As prepared for delivery:
Good afternoon. Today’s hearing covers three items. The first I’ll discuss is H.R. 3799, the CHOICE Arrangement Act, a package of bills designed to give working Americans and small businesses more options when it comes to health coverage.
Over half of Americans receive health coverage through employment-based insurance plans. While large employers have the resources to readily provide benefits, small businesses all too often cannot afford to do so. This burdens both employers and employees at mom-and-pop and Main Street businesses. Unaffordable health costs, limited options, and administrative burdens create barriers. The disadvantage makes it even harder to attract and retain a talented workforce.
H.R. 3799 will address this dynamic. By allowing small businesses to band together and offer pooled health insurance coverage to employees, it will deliver more choice and flexibility. It also takes steps to reduce costs for small businesses that choose to self-insure and will codify CHOICE Arrangement plans to allow employers to provide tax-advantaged funds to employees to purchase portable health insurance plans.
H.R. 3799 will go a long way toward reducing insurance costs for employers, ensuring that workers continue to have access to high-quality, affordable health care coverage through their workplace.
The second measure I’ll discuss is H.R. 3564, the Middle Class Borrower Protection Act of 2023. The Biden Administration has been outspoken in its desire to re-engineer every aspect of America to fit a progressive vision. A massive expansion of spending and the size of government has only been a starting point of that design. We’ve also seen them force their agenda through executive mandates.
Many of these regulations have impacted wide swaths of our economy and daily lives. They even include policies aimed at hampering the one-of-a-kind ladder of opportunity and upward mobility that have fueled the promise of the American dream for generations. It’s for that very reason the Rules Committee is here today considering H.R. 3564.
Homeownership is a goal for many. People work hard, save, and live within their means in pursuit of purchasing a home. Yet, the Biden Administration wants to punish those who have prioritized financial responsibility. That’s right: the Biden Administration supports a new rule that would raise mortgage fees on borrowers with higher credit scores—while borrowers with lower scores pay less.
So, if you’ve worked diligently and managed your credit, you’ll now pay more to subsidize those with riskier loans. It’s deliberately unfair. It’s also a significant new tax on one out of every two borrowers.
H.R. 3564 will block these unjust mortgage fee changes from ever being implemented.
Finally, our third measure is House Resolution 461. Last month, New York City shocked many Americans when it announced its plan to house migrants in public school facilities. You heard me correctly, New York tried to take public school facilities away from schoolchildren in order to use them to house migrants. While New York City backed down on this deeply misguided plan, other major cities have considered doing the same thing.
It is indisputable that the United States presently faces a crisis at our southern border. This is a national security and humanitarian crisis, and, unfortunately, it is largely of the Biden Administration’s own making. But the many failures of their radical agenda do not excuse local governments like that of New York City deciding to prioritize migrants over schoolchildren.
House Resolution 461 expresses Congressional condemnation of New York City’s proposed plan and makes clear that this should not happen anywhere in America. It also articulates that the ultimate fault for this crisis rests with President Biden, who has systematically failed to secure the southern border and who has made it drastically harder for the federal government to address illegal immigration.