As prepared for delivery:
Our adversaries are evolving their methods and shifting their targets. Gone are the days when direct attacks and military strength were the only things to be feared. A new frontier of aggression is here—and it’s one that seeks to subvert our systems and control America through our greatest asset: our people.
We are blessed to be home to world-class institutions of higher learning. Colleges and universities across the nation have continually prepared our brightest thinkers and innovators for the future. It’s a fact easily seen in my own district at the University of Oklahoma. Programs on cancer research, climate and weather, and petroleum engineering—in combination with competitive athletics—have made us a premier destination for young minds.
Generation after generation, this harnessing of knowledge and academic excellence has propelled the nation forward. We recognize this, but so do our enemies. And it's why foreign nations – including nefarious actors – have quietly sought to compromise U.S. campuses.
For example, the Chinese Communist Party has actively pushed Confucius Institutes. Disguised as seemingly harmless language classes and cultural outreach, the ploy’s goal is to indoctrinate students with CCP propaganda. Foreign entities, including our adversaries, have also increasingly used large donations to American schools to covertly reach and manipulate students.
Our reaction to this can’t be subtle. It’s why the House is taking up H.R. 5933, the DETERRENT Act. The bill enhances and brings transparency and clarity to foreign gift and contracting reporting requirements for colleges and universities. No longer will stealthy streams of cash funneled to postsecondary schools be left in the shadows. Imposing stronger safeguards is a vital step forward.
Today’s hearing also covers H.R. 4468, the Choice in Automobile Retail Sales Act of 2023. The Biden Administration’s EPA has imposed regulation after regulation to push a radical Green New Deal agenda. One such rule sets emission standards so radical it would result in at least two-thirds of all passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. to be electric by 2032.
These emission guidelines defy reality and strip Americans of the ability to make their own purchasing decisions. They also egregiously overlook the dramatically higher costs and a serious lack of charging infrastructure that consumers would face. Americans should be free to choose the type of vehicle that is best for them, not the type of vehicle that faceless bureaucrats in Washington think is best. H.R. 4468 will ensure that they can continue to do so.
Finally, our last agenda item is House Joint Resolution 88, a resolution arising under the Congressional Review Act that disapproves of the Biden Administration’s most recent student loan plan. Held hostage by the approval of progressive voters, President Biden last year attempted to illegally cancel four hundred billion dollars of student loan debt. The move was struck down by the Supreme Court—and a mere ten days later—the White House pushed another scheme.
They are now pushing forward the costliest regulation in U.S. history under the guise of cutting student loan repayments. If that sounds contradictory, it’s because it is. The math doesn’t add up. The move is estimated to cost anywhere between $250 billion to $475 billion. And it’s the American taxpayer who will foot the bill.
Let that sink in for a second. With a stroke of a pen, President Biden is attempting to spend hundreds of billions of dollars, none of it appropriated by Congress, and all of it must be borrowed. If allowed to remain in force, President Biden’s wildly expensive plan will force Americans who either never attended college or paid for college themselves to bankroll student loans incurred by those who did. This is not only outrageously expensive and not authorized by Congress, but it is also incredibly unfair.
House Joint Resolution 88 will stop this debt transfer and remind the Biden Administration that there are limits to their power. The Constitution states that it is us, Congress, that makes laws, not the President. If the President continues to ignore the requirements of the Constitution, then it is up to Congress to stop him from doing so. Today, we are doing just that.