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Chairman Smith Opening Statement: Markup of Oversight Plan for the 118th Congress

February 28, 2023

As prepared for delivery

“During two years of one-party Democrat rule in Washington, this Committee should have done robust oversight of the Biden Administration – instead, it overlooked the Administration’s worst behaviors.

Whether it was rampant spending driving up inflation or tax increases that will only further shrink the wallets of families, farmers, and small businesses, the last Congress rammed through unvetted policies that have been a disaster.

Democrats gave the Biden Administration a blank check, and American workers, families, and small businesses have paid the price.

But today is a new day. We will seek answers to the questions that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle refused to even ask – including about the IRS’s persistent abuse of taxpayers, even if they lead to uncomfortable truths.

At the top of the list: the $80 billion pay raise Democrats gave the IRS. We know the Administration plans to increase audits on hard working Americans using an army of 87,000 new agents – just how heavy will that burden be on working families? What is the IRS’ plan to fix its atrocious customer service record? When will we get answers on the leaking of confidential taxpayer information to ProPublica for clearly political purposes? Those questions and others need answers. We will also use our jurisdiction over tax exempt organizations to look into how this network has grown rapidly over the last several years and what role it is playing in both free speech and the political process.

We will also examine whether it is in America’s best interests to shower tax benefits on companies that have shed their American identity to go into business with the Chinese Communist Party.

We will ensure that our federal health care agencies are prioritizing patients over politics and medicine over messaging. Our committee will fight to give Americans more say in their health care – improving access for rural communities and unleashing price transparency to help lower costs. We will also push back against President Biden’s efforts to undermine health care for seniors, including his decision last week to continue to restrict Medicare coverage for Alzheimer’s patients. And we will get to the bottom of the Administration’s response to COVID, including their failure to identify and recover hundreds of billions of dollars of stolen unemployment benefits.

We will do the same at the Department of Treasury where despite pressure from the politicals at the White House, a taxpayer’s gender or race should never be taken into account. This committee will protect the millions of workers who will be harmed, and whose jobs are undermined, by the Biden Administration’s unconstitutional global tax deal with foreign governments. We will enforce trade practices and agreements that protect our workers and work closely with our allies to ensure that America’s critical supply chains are secured against the threat of the Chinese Communist Party.

The Inflation Reduction Act handed out hundreds of billions of dollars in Green New Deal corporate welfare and threw hard-earned tax dollars at the wealthiest in this country. This committee has a duty to investigate whether those policies are in the best interest of taxpayers’ or only serve to line the pockets of special interests. The earliest indications seem to show that the biggest beneficiaries of that law have been the big banks on Wall Street, corporate America, and the Chinese government.

This committee will also endeavor to restore the dignity of work – which was sadly undermined by Democrat policies that eliminated work requirements and made a government check more valuable than a job.

Our oversight efforts will be guided by the facts and the priorities of working Americans as shared with us as we continue to spend time in communities all across this country with our field hearings.

I urge all my colleagues to support the adoption of this plan to restore this committee’s commitment to oversight.”