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Press Release Published:Apr 27, 2022

Comer: Republicans Will Deliver Credible Oversight that Produces Results

Blasts Democrats for refusing to call key Biden officials to testify on crises facing Americans

WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) opened today’s hearing on “McKinsey & Company’s Conduct and Conflicts at the Heart of the Opioid Epidemic” by calling on Democrats to hold a hearing with Biden Administration officials on how to end the opioid epidemic. He emphasized how this week alone, House Committees will hold over a dozen hearings with cabinet secretaries and agency heads, but Democrats at the Oversight Committee continue refusing to call key administration witnesses to testify.

Ranking Member Comer emphasized the importance of hearing from the Biden Administration on the many crises facing Americans, including the surge in opioid deaths, the border crisis, skyrocketing energy prices, record inflation, and school closures. Ranking Member Comer concluded that Republicans, if entrusted with the majority in 2023, will deliver credible oversight that produces real results for the American people.

Below are Ranking Member Comer’s remarks as prepared for delivery.

Thank you, Madam Chair.

The opioid epidemic has caused untold harm to millions of Americans.

And in my district in rural Kentucky, thousands of my constituents have lost friends and loved ones to this devastating crisis.

But today’s hearing is not about how to end the opioid epidemic. 

If it were, we would have officials from the Biden Administration here testifying today.

President Biden has been in office for over a year, yet we have not had any cabinet level officials here to testify about the many crises facing Americans today.

Instead, the majority has allowed other Committees to conduct the oversight this Committee should be doing.

This week alone, House Committees will hold 14 different hearings with cabinet secretaries and 4 more with agency heads. 

Today, the Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing with the Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra. 

This committee should have him here to explain why a teachers union was allowed to re-write the CDC’s school reopening guidance to effectively keep thousands of schools shuttered. A career CDC official told us this level of coordination was “uncommon,” contradicting Dr. Walensky’s assertion it was “customary.”

And while he is at it – let’s talk about CDC’s jumbled guidance on all things COVID. Biden’s CDC continues to push for COVID mandates on Americans but seeks to end public health expulsions for illegal immigrants crossing the southern border.

Tomorrow, Secretary of State Antony Blinken will testify before the House Appropriations and the House Foreign Affairs Committees. 

This Committee should have him here to testify about the war in Ukraine, the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the failures of the Afghan refugee program.

That’s why Committee Republicans have already requested he come to testify.

Also tomorrow, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm will testify before both the Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Appropriations Committee. 

This Committee should have her here to testify about rising gas prices and this Administration’s war on domestic energy production.

That’s why Committee Republicans have already requested she come to testify.

Today and tomorrow, Secretary of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will testify before the House Judiciary Committee, House Homeland Security Committee, and House Appropriations Committee. 

I said earlier today’s hearing is not about the opioid crisis – if it were, then Secretary Mayorkas should be here to testify about the crisis at our southern border – a crisis that is directly fueling this issue. 

That’s why Committee Republicans have already requested he come to testify.

But Democrats and Chairwoman Maloney have ignored those requests.

Democrats aren’t interested in fact-finding. They want the public to believe the opioid crisis is still driven by over-prescribing.

It is not. 

It is driven by the thousands of pounds of fentanyl and other illicit opioids pouring across our southern border every single day because of President Biden’s open border policies. 

Decreasing funding at the border, halting border wall construction, and allowing illegal immigrants to make a mockery of our immigration laws have made it easy for cartels to smuggle the drugs that are killing people in neighborhoods all over the country.

Last year alone, over 100,000 Americans died of opioid overdoses last year, most of which were caused by illicit opioids that came across our southern border.

Madam Chairwoman, this is the Oversight Committee. But this committee under Democrat leadership isn’t conducing oversight. In fact, a nonpartisan group gave you a failing grade. 

Cabinet secretaries are coming to the Hill – but they are not coming here.

Democrats’ refusal to take seriously the core responsibility of this Committee is damaging our institutional credibility.

Who needs an Oversight Committee that does no oversight?

Come next January things are going to change if Americans entrust Republicans with the majority.

We will hold the Biden Administration accountable on behalf of the American people.

We will seek to root out waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in the federal government. And Americans will get answers on issues that matter to them:

Why their grocery bills are so high;

Why it costs so much to fill up their gas tank;

Why prices for everything are so high.

Why this administration was focused on keeping children out of school instead of searching for ways to get them back in the classroom.

Why their communities are overrun with illegal aliens.

Why our children are struggling and teens are turning to illicit drugs laced with fentanyl.

Next Congress, when Republicans take back the House, we will conduct robust oversight of this Administration and find answers to these, and many, many more questions.

Republicans are ready to deliver credible oversight that produces real results.

Americans deserve no less from their elected representatives in Congress.

I yield back.