House lawmakers will be off to the races when they’re back on Capitol Hill Monday, for the first week of their 2024 legislative session.
The GOP majority has scheduled several big priorities for the week of Jan. 8 related to two separate impeachment probes as well as a visit to Congress by infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Fauci’s first sit-down of the 118th Congress will be a closed-door interview with the House select committee on COVID-19.
He’ll field questions from lawmakers on both sides on Monday and Tuesday for a marathon seven hours each day.
On Jan. 10, the House Oversight Committee and the Homeland Security Committee are both taking big steps in Republicans’ push for accountability for the Biden administration.
Oversight Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., announced his panel would hold a procedural meeting to advance a contempt resolution against Hunter Biden, President Biden’s son, for failure to comply with a congressional subpoena.
Republicans had subpoenaed Hunter for a sworn deposition on Dec. 13 as part of an impeachment inquiry looking into whether the president and his family profited off of foreign business deals.
He skipped the sit-down, instead opting to hold a press conference in front of the U.S. Capitol criticizing the GOP’s impeachment inquiry of his father.
Comer said Friday that “Hunter Biden’s willful refusal to comply with our subpoenas constitutes contempt of Congress and warrants referral to the appropriate United States Attorney’s Office for prosecution. We will not provide him with special treatment because of his last name.”
Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., the top Democrat on the committee, panned Comer’s decision to hold Hunter in contempt and pointed out that he offered to testify in a public hearing – despite Republicans insisting on a closed-door deposition first.
“Instead of taking yes for an answer, Chairman Comer has now obstructed his own hapless investigation by denying Hunter Biden the opportunity to answer all the committee’s questions in front of the American people and the world,” Raskin said.
Also on Jan. 10, the Homeland Security Committee is holding its first hearing in House Republicans’ impeachment of DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The House voted in November to refer a resolution to impeach Mayorkas to the committee, giving them the reins in the GOP’s quest to oust the Biden official.
“Our investigation made clear that this crisis finds its foundation in Secretary Mayorkas’ decision-making and refusal to enforce the laws passed by Congress, and that his failure to fulfill his oath of office demands accountability,” Committee Chair Mark Green, R-Tenn., said in a statement.
“The bipartisan House vote in November to refer articles of impeachment to my committee only served to highlight the importance of our taking up the impeachment process – which is what we will begin doing next Wednesday.”
After the high-profile action of this week is over, lawmakers likely will not get much breathing room – the House and Senate must reach a deal on government funding by Jan. 19 or risk a partial government shutdown.
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