New GOP committee leaders plot investigations blitz


WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are promising aggressive oversight of the Biden administration once they assume a majority next year, with a particular focus on presidential son Hunter Biden’s business dealings, illegal immigration at the US-Mexico border and the origins of COVID -19.

Republicans won’t have enough votes to advance key legislative priorities if there’s no Democratic buy-in, but their oversight of government agencies could put Democrats on the defensive and dampen support for the administration. Biden before the 2024 presidential elections.

Some of the lawmakers expected to conduct these investigations once House Republicans choose their new committee chairmen:

The great role of the judiciary

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is expected to be the next chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Jordan helped form and then lead the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus and voted on January 6, 2021 to oppose Pennsylvania’s electoral vote count. 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.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks to former President Donald Trump during a rally at Dayton International Airport November 7, 2022 in Vandalia, Ohio. House Republicans are promising aggressive oversight of the Biden administration once they assume a majority next year. They plan to focus in particular on presidential son Hunter Biden’s business dealings, illegal immigration at the US-Mexico border, and the origins of COVID-19.

AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File

The Judiciary Committee manages oversight of the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security and issues such as crime, immigration, and civil liberties protection. It’s usually one of the most partisan committees on Capitol Hill, but Jordan’s combative style stands out even there. The committee would be where any effort would begin to remove a member of the Biden administration, as some Republicans have proposed to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

Jordan’s inquiries with the administration over the past few months make it clear that the committee will investigate the FBI’s execution of a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. He also advocated for a thorough review of the Biden administration’s immigration policies and the origins of COVID-19.

“All of these things need to be investigated just so you get the truth,” Jordan told conservative activists last summer at a conference. “Also, this will frame the 2024 race when I hope and believe President Trump is going to run again and we have to make sure he wins.”

The long list of surveillance

Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., is set to be the next chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and has made it clear that the investigation into President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, will be one of his key priorities. The Republicans say their investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings is “to determine whether these activities compromise the national security of the United States and President Biden’s ability to lead impartially.”

Comer also set the stage to investigate the situation at the US-Mexico border. He sent a letter to Mayorkas requesting a series of documents and communications regarding the administration’s border policy. “We cannot endure another year of failed border policies by the Biden administration,” the letter said.

But that’s only part of 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 will have 25 members on the committee, and we will have a staff of almost 70. So we have the capacity to investigate a lot of things.

Federal government spending in response to COVID-19 will also be reviewed.

“We believe there have been hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars wasted over the past three years, spanning two administrations, in the name of COVID.

“We want to have hearings on this. We want to try to figure out what happened with the fraudulent unemployment insurance funds, the fraudulent PPP loan funds, some of that money that’s being spent on state and local governments in COVID stimulus money “Comer said.

Focus on Afghanistan

Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, is expected to be the next chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which will investigate the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. McCaul reiterated a request in mid-October for various documents and ordered the State Department to retain all records related to the chaotic withdrawal, which included the loss of 13 U.S. military personnel killed in a suicide bombing.

“The way it was done was such a disaster and such a shame for our veterans who served in Afghanistan. They deserve answers to the many questions we have,” McCaul said on ABC’s “This Week.” He added: “Why was there no evacuation plan? How did it go so bad?

Spotlight on energy and taxes

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., is expected to be the next chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has the broadest jurisdiction of any congressional authorization committee, from health care to protection. from the environment to the 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 becoming the next chair of the House Ways & Means Committee, which has already sought documents related to spending on the nearly $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that Democrats passed early last year. The committee also oversees the IRS, a frequent target of GOP scrutiny and scorn.

Other key points

Likely leaders of other important committees:

— Agriculture Committee: Glenn Thompson, R-Pa.

— Credit 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, all expressed interest in the chair.

— Financial Services Committee: Patrick McHenry, RN.C.

– Homeland Security Committee: Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, Mark Green, R-Tenn. And Clay Higgins, R-La., have all expressed interest in the presidency.

– 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.




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