overturned decades of precedent and restricted the U.S. Forest Service from approving facilities needed for mining on federal lands, despite existing authorization for approvals.