() — Now that a House speaker has been selected after a days-long deadlock and members have finally been sworn in, the house can get back to business and organize the GOP-led committees.
Each new Congress must pass a new set of House rules, and doing so will be top of the 118th Congress’ to-do list when the House reconvenes on Monday.
With majority Republicans in the House comes a new power to set the investigative and legislative agenda.
Here’s a look at what the Republicans plan to do with their new House majority:
House Republicans will be limited in their ability to pass bills in Congress with Democrats in control of the Senate and the White House, where the president can exercise veto power over legislation. However, House Republicans will be able to push through bills that highlight their agenda.
In an exclusive and wide-ranging interview with ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, then-House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy outlined his plans for power. Those plans include tackling inflation, rising crime and border security, and left the door open for eventual impeachment proceedings, which some of its members have already begun calling for.
There will also be some policy issues that must be passed, such as government funding, which will test the ability of Republicans and Democrats to work together.
With subpoena power and control over powerful committees, the House GOP plans to make investigations into the Biden administration a top priority. Among its objectives are:
Hunter Biden. Republican Rep. James Comer, who is in line to chair the House Oversight Committee, said that “in the 118th Congress, this committee will assess the status of Joe Biden’s relationship with his foreign family associates and whether he is a compromised president or influenced by dollars and foreign influences”.
The emphasis of Comer’s investigation will be to delve into more than 100 suspicious activity reports that Republicans say banks have filed in connection with the financial activities of the president’s son, Hunter Biden. Comer has said: “We would love to talk to people in the Biden family, specifically Hunter and Joe Biden.”
The White House said the investigations are politically motivated and a waste of time. Such reports are not conclusive and do not necessarily indicate wrongdoing.
The Department of Justice and the FBI. Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, who is expected to chair the House Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland in November requesting a slew of documents on everything from the alleged Project Veritas “hack” by the Justice Department to the FBI search for classified documents at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort.
The southern border. After winning a majority, Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas telling him and other department officials to be prepared to testify.
The exit from Afghanistan. Biden’s decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan in 2021 sparked a frantic attempt by many Afghans to flee the country, with devastating scenes of people clinging to the wings of planes as they tried to escape before the Taliban government officially took power. . Republicans have indicated that they are analyzing possible investigations into the events.
Origins of covid-19. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce panel, has said that “how the pandemic started, that’s probably the most important public health question that needs to be answered.” Two studies published last year concluded that a seafood market in Wuhan, China, was likely the epicenter of the virus.