2022 showed how easy life can be for a political party that controls all of Washington – congressional oversight disappeared, and the Democrats running Congress had nothing but good things to say about the job performance of the Democratic president.
2023 will be different. After months of watching Democrats shoot down their oversight proposals, the GOP has a ready-made slate of ideas on how to finally put congressional pressure on the Biden administration. It will also have the power to issue subpoenas to force officials to testify if needed.
The GOP oversight agenda was built brick by brick over the last six months in the House, through a series of ‘resolutions of inquiry.’ These oversight bills raised by Republicans were quickly shot down by Democrats and ended up serving mostly as a way to remind the public there are questions Congress is not asking of the Biden administration.
Now, those resolutions will serve as a roadmap to how Republicans hope to finally exert some authority over a White House that they believe has run off the rails over a broad range of issues.
The crisis at the southwestern U.S. border. The chaotic and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Department of Homeland Security’s disastrous Disinformation Governance Board. Rampant inflation and excessive government spending. The infiltration of the ‘woke’ agenda into major federal agencies.
And of course, Hunter Biden. Republicans have argued for months now that Democrats, the media and social media platforms have conspired to suppress stories about the president’s son’s business dealings and how President Biden might have profited from those business dealings.
In September, Republicans on the House Oversight and Reform Committee presented a resolution asking President Biden to deliver every document in his possession related to his dealings with his son, including how Hunter allegedly gave foreign business interests access to his father.
‘It is time for President Biden to answer some questions about his participation in his family’s business schemes with some of our most significant adversaries for years, including the Chinese Communist Party,’ said Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the top Republican on the committee.
The resolution was killed, but stay tuned in 2023.
The Department of Homeland Security will also be in the GOP’s crosshairs. On the border, Republicans on the House Homeland Security Committee brought up a resolution asking for all information about the health and safety of the thousands of children who crossed illegally into the U.S. under Biden’s watch.
On a more political note, Republicans on the same committee asked DHS to hand over all documents related to its much-maligned Disinformation Governance Board, which quickly folded under withering criticism from both Republicans and Democrats. Republicans at the time said the board was an attempt by Democrats to create a political tool to tamp down Republican points of view.
‘The idea of a disinformation governance board within the Department of Homeland Security rightly chills the spines of Americans across our great nation,’ said Rep. Michael Guest, R-Miss. ‘This is a blatant overreach of the Biden administration to suppress freedom of speech and dictate what is truth and what is fact.’
Both of these DHS resolutions were killed, but stay tuned in 2023.
In the House Committee on Education and Labor, Republicans sought information on how the Biden administration determined that it has the legal authority to forgive billions of dollars in student debt and how much it would cost.
In the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Republicans sought information from the Department of Veterans Affairs about long wait times that veterans still face when seeking government-run care.
This month in the House Armed Services Committee, the GOP pressed for information on all documents outlining and describing the Pentagon’s approach to gender transition, nonbinary service members, and creating ‘safe spaces’ for people who do not identify as a man or a woman.
These and many other inquiries – on issues like censorship of political speech, COVID vaccine mandates, the origin of COVID, the raid on former President Trump’s home, the Jan. 6 investigation, the baby food shortage and many more – all failed to advance.
But stay tuned in 2023.