Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole released a recent update from Capitol Hill. He indicated that despite the current Democratic rule in Washington, House Republicans have kept their commitments to the American people.
Cole mentioned that one of House Republicans’ top priorities for the new Congress was ending out-of-control spending that led to the inflationary crisis in our country. To combat rising inflation, the REIN IN Inflation Act was quickly passed. This act requires the executive branch to report the inflationary impact of executive actions before they are enacted, keeping the White House from exacerbating the current economic crisis without congressional action.
The negotiation of the Fiscal Responsibility Act was also significant as a compromise to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for a reduction in spending, while avoiding a catastrophic default on our nation’s debt. This bill demonstrates Congress’s ability to work in a bipartisan manner to cut year-over-year spending for the first time in recent history, rescind billions in unspent COVID-19 relief money and reform work requirements for SNAP and welfare benefits, all while maintaining a commitment to national defense and supporting military veterans.
House Republicans passed key legislation to increase domestic energy production to lower energy prices, strengthen energy independence and reduce our reliance on foreign nations. The Lower Energy Costs Act supports energy infrastructure and reduces the dependence on foreign adversaries for energy sources by reforming the permitting process and increasing production of critical minerals on American soil. Both the Strategic Production Response Act and the Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act would limit the amount of oil extracted from our emergency reserve and sold to foreign adversaries such as China, thus increasing our reliance on the resources we already have and protecting our reserve in case of national emergencies.
In addition to fostering a stronger economy, House Republicans are committed to restoring law and order from the southern border to our communities. In response to the surge of migrants, dangerous drugs and human trafficking at the southern border, the Secure the Border Act brings order to the U.S. immigration system by resuming border wall construction, directing more resources to border patrol agents, reforming asylum abuses, penalizing visa overstays and preventing catch and release practices. The HALT Fentanyl Act reclassifies fentanyl-related substances which have flooded the U.S. as a result of a porous border. These substances are now classified as Schedule 1 drugs with stricter penalties to discourage drug trafficking and reduce the tragic number of deaths.
To increase safety in communities across the country, the House passed legislation to support law enforcement and a resolution to oppose efforts to defund the police. The legislation passed included the Federal Law Enforcement Officer Service Weapon Purchase Act, which would allow officers in good standing to purchase their retired service weapons, and the POLICE Act of 2023, which would make deportation a penalty for people who assault any law enforcement officer.
Restoring accountability and transparency to the federal government were also goals of House Republicans upon assuming the majority. House passage of the REINS Act would further oversight of the executive branch by requiring agencies to get congressional approval for all regulations with significant economic impact. This legislation aims to return the lawmaking power back to Congress by dialing back the abuse of regulatory power by an unaccountable bureaucracy.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee is also currently investigating President Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, which appeared to result in part from poor planning and lack of coordination with allies and other partners. Thirteen U.S. service members and scores of innocent local men, women and children died during the brief, frantic withdrawal. House Republicans also established the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the U.S. and the Chinese Communist Party to develop the American approach to the range of economic, strategic and military challenges presented by the CCP and to defend the American people and economy from their malign tactics.
Finally, the Parents Bill of Rights Act, which also passed the House, would increase transparency between parents and local elected officials by giving them a direct role in the education of their children and the content of their curriculum. Parents have the right to know what is being taught to their children and know of curriculum that promotes ideologies undermining the values parents aim to instill in their children at home.