Chairman Cole Opening Remarks on H.R. 788, H.J. Res. 98, and S.J. Res. 38

As prepared for delivery:

Good afternoon, and welcome back to the Rules Committee.

A new year marks a time for change. As Americans across the country bring new vigor towards their own resolutions, House Republicans are renewing our Commitment to America. Vital to our agenda is a government that is accountable and an economy that is strong.

These objectives are necessary to reverse the destructive policies the Biden Administration has forced on the nation. One doesn’t have to look far to see the results: emptier wallets, a struggling economy, chaos at our border, rising crime, and emboldened adversaries.

Yet, these harsh truths will likely get worse as more ill-advised White House proposals move forward. It’s why the Rules Committee is acting today to impose new guardrails and reverse three Democrat-led policies.

First, we will take up H.R. 788, the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act. The Biden Administration has a penchant for resurrecting Obama-era practices, and their decision to reinstate settlement slush funds is deeply troubling.

When the federal government settles a case, the restitution should be directed to the victims or the Treasury. Instead, this White House has reinstated the practice of funneling settlement funds to favored or politically-friendly third parties.

Unelected bureaucrats should not be able to line the pockets of their favorite progressive entities. It's an affront to the Constitution and allows those in power to reward their political cronies with other people’s money.

H.R. 788 will stop this abusive and corrupt practice. It will ensure that the Federal government cannot direct settlement funds anywhere other than to government coffers, or to remedy harm caused by the settling parties. It will ensure Congressional oversight remains in place and will prevent the administration from evading Congress’ appropriations power.

Our other two items are resolutions arising under the Congressional Review Act. Both of these measures will overturn deeply misguided Biden Administration regulations, restoring the status quo.

H.J. Res. 98 addresses the National Labor Relations Board, or NLRB’s, effort to redefine the joint employer rule. If allowed to take effect, the rule will upend the franchise business model that has empowered entrepreneurship and job creation across the country.

It will certainly make operational costs skyrocket and will eliminate countless small businesses and job opportunities nationwide. We don’t have to speculate here, as a similar rule put in place under the Obama Administration had far-reaching consequences across the economy, particularly for businesses using the franchise model. With the American Dream already slipping from the reach of so many over the last three years, the last thing people need is another liberal policy hampering the economy.

Finally, S.J. Res. 38 addresses Congress’ previously mandated Buy America requirements for investments to build out electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The standard supports U.S. industry and workers, while rightly reducing our supply chain reliance on China.
President Biden has decided to renege on these obligations.

Rather than encouraging domestic manufacturing and taking steps to source these products from the United States, the Biden Administration is seeking to waive Buy America requirements. Propping up Communist China’s control of industry production and subsidizing foreign adversaries with U.S. dollars puts America last.

House Republicans believe in the power and ingenuity of American manufacturing. We believe we should be constructing and sourcing our needs right here, in the USA. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the fragility of global supply chains and the consequences of being complacent. The United States should be doing everything possible to build up domestic manufacturing capacity. Passage of S.J. Res. 38 will be another step forward in doing so.


Jan 9, 2024