House Republicans are pledging that extensive oversight investigations into President Biden and administration officials will take place next Congress regardless of the size of their majority.
GOP lawmakers say that even a one-seat majority will empower them to take the reins of congressional committees, and with that will come subpoena power to compel Biden administration officials to furnish documents and testimony on various topics.
“Holding the administration accountable through vigorous oversight was a top priority laid out by [GOP] Leader Kevin McCarthy,” said Rep. Lloyd Smucker, R-Pa. “Obviously, we could do that just by holding the gavel, regardless of our margin, regardless if we have control of the Senate.”
Smucker, who is vying to chair the House Budget Committee, said he was eager to use the panel’s power to increase transparency into how the Biden administration was spending taxpayer money.
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In recent days, Republicans have been grappling with how their governing agenda is likely to change after a much-predicted GOP wave failed to materialize on Election Night.
At the moment, the Republican majority looks to be anywhere between 218 seats, the bare minimum needed to control the House, and 230 seats. The latter would constitute a sweep of all outstanding races, including some in which Democrats are favored, but still falls far short of the 60 seats McCarthy once said were possible.
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While the media and political observers have speculated that a narrow majority might prove ungovernable, several House Republicans contend differently.
Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., argued that the GOP had not promised anything on the campaign trail it could not deliver regardless of the size of its majority. Comer, who is set to chair the House Oversight Committee next Congress, said that Republicans understood that with President Biden in the White House for at least another two years, their agenda would always need to focus heavily on accountability.
“For the past two years, one-party Democrat rule has resulted in multiple crises that are harming Americans without any oversight and accountability,” said Comer. “With the power of the gavel, Republicans will return the Oversight Committee back to its primary duty to root out waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in the federal government and hold the Biden Administration accountable.”
Comer cited investigations his committee planned to launch into were the White House’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, the origins of the COVID-19 virus, and Hunter Biden’s business dealings.
“We will use all tools at our disposal to identify problems and propose solutions that make the federal government more efficient, effective, transparent, and accountable to the American people,” said Comer.
McCarthy, who is campaigning for the post of House speaker, has long promised to make oversight a key priority for every congressional committee. The California Republican has even instructed incoming committee chairmen to focus on building out their oversight capacities before hiring other staffers.
“Every congressional committee has oversight responsibility, and we will finally get the answers the American people deserve,” said McCarthy.
Smucker told Fox News Digital that emphasis on oversight was one shared by nearly every single House Republican.
“There might be disagreements over tactics, but on substance, we are fairly united,” said the Pennsylvania Republican.
Biden, for his part, does not appear to be worried by the GOP’s aggressive commitment to investigate his administration.
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“Lots of luck in your senior year, as my coach used to say,” Biden joked with reporters when asked about possible probes of his son Hunter. “Look, I think the American public wants us to move on and get things done for them.”