New GOP Leaders Prep Investigations 11/29 06:11
WASHINGTON (AP) -- House Republicans are promising aggressive oversight of
the Biden administration once they assume the majority next year, with a
particular focus on the business dealings of presidential son Hunter Biden,
illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border and the originations of COVID-19.
Republicans won't have enough votes to advance key legislative priorities if
there is no Democratic buy-in, but their oversight of government agencies could
put Democrats on the defensive and dampen support for the Biden administration
going into the 2024 presidential elections.
Some of the lawmakers expected to lead those investigations once House
Republicans select their new committee chairs:
JUDICIARY'S BIG ROLE
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is expected to serve as the next chairman of the
House Judiciary Committee. Jordan helped form and then lead the
ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus and voted on Jan. 6, 2021, to object to
counting Pennsylvania's electoral vote. President Donald Trump thought so
highly of Jordan that he presented the congressman with the nation's highest
civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Judiciary Committee handles oversight of the Departments of Justice and
Homeland Security and issues such as crime, immigration and protection of civil
liberties. It's typically one of the most partisan committees on Capitol Hill,
yet Jordan's combative style stands out even there. The committee would be the
place where any effort would begin to impeach a member of the Biden
administration, as some Republicans have been proposing for Homeland Security
Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
Jordan's inquiries to the administration in recent months make clear the
committee will investigate the FBI's execution of a search warrant at Trump's
Mar-a-Lago residence. He has also advocated for a wide-ranging look at the
Biden administration's immigration policies and the origins of COVID-19.
"All those things need to be investigated just so you have the truth,"
Jordan told conservative activists last summer at a conference. "Plus that will
frame up the 2024 race when I hope and I think President Trump is going to run
again and we need to make sure that he wins."
OVERSIGHT'S LONG LIST
Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., is expected to serve as the next chairman of the
House Oversight and Reform Committee and has made clear that investigating
President Joe Biden's son Hunter will be one of his top priorities. The
Republicans say their investigation of Hunter Biden's business dealings is to
"determine whether these activities compromise U.S. national security and
President Biden's ability to lead with impartiality."
Comer has also been laying the groundwork for investigating the situation on
the U.S-Mexico border. He sent a letter to Mayorkas seeking an array of
documents and communications pertaining to the administration's border policy.
"We cannot endure another year of the Biden Administration's failed border
policies," the letter said.
But that's just a slice the committee's focus.
"We're going to investigate between 40 and 50 different things," Comer said
Sunday on NBC's "Meet The Press." "We have the capacity. We'll have 25 members
on the committee, and we're going to have a staff close to 70. So we have the
ability to investigate a lot of things."
The federal government's spending in response to COVID-19 will also be
"We believe that there have been hundreds of billions, if not trillions of
dollars wasted over the past three years, so that spans two administrations, in
the name of COVID.
"We want to have hearings on that. We want to try to determine what happened
with the fraudulent unemployment insurance funds, the fraudulent PPP loan
funds, some of this money that's being spent for state and local governments in
the COVID stimulus money," Comer said.
AFGHANISTAN IN FOCUS
Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, is expected to serve as the next chairman of
the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which will be investigating the U.S.
withdrawal from Afghanistan. McCaul reiterated a request in mid-October for
various documents and directed the State Department to preserve all records
related to the chaotic withdrawal, which included the loss of 13 U.S. service
members killed during a suicide bombing attack.
"The way it was done was such a disaster and such a disgrace to our veterans
that served in Afghanistan. They deserve answers to the many questions we
have," McCaul said on ABC's "This Week." He added: "Why wasn't there a plan to
evacuate? How did it go so wrong?"
SPOTLIGHT ON ENERGY AND TAXES
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., is expected to serve as the next chair
of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has the broadest jurisdiction of
any authorizing committee in Congress, from health care to environmental
protection to national energy policy. Republicans on the committee have already
spent months investigating the origins of COVID-19 and are expected to continue
that work in the next Congress.
Reps. Jason Smith, R-Mo., Adrian Smith, R-Neb., and Vern Buchanan, R-Fla.,
have expressed interest in serving as the next chairman of the tax-writing
House Ways & Means Committee, which has already been seeking documents related
to the spending in the nearly $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that
Democrats passed early last year. The committee also has oversight over the
IRS, a frequent target of GOP scrutiny and scorn.
OTHER KEY SPOTS
Likely leaders of other prominent committees:
-- Agriculture Committee: Glenn Thompson, R-Pa.
-- Appropriations Committee: Kay Granger, R-Texas.
-- Armed Services Committee: Mike Rogers, R-Ala.
-- Budget Committee: Lloyd Smucker, R-Pa., Buddy Carter, R-Ga., and Jodey
Arrington, R-Texas, have all expressed interest in the chairmanship.
-- Financial Services Committee: Patrick McHenry, R-N.C.
-- Homeland Security Committee: Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, Mark Green, R-Tenn.,
and Clay Higgins, R-La., have all expressed interest in the chairmanship.
-- Intelligence Committee: Michael Turner, R-Ohio
-- Natural Resources Committee: Bruce Westerman, R-Ark.
-- Science, Space and Technology Committee: Frank Lucas, R-Okla.
-- Transportation and Infrastructure Committee: Sam Graves, R-Mo.
-- Veterans' Affairs Committee: Mike Bost, R-Ill.