House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Republicans are gearing up to investigate the Biden administration over a variety of issues should the GOP retake the House in the midterms this November, according to several discussions with ranking members of Congress and McCarthy.
Topping the list of GOP targets are Biden’s DOJ, the Department of Education and the border crisis. Republicans also intend to prioritize inflation, COVID origins and Big Tech.
As it gets closer to election day, McCarthy told the Caller that “a House Republican majority will be ready on day one to exercise Article I authority to hold the Biden administration accountable.” McCarthy said that “every congressional committee has an oversight responsibility, and under a Republican majority we will finally get the answers the American people deserve.”
House rules function by a two-thirds, one-third split on committee staff between the majority and minority. So even though there’s currently a small majority of only a couple of seats, it’s still a two-thirds to one-third split, which means that Republicans are in a position to double their staff.
Behind closed doors, McCarthy has told the ranking members on committees that when they are adding staff, they should first prioritize increasing the size of their oversight staff with counsels and investigative talent. Since Republicans have been in the minority and, with this in mind for a while, the committees have already started preparing for an avalanche of investigations.
The Caller got statements from top Republicans on a number of important committees. There have been training sessions, meetings with freshmen members and presentations about constitutional limitations and how oversight actually works. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Kevin McCarthy Plots An Investigation Avalanche If GOP Retakes House)
Here Is A Breakdown From A Few Influential Committees:
Energy and Commerce under New Jersey Democrat Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., has been focused primarily on helping to implement President Joe Biden’s priorities on health care and energy. They helped pass a series of coronavirus spending packages as well as pushing for abortion on demand until birth. They also held hearings on “America’s Broken Recycling System,” focusing on climate change with a goal to “significantly reduce climate pollution, create a clean energy future that produces millions of good-paying American jobs, and prioritize the needs of environmental justice communities.”
Overall, the committee’s focus on oversight is “to rebuild and restore critical functions of key agencies that were dismantled during the four years of the Trump Administration.”
Republicans contend time would be better spent investigating and alleviating things like gas prices and the fentanyl crisis.
“We have a full agenda,” Ranking Member Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers told the Caller. “[We plan] to hold President Biden and his administration officials accountable for how they’ve shut down American energy, broken trust at America’s public health agencies, made the fentanyl crisis worse, and increased our dependence on supply chains controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.”
Climate czar Jon Kerry has rankled members of Congress with his perceived kowtowing to China. Kerry’s green energy ambitions would be difficult if not impossible to achieve without Beijing’s partnership, according to a recent landmark study in Nature magazine.
The oversight subcommittee team is hiring rapidly in anticipation of oversight goals, an aide told the Daily Caller under the condition of anonymity to discuss strategy. “[The committee intends to] take action on policies to reverse the damage [the Biden admin] caused to our economy, our global competitive edge against China, and our American way of life.”
Democrats on the Homeland Security Committee, which is led by Democratic Mississippi Bennie Thompson, appear to be more focused on the Jan. 6 Select Committee than they were on the Homeland Security Committee. Democrats haven’t held one hearing on the border crisis this Congress. When it comes to hearings, the focus has been largely on violent domestic extremism, FEMA operations, and cybersecurity or hyper-localized issues such as the Mississippi water crisis.
Lesley Byers, a Homeland Security Committee Republican spokesperson, explained to the Caller that they plan to focus on the border crisis, Biden’s early withdrawal from Afghanistan and mentioned the Department of Homeland Security’s focus on the debut of its electric vehicle program, saying Democrats’ “priorities have been misplaced at best.”
“After two years of Democrat-control in the House, during which the Biden administration has not been held accountable for any of the numerous crises it has created, next year oversight will be king. Homeland Security Republicans are already looking ahead, and preparing agendas to get answers, provide clarity, and deliver accountability for the American people. We look forward to welcoming a new Chairman and hitting the ground running to implement the incoming Chair’s critical oversight agenda,” Byers added.
The House Appropriations Committee, led by Democratic Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, has not been focused on the current economic crisis, Republicans say. Instead, Democrats on the committee have been prioritizing liberal initiatives and increasing federal spending, with some accounts receiving double-digit and triple-digit percentage increases, which will further fuel inflation, Republican leaders contend.
The Ranking Member Rep. Kay Granger told the Caller that if Republicans take back the House she will “ensure the Committee focuses on oversight of taxpayer dollars.” Granger also said that she has “dedicated staff who are developing plans to do this.” She said she intends to hold hearings all year, not just before the committee marks up appropriations bills.
“I also think we should review programs that are funded across many subcommittees. These are just some of the ways we can hold agencies accountable for every dollar appropriated, and I’ll be working with our members to come up with other ideas,” Granger added.
The Ways & Means Committee, chaired by Democratic Massachusetts Rep. Richard Neal, has also had a House majority in 2019 and 2020. While the pandemic was overtaking the world, Republicans tell the Daily Caller, Ways and Means Democrats were finding ways to raise taxes on vaping and trying to weaponize the tax code against their political enemies.
Rep. Kevin Brady, the Republican Leader for Ways and Means told the Caller that the GOP is focused on the Biden initiatives that have been “fueling the inflation crisis, pushing our economy to the brink of a recession, and making life harder for working American families and small businesses.”
Brady also mentioned his concern for the Biden Administration’s “lack of transparency and cooperation, and our members are preparing to conduct greater oversight in the new Congress.”
Democratic New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, chair of the Oversight Committee, did not hold a hearing on Biden’s $2 trillion stimulus bill. Democrats also have not yet held an oversight hearing on pandemic fraud, even as the Small Business Association flagged approximately $189 million of $800 million given out in the Paycheck Protection Program.
“Democrats have abandoned the Oversight Committee’s mission to root out waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in the federal government and have failed to hold the Biden Administration accountable. The lack of oversight has been so bad that a nonpartisan group gave Democrats an ‘F.’ Republicans are laying the groundwork and adding seasoned investigative staff to the minority’s already strong team to ramp up oversight of the Biden Administration and the many crises it has created that are harming the American people,” a House Oversight Committee Republican spokesperson told the Caller.
“If Americans entrust Republicans with the majority in 2023, we will continue this hiring surge to build a team that is focused on delivering transparency and accountability for the American people,” the spokesperson continued.
Democratic New York Rep. Jerry Nadler’s Judiciary Committee has had its eyes on abortion, domestic violent extremism and banning AR-15s. A source familiar with the Judiciary Committee’s plans told the Caller that the committee “has already started to hire new investigators to conduct oversight, and will continue to do so I’d imagine.”
The Caller spoke with Ranking Member, Republican Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who said while he’s heard rumbles about potential impeachments of cabinet secretaries, the decision on whether to impeach someone like DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas or Attorney General Merrick Garland has to be made by the entire Republican conference.
“Any impeachment decision is going to be made by the whole conference. I think that is how you have to do it. Go back to 2019 when the Democrats did their crazy attack on President Trump. I always point out that the conventional wisdom was that when that started that, oh, all the Democrats in the House were going to vote to impeach President Trump. A bunch of Republicans were going to join in. And then what happened is we all stuck together. We dug into the facts. We presented the facts to the American people. And the end result was just the opposite,” Jordan said.
“Every Republican in the House voted not to impeach. Several Democrats joined us, one even switched parties. So I just think it’s important you stick together. My point there isn’t that it’s not warranted for Mayorkas. I’ve said it is because this guy’s been terrible. But I just think it’s important if you’re going to do it, you actually have the whole team on board and you make the case. So it’s got to be a full conference decision. Mayorkas I think more than anyone else warrants it, but we’re going to have to just wait and see what the conference decision is on that and or anyone else,” he continued.
Jordan added that Republicans on the committee are “definitely going to be aggressive as we possibly can in getting the facts to the American people, on not just the ridiculous stuff that the Biden administration is intentionally doing to our border, but also the political shenanigans going on over at the Justice Department.”
He also mentioned that he thinks Biden’s DOJ might be his biggest concern about the administration, saying “the biggest threat to the country is a political Justice Department.”
“Right now, we have a Justice Department that is not about equal treatment under the law. It is about going after your political opponent. And we have had 14 whistleblowers come and talk to us and tell us exactly what’s going on. And it is scary stuff. So that is a huge focus that we’re going to have. We’ve already been doing investigations for two years as much as we can in the minority. Hundreds, hundreds of letters. We’ve sent that. And now we’ve reiterated those requests to these agencies and reminded them that should we actually be in control, that people are going to have to come in for transcribed interviews and give us answers under oath,” Jordan said.
“When you lie to the country, which appears to be what [Mayorkas] did [on the whipping investigation], for goodness sakes, there should be consequences. So as I said, he deserves it. But the question is, if we go that route, it’s got to be a conference-wide decision,” he added.
The Financial Services Committees chairwoman Democratic California Rep. Maxine Waters has been focusing on housing provisions in the Democrats’ spending bill, known as the Build Back Better Act. However, the provisions ended up being cut by their own party. Democrats on the committee have also spent time extending the Biden Administration’s unconstitutional eviction moratorium and, Republicans say, covering up for the Treasury’s mismanagement of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
Ranking Member Patrick McHenry told the Caller that the GOP is “already laying the groundwork to rein in these activist regulators through effective oversight and will demand answers for the American people,” in reference to the Biden Administration pushing its climate agenda through financial regulators due to the fact they do not have the votes to pass it in Congress.
“As the recent West Virginia v. EPA Supreme Court decision made clear, there is a limit to regulators’ statutory authority and bureaucrats cannot bypass the people’s representatives,” McHenry added.
As for the federal budget and defunding any government agencies in 2023, McCarthy’s “Commitment to America” calls to “Curb wasteful government spending that is raising the price of groceries, gas, cars, and housing, and growing our national debt.”
McCarthy has made comments lately that suggest he’s skeptical of efforts to impeach Biden officials. Although he hasn’t called for an impeachment inquiry into a Biden official, McCarthy said in September that he will not “pre-determine what happens,” adding that Republicans will find the “truth” and “uphold the law.” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: House Oversight Republicans, Kevin McCarthy Plan November Surprise For DC Mayor Bowser)
“We’re not gonna predetermine what happens. The number one promise we make to the American public is we’re gonna get to the bottom of the truth. And we’ll let the truth take us to wherever it goes and we’ll uphold the law, whatever we need to do,” McCarthy said outside the Capitol.
“We just went through four years of watching a political impeachment. We’ve watched four years, what we learned even today that [the Chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Democratic California Rep.] Adam Schiff, first lies to the American public. Now we find out he went to freshman- to those Democrats- to write that article because they knew Nancy Pelosi would move for impeachment. It was all predetermined. We will uphold the law. We will not play politics with it. But we’ll do whatever in the nature that the rules and facts take us to,” he added.
The Daily Caller contacted the White House about the possibility of Republicans conducting oversight on the Biden administration if they win back the majority, to which they did not immediately respond.