Second Quarter Accomplishments
In April, I reflected on what we have been able to accomplish in the House of Representatives during the first three months of the year.
Now that it is August, let’s look back through the rest of spring and summer.
My legislation, the HALT Fentanyl Act, to permanently schedule fentanyl analogues, passed the House in May with bipartisan support, with a vote of 289-133. It is now pending in Senate. I hope they will vote on this important legislation soon.
Also in May, House Republicans passed H.R.2, the Secure the Border Act, in an effort to combat the humanitarian crisis at our southern border. Unfortunately, Biden Administration policies have led to increased rates of human and drug smuggling. They have also led to an historic number of unaccompanied minors living in our country, many being exploited and abused (see below). The House Republicans’ bill will force the Biden Administration to restart the construction of the border wall, deploy needed technology to increase security to both the southern and northern borders, and provide funding to increase the number of border patrol agents. It will also strengthen current law aiming to protect unaccompanied children from human trafficking.
In late April, House Republicans passed H.R.734, the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2023, legislation to ensure that women and girls have a fair playing field in sports by guaranteeing that schools adhere to Title IX’s recognition of biology and genetics of an individual at birth. This bill is about fairness, which is why I was an original cosponsor. Women fought for years for equal opportunities in sports. Why should women be forced to sacrifice playing time and scholarship opportunities? They shouldn’t.
The House has also passed other impactful legislation, like the fiscal year (FY) 2024 National Defense Authorization Act, the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization bill, and the FY 2024 Veterans Affairs appropriations bill.
The Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee has worked hard on issues within its jurisdiction.
As Chairman of the E&C Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, I have held 13 hearings since the beginning of April. One focus of the subcommittee is to provide oversight of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
We have worked to hold HHS responsible for their abject failure to competently manage the record number of unaccompanied minors in this country. While we may disagree on what brought these kids to the U.S., once we have taken responsibility for these children, we have a moral obligation to ensure they have the care they need.
We have also explored emerging public threats like antimicrobial resistance (bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics) and how phage therapy (the process of using viruses that kill or weaken bacteria by attacking the bacteria) can combat this growing problem.
I am also a member of the Health Subcommittee and Energy Subcommittee. In the Health Subcommittee, we have held hearings covering our country’s overdose crisis, a serious problem in our district and our nation. We also continue to look for ways to lower our health care costs, whether that be Medicare or prescription drug costs.
On the Energy Subcommittee, we have held hearings about the need to secure our nation’s power grid, a real problem in the age of ever-increasing cyberattacks.
We have also looked at all of the above solutions in energy, including the future of nuclear energy in the United States. Nuclear energy is a dependable energy source and with the advent of small modular nuclear reactors, it is a potentially more significant electric provider for the future. That does not mean that we, and the rest of the world, will not need thermal coal.
I also serve on the House Administration Committee. The Committee continues to examine our country’s elections and voting processes. In July, Committee passed the American Confidence in Elections (ACE) Act, which included my NO VOTE for Non-Citizens Act. The bill reaffirms it is a crime for non-citizens to vote in our federal elections and withholds some federal dollars from state/local jurisdictions that allow non-citizens to vote in their elections.
The Committee has also done oversight work over the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP), bringing in the USCP police chief, inspector general, and police board. I am investigating the sweetheart retirement deal granted to former Assistant Chief Pittman, which was revealed to the public through our hearings.
There is more work to be done between now and the end of the year. I will continue to take our Fightin’ Ninth values to Washington.
If you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov.
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