This week in Congress, the House passed legislation ensuring Americans’ First Amendment rights; overturning EPA’s burdensome WOTUS rule; and, in a moment of bipartisanship, a bill requiring information on the origins of COVID-19. Additionally, it was a week of firsts in Washington as I chaired my first subcommittee hearing on the Biden Administration’s compliance to congressional oversight and had the high privilege of serving as Speaker pro tempore of the House of Representatives. Further, President Biden released his $6.9 trillion budget proposal, which doubles down on more taxes and policies that continue the spiral of financial hardships that hurts families across Virginia. Lastly, I was pleased to recognize the 50th anniversary of the Winchester Rescue Mission on the House Floor, and had the opportunity to meet with constituents and see friendly faces around the Capitol. As House Republicans’ work to ensure freedom, transparency, and prosperity continues, I look forward to being back home with those I am fighting for in Congress.
With each passing day, the real role that China and a complicit media played in spreading falsehoods as to the origin and spread of COVID becomes clearer. In an effort to expose the truth, Congress unanimously passed, 419-0, the COVID-19 Origin Act (H.R. 1376), which requires the Biden Administration to declassify all information relating to potential links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the origin of COVID-19. Passing this legislation ensures that Americans are finally going to get the answers they deserve.
Far too many times we have seen agencies of the federal government weaponize their power by pressuring social media companies to censor Americans’ views online. Government agencies such as the FBI and the State Department have been secretly working with Big Tech to censor conservative views and suppress stories that don’t fit their narrative, like the COVID-19 lab leak theory. This week, House Republicans passed the Protecting Speech from Government Interference Act (H.R. 140), which prohibits federal bureaucrats from colluding with private platforms to silence lawful speech by expanding the Hatch Act, which prevents federal employees from engaging in political activities in their official capacity. Americans have the right to express themselves lawfully online without government suppression.
Agriculture is the number one industry in Virginia, and the Sixth District is proud to be home to more than 8,000 farms. Unfortunately, the Biden Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working to regulate every pond and puddle, saddling folks with costly red tape. President Biden’s rule redefining “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act expands the federal bureaucracy’s regulatory power, and broadens the EPA’s jurisdiction by failing to define what waters are covered. This new rule is going to negatively impact the vital goods and services that farmers, ranchers, and small businesses provide to the Commonwealth and the Nation. That’s why I was proud to vote for, and that the House passed, H.J. Res. 27 to block the Biden EPA’s overreaching WOTUS rule, and protect small businesses and farmers from government overreach of power.
As Chairman of the House Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Responsiveness and Accountability to Oversight, I held my first hearing to try and get to the bottom of why the Department of Justice and Department of Education have ignored hundreds of Judiciary Committee letters requesting information on the agencies’ role in targeting parents at school board meetings. During the hearing, I was able to question DOJ and DOE Legislative Affairs officials on the agencies’ refusal to comply with requests for documents on their role in the targeting of parents at school board meetings in Virginia and across the country. While I’m pleased the witnesses came before our subcommittee and pledged cooperation, one thing was abundantly clear: we need answers from these agencies, and they better stand ready to come back up to Capitol Hill if they don’t provide them.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Congressman. If my office can ever be of assistance, please contact my Washington office at (202) 225-5431. For the latest updates from Washington and across the Sixth District, please follow my Facebook and Twitter pages.