Chairman Cole Hearing Remarks on H.R. 5283, S.J. Res. 32, and H.R. 5961

As prepared for delivery:

Good afternoon. Our southern border is consumed by chaos. This ongoing national security and humanitarian crisis of epic proportions has been inflicted upon the nation by the disastrous policies of President Biden. Yet, the White House refuses to acknowledge it or change course. In fact, as communities across the country shoulder the heavy burden of these failings, the Biden Administration and Democrats are doubling down on seizing resources from American families and diverting them to support illegal migrants.

It's not surprising given the Administration’s track record. Their refusal to enforce immigration laws and their elimination of deterrence tools and asylum agreements have been catastrophic. Over two million people have crossed the southern border illegally in 2023 alone, with drug runners, human smugglers, terrorists, and other nefarious wrongdoers taking advantage of our porous border.

The consequences are far-reaching. While border communities have suffered the brunt of the uncontrolled influx for too long, the impact is no longer isolated. Cities and communities across the country are overwhelmed and facing the challenge of housing and providing services to the influx of migrants.

It has led to questionable decisions. For example, in New York City, Mayor Eric Adams sought to house some of these individuals on land owned by the National Park Service. The Biden Administration agreed, and recently a migrant encampment opened at Floyd Bennett Field, a unit of the National Park System. The decision to use these facilities not only conflicts with the National Park Service’s mission and with Federal law, but it also raises serious safety concerns both for those who would be housed there and for those who live nearby.

Citizens shouldn’t suffer the loss of access to national parks and lands because of the Biden Administration’s destructive immigration policies.

That is why we are taking up H.R. 5283, the Protecting our Communities from Failure to Secure the Border Act of 2023. This bill would not only reverse the decision to lease Park Service land to New York City for the purpose of housing illegal immigrants, but it would also draw a clear line prohibiting the Biden Administration from doing so with any federal lands in the future.

Instead of prioritizing those who have violated our laws, this White House needs to focus on securing our border and fixing a strained system. This bill is an actionable step in showing our communities that they are not forgotten. 

Today’s hearing will also cover S.J. Res. 32, a resolution disapproving of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed rule regarding small business lending.

As we have seen time and time again, President Biden’s administration is enamored with pushing one-size-fits-all regulations from Washington. The regulation at issue is no different. It implements section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires CFPB to collect data on small business lending.

In practical terms, it expands the reach of federal bureaucrats to the detriment of American families and small businesses. Make no mistake, inundating community banks—including lenders making just 100 loans per year—with layers of new paperwork requirements and compliance costs won’t safeguard consumers. It will have a chilling effect on smaller mom-and-pop banks, while also raising significant privacy concerns. I’ve witnessed the effects of similar regulatory efforts firsthand.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit one of the local banks in my district. The president of the bank brought me into a room with six desks. He explained that these desks were occupied by people whose sole job was compliance with the Dodd-Frank Act. While these were good, hardworking employees, the problem was clear: these were new employees he had to bring on exclusively to comply with reporting requirements. They didn’t help meet the needs of small businesses or bank customers. They only increased costs, which inevitably will be absorbed by consumers.

If the CFPB’s measure is enacted, local and community banks like the one in my district will have to bring on more people just to report data to Washington. With high inflation and interest rates already making it harder to make ends meet, the last thing Main Street needs is another regulation that makes it more difficult for them to get the credit they need. S.J. Res. 32 will support our small businesses, who are our job creators and pillars of our economy.

Finally, the Committee will also resume consideration of H.R. 5961, the No Funds for Iranian Terrorism Act. When we took this bill up prior to recess, we heard concerns from members that they wanted an opportunity to consider amendments to the measure. We are meeting today to afford those members that chance.


Nov 28, 2023