Chairman Cole Opening Remarks on H.R. 6914, H.R. 6918, and H. Res. 957

As prepared for delivery:

Good afternoon.

Before I proceed with my statement, I want to announce that the Committee will not be taking testimony today on the two reports to accompany resolutions recommending the House hold Hunter Biden in contempt of Congress. I understand that conversations between Mr. Biden’s attorneys and the Oversight and Judiciary Committees are ongoing, and we will not meet tonight on this matter while discussions about his compliance remain open. However, should those conversations not prove successful, the Rules Committee may reconvene this week to consider those reports. We will provide notice and inform Members of the need for any additional meeting on this matter should it become necessary.

The Declaration of Independence prescribes many of America’s noblest ideas. It reminds us that individuals are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,” and among those is life.

Tens of thousands of Americans are upholding that very philosophy as they converge in Washington, D.C. this week for the 51st annual March for Life. Standing together, people of all backgrounds will celebrate and defend our most precious gift: life.

We continue to recognize the Supreme Court rightfully returned the power of protecting the unborn to the people. Yet, we must never be complacent in our moral duty to stand up for the sanctity of life. Today, we will take up two measures supporting that very notion.

First, we’ll consider H.R. 6914, the Pregnant Students’ Rights Act. The goal of any college is to educate, support, and empower students as they chart their paths forward. Each pupil has a distinct journey, and I think we can all agree that resources and guidance offered on campus should reflect that. This bill ensures that pregnant students are well-informed about their rights and the support they can access.

When making consequential choices about their future, those expecting should know all the options and tools available to them. They should not be discriminated against or marginalized to believe they don’t have life-affirming alternatives.

H.R. 6914 requires colleges and universities to guarantee pregnant women are forthrightly aware of their rights, educational accommodations, and protections under the law, so women can balance college and pregnancy.  

Furthering the goal of maternal assistance, we’ll also discuss H.R. 6918, the Supporting Pregnant and Parenting Women and Families Act. The Biden Administration has proposed a new discriminatory regulation impacting expecting mothers in need and would specifically ban pregnancy centers from receiving federal dollars through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF program. The White House is stripping resources from facilities that provide women and families with medical services, emotional support, and supplies like diapers and prenatal vitamins. The result is American women having diminished options for care and fewer alternatives to abortion.

H.R. 6918 will prevent the defunding of these critical health centers. It’s a direct step in safeguarding access to care and support needed as parents ready to bring a child into the world.

Finally, I’ll turn to House Resolution 957. Our southern border has plunged into unprecedented chaos under President Biden. His administration has lost operational control and unleashed a full-blown humanitarian and security crisis. Their lax policies have incentivized a historic number of illegal crossings—and the ramifications are much more than sheer numbers or an overwhelmed border patrol. Just last week, New York City elementary students lost access to their school facility to house migrants. This is only the latest example of the many negative consequences faced by communities across the nation. In fact, the only people helped by this situation are drug smugglers, human traffickers, and terrorists.

The failure of the Biden Administration to address these serious blunders is long overdue. House Resolution 957 calls upon President Biden and his administration to end their disastrous open-borders policies that have turned every state into a border state.


Jan 16, 2024