D.C. Dispatch: House members appointed to committees; lawmakers take aim at China

After a weeklong delay caused by a lengthy speaker election, members of the Iowa House also received committee appointments, allowing them to begin their work in Congress.

Across the Capitol, Sen. Joni Ernst joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers to call for interfaith dialogue and Sen. Chuck Grassley prepared for a major farm fight.

The members of the house take a prominent committee

Generally, members of the House serve on only one or two committees, while senators can serve on up to four or five committees.

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks has been appointed to serve on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, a committee that could provide more power on topics ranging from renewable energy to consumer protection.

“I am honored to be elected to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce,” Miller-Meeks said in a press release. “I’m proud of my background as a surgeon, and I’m confident that experience, along with Iowa’s leadership in the clean energy sector, makes me uniquely qualified for this role.”

Rep. Ashley Hinson has been appointed to the Appropriations Committee, which oversees government spending, a position she held during the last session of Congress.

“As the only Iowan on this committee, I will continue to watch your taxpayer dollars like an eagle, work to restore fiscal responsibility, bring significant investment back home at home, and secure our place in the table,” Hinson told the news. release.

Rep. Zach Nunn has been appointed to the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees money, banking and finance.

“As Des Moines is a world-renowned insurance and financial center, I am honored to be elected to serve on the House Financial Services Committee and plan to be the leader of our state’s top employers and their employees,” Nunn. said the press release. “In financial services, we will prioritize rebuilding our economy, combat China’s influence and work across the aisle to put Americans back in control of their own financial data.”

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The Rep. Randy Feenstra has been appointed to the House Ways and Means Committee, an influential House committee that oversees taxes and fees.

“From agriculture and trade to health and tax policy, Ways and Means covers a wide range of legislative priorities important to the agricultural and lifestyle community. countryside,” Feenstra said in a news release. “As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I will continue to be a strong voice for Iowa families, farmers, producers, taxpayers and small business owners who deserve a seat at the table. .”

In the Senate, Grassley will continue to serve on the Committees on Budget, Finance, Judiciary and Agriculture, Agriculture and Forestry, along with the Joint Committee on Taxation, holding Iowa’s position on the power committee.

Ernst will continue to serve on the Department of the Army, Environment and Public Works, Small Business and Entrepreneurship and Agriculture, Food and Forestry committees this session.

Big stone, big problem

China was the primary focus at the start of this session, along with abortion and the IRS.

The National Assembly voted to establish a Select Committee on the Strategic Competition between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, or in other words, the Select Committee on China. Four members of the Iowa House voted to form the committee.

“The United States is the most powerful and richest country in the world, but China will stop at nothing to threaten our economy, buy American land and undermine our interests,” Feenstra said in a news release. “By establishing a select committee to address the Chinese Communist Party’s questionable aggression, Republicans are sending a clear message to China and its allies that we will not be intimidated by its reckless behavior. In Congress, I will continue my work to prevent China from buying our farmland and threatening our national security.”

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The House, including all Iowa members, voted to end the sale of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China.

“China represents the biggest threat to our country, economy, energy and food security. From buying up US corn to stonewalling investigations into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, China cannot be trusted,” Feenstra said in a statement.

More locally, Hinson and members of the House of Representatives are sponsoring a bill that would end foreign ownership of farmland. This comes after the purchase of farmland near a military base in North Dakota, which critics said raised safety concerns.

Republicans also approved legislation to provide medical care to children who survive abortion and to pay new money to the IRS in the last session of Congress. Members of the Iowa House voted for both laws.

Grassley also weighed in on foreign ownership of farmland by responding to the proposed legislation.

“I plan to reintroduce a bipartisan bill that would prohibit the federal government from allowing foreigners to obtain credit and financial services through the farm credit system,” Grassley said.

Grassley, along with Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, co-sponsored legislation to “prevent the Agriculture Administration from paying loans to foreign buyers looking to buy US corn.

Grassley said the bill would amend the 1971 Farm Credit Act to “ensure that foreign nationals do not receive financing through federally sponsored financial institutions to purchase U.S. farmland.”

He will propose changes to the conservation program that he says will make it easier for local farmers to buy land.

Grassley is making a follow-up move

Grassley, in his position as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that he is seeking a review of the program that allows private sector employees to work in the role of he federal government. He said he was seeking to determine whether a non-profit organization associated with Google CEO Eric Schmidt created a conflict of interest for federal employees who work with the organization.

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Grassley said in press releases and letters that he wants to ensure that Intergovernmental Personnel Act employees who work with the American Academy of Sciences do not have a conflict of interest because of financial influence. Schmidt. Schmidt has donated to FAS in the past.

Ernst encourages interreligious dialogue

Ernst, who co-chairs the Abraham Accords Caucus, sent a letter to US Ambassador for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain, urging increased interfaith dialogue in in the area of ​​Abraham’s agreement, he told the newspaper. release. These countries include Israel, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Sudan.

Sens. also signed the letter. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev.; Cory Booker, DN.J.; James Lankford, R-Okla., and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash.; Brad Schneider, D-Ill.; David Trone, D-St.; and Ann Wagner, R-Mo.

The Abrahamic Covenant Council was created to promote peace between Israel and its neighbors.

Supreme Court, balanced budget

Hinson introduced Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-South Dakota, during a press conference Saturday, where Johnson announced a bill that would ensure the number of Supreme Court justices remains at nine. . The “Keep the Nine” amendment is a response to some Democrats calling for an increase in the number of judges on the court due to conservative influence.

In addition, Nunn introduced the first bill, which would amend the Constitution to force the federal government to have a balanced budget and require several members to pass fiscal and monetary measures.

“It’s time to restore a rational, functioning government that works for the American people, not who spends money and taxes us,” Nunn said in a news release. “Having a balanced budget is one step toward on the right track to restore public services to every American regardless of party or background.”


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