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The Republican Recap: Week of June 10, 2024

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

Holding AG Garland in Contempt for Failure to Comply with Congressional Subpoenas ✅

On February 5, 2024 Special Counsel Robert Hur released his report revealing that President Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen” Additionally, Special Counsel Hur observed President Biden experiencing significant memory issues during his interviews, stating that the President’s “memory was significantly limited,’’ and he ‘‘did not remember when he was vice president.”

As part of their impeachment inquiry, the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, the Judiciary Committee, and the Committee on Ways and Means requested the Department of Justice provide more materials from the Hur Report relevant to their investigations. After the DOJ’s initial refusals, the Judiciary and Oversight Committees issued subpoenas to the U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland compelling production of these relevant records, including the audio and video of President Biden’s interviews with Special Counsel Hur. However, AG Garland has chosen not to turn over the subpoenaed records, and now, the Biden Administration has decided to assert executive privilege over the audio recordings. 

Clearly, President Biden has something to hide, or else why block the release of the audio recordings of his interviews when we already have the transcripts? Once again, President Biden is fighting against transparency for the American people. If Merrick Garland continues to refuse to comply with Congressional subpoenas and deny American citizens the transparency and information they deserve to determine the truth, he will face the consequences.

H. Res. 1293, introduced by Chairman James Comer, recommends that the House of Representatives find U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a Congressional subpoena issued by the Committee on Oversight and Accountability.

“Congress cannot serve as a necessary check on the presidency if the executive branch is free to defy duly authorized, legal subpoenas. House Republicans rightfully held Attorney General Merrick Garland accountable today for his failure to comply with lawful subpoenas issued by the Oversight and Judiciary Committees. Attorney General Garland’s refusal to produce the audio recordings of Special Counsel Hur’s interview with President Biden still begs the question: what is the Biden Administration trying to hide? Their decision to keep the audio recordings behind lock and key establishes a clear pattern of obstruction by this Justice Department in an effort to run cover for President Joe Biden. This is unacceptable and the House of Representatives is now in a better position to deliver the transparency and accountability the American people demand and deserve," said Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer.

H. Res. 1292, introduced by Chairman Jim Jordan, recommends that the House of Representatives find U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a Congressional subpoena issued by the Committee on the Judiciary. 

“The committees need the audio recordings to determine whether the Justice Department appropriately carried out justice by not prosecuting the President. Because remember what they told us: The Justice Department said we're going to operate independent of the White House. They said we'll be impartial, independent arbiters of the facts. Okay, maybe so. But what we do know is this: One former president's being charged, Joe Biden's not being," said Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan. “We know we're entitled to all the evidence and the best evidence and the transcripts alone are not sufficient evidence of the state of the President's memory, especially since the executive branch has a history of changing transcripts. We saw this in late April. The transcript the White House put out didn't match the video and audio recording of President Biden’s speech. And only after the White House was caught did they change the transcript. And in that case, and in this case, the audio recording is the best evidence of the words that President Biden actually spoke."

What Members Said:
“Mr. Hur attributed the Justice Department's decision not to recommend prosecution of President Biden for misusing, mishandling classified documents on this and other occasions to the fact that he is an elderly man with poor memory. A raw transcript doesn't inform the Judiciary Committee sufficiently to evaluate the reasonableness of that determination, especially since President Biden hotly contested Special Counsel Hur’s characterization. Demeanor evidence could powerfully clarify whether that exercise of prosecutorial discretion was politically neutral or politically flagrant,” said Rep. Dan Bishop. “In fact, it is the very power of the demeanor evidence in the audio of Biden's interview that Garland inadvertently acknowledges in stubbornly withholding it. If it were nothing more than a duplicate of the transcript, it would never have been refused. The Justice Department, the Attorney General have not a leg to stand on. Their refusal is the essence of contempt.”

Click here or on the image above to view Rep. Bishop's remarks.
Majority Leader Steve Scalise made clear that it's not Merrick Garland's decision to release the tape of Biden's interview with Special Counsel Hur – it's a legitimate Congressional subpoena and he must comply.  

Rep. Daniel Webster emphasized that House Republicans will hold the Justice Department accountable for hiding information to protect President Biden.  

Improving Servicemember Quality of Life and Strengthening Our National Security ✅

As the United States’ national security remains at risk from threats including adversaries like China and President Biden’s wide-open border, the men and women who serve in the United States military defend our freedom and democracy everyday. Unfortunately, the House Armed Services Committee Quality of Life Panel found that servicemember quality of life has gotten increasingly worse, causing low morale amongst servicemembers, stressing military families, undermining recruitment and retention, and threatening our military readiness. 

Due to insufficient pay and housing allowances, servicemembers and their families have been forced to rely on food stamps and pantries and pay housing costs out of their own pockets. Unaccompanied housing for servicemembers is in terrible condition, exposing occupants to sewage overflows, bedbugs, mold, rats, gas leaks, and brown tap water. Servicemembers and their families are stuck with long wait times for both medical care and childcare. And, 22 percent of military spouses are unemployed, causing many military families to leave active-duty service.

This year, House Republicans’ NDAA specifically focuses on servicemember quality of life improvement, in addition to strengthening our national security. It includes funding for housing maintenance, oversight, and upgrades; expands allowances and gives junior enlisted servicemembers a 19.5 percent raise; reduces healthcare wait times and improves access to childcare; and better supports employment for military spouses. Additionally, the FY25 NDAA includes many measures to boost our national security by deterring China and preventing CCP espionage, getting rid of affirmative action at service academies, demanding promotions be based on merit, funding National Guard troop deployment at the southern border, defending Israel, and cutting inefficient programs and Pentagon bureaucracy.

H.R. 8070, the Servicemember Quality of Life Improvement and National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2025, sponsored by Chairman Mike Rogers, strengthens our national security by deterring China, restoring lethality, funding troops at our border, and cracking down on inefficient uses of funds, while also supporting our servicemembers by taking meaningful steps to improve their quality of life.

“There is no investment more important than the one we make in the men and women who serve in our All-Volunteer Force. Today, the House voted to increase pay for junior enlisted servicemembers by 19.5%, improve unaccompanied housing, expand servicemember access to childcare and healthcare, and support military spouses. Additionally, to ensure that we stay ahead of our adversaries, the FY25 NDAA keeps the continued modernization of our nuclear deterrent on track, invests in our undersea capabilities, boosts innovation, and supports the capabilities our warfighters need to succeed on any future battlefield. Our adversaries will only be deterred through strength and the FY25 NDAA ensures our military will continue to project that strength,” said Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers. 

What Members Said:

“We should all be reminded of the sacrifice that we asked each of our service members as they work hard every day to protect our nation. This bill puts a primary and bipartisan focus on the quality of life for our servicemembers and their families and includes a 19 and a half percent pay raise for our junior enlisted. The bill also fully funds military housing which is critically important these days. This bill also requires that service members be promoted on their abilities, not on contrived bureaucratic initiatives. For these reasons, it's not surprising that a multitude of key military organizations including Blue Star Families, Military Officers Association of America and the National Military Families Association, all support this bill,” said Rep. Rob Wittman. “If you vote against this bill, you're voting against the military service members who provide our nation the want and will to sacrifice their lives on behalf of this nation to preserve the liberties and freedoms that are the foundation of this republic.”

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

Rep. Laurel Lee stressed that H.R. 8070 is a critical bill to fund our military, protect our national security, and support our servicemen and women.

Rep. Tony Gonzales highlighted that the FY25 NDAA puts our troops and defense priorities first while eliminating government waste and radical, far-left priorities.