House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) joined House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), and Rep. Mark Alford (R-Mo.) to discuss the National Defense Authorization Act of 2023 and the efforts of House Republicans to rebuke the Biden Administration’s attempts to inject woke ideology into every level of the American military. Leader Scalise highlighted Republican-led efforts to refocus our military on its core mission: the defense of America and our interests around the world. Leader Scalise also slammed the Biden Administration for its attacks on American business and its continued inflationary policies that raise costs for American households, such as hundreds of billions of dollars in fraudulent pandemic relief funds.
“As [House Majority Whip Emmer] talked about, it’s been a very busy first six months under this Republican House majority, and this week is no different. We’ve got a very busy agenda this week, starting [with] the National Defense Authorization Act – a bill that’s really important, especially under what we’ve seen with [President] Biden moving the focus of our Department of Defense away from its core mission and trying to inject his woke ideology, and the Left’s woke ideology, at the expense of our ability to confront our adversaries.
“This NDAA refocuses the military on its core mission. One, making sure that we give the tools to our men and women in uniform – not just a pay raise, but the actual tools that they need to go out and be trained properly [and] to go out and have the best military technology in the world to combat adversaries who want to do us and our allies around the world harm. And that’s what this is focusing on: the threat that the Chinese Communist Party is posing on the world. [President] Biden has gotten so far away from that.
“This NDAA refocuses [on] what has been needed for a long time: a conversation about how we properly fund our nation’s defense, and you’re going to see a robust amendment process. Over 200 amendments made in order. That process is continuing. We’re still having more conversations, but we’ve already got an agreement on a large number of amendments that we will start taking up today [and] start voting on tomorrow – through the rest of this week – and then ultimately passing the bill.
“While we’re doing this, there is a lot of other work going on. Our oversight committees are doing robust hearings. You’re going to see the [Federal Bureau of Investigations] Director this week. The [Federal Trade Commission] Administrator [is] coming up this week, and she was rebuked again by the courts trying to inject her radical ideology to block the ability for companies to merge to make those American companies stronger. She’s continued to try to impede that ability in the court. Once again, you saw yesterday, in the Microsoft case, striking that down. So you’re going to see the hearings to hold this administration accountable, and then we’re bringing more legislation to address some of the problems we’ve seen. I’ve been working with our committee chairmen on a number of things that, frankly, have not been focused on the way they need to. [House Budget Committee Chairman] Arrington and [House Oversight and Reform Committee] Chairman Comer are working on a task force that will be looking into improper payments that are going out.
“The sixth largest expenditure item in the federal budget – sixth largest – [is] improper payments going out to people that don’t deserve them. Over 250 billion dollars last year were sent to people that don’t deserve [them], including some people in foreign countries, getting things like COVID relief checks. Going out to people for tax credits who don’t exist [or] who don’t even have valid Social Security numbers. People that are here illegally getting taxpayer benefits for programs that are only supposed to be limited to American citizens.
“Again, 250 billion dollars we’ve already identified in improper payments, and [President] Biden doesn’t care that this money is going out the door. These are hardworking families who are working hard, struggling under the weight of [President] Biden’s inflationary policies, having trouble paying for their electricity bill, for food at the grocery store, and then they find out that the sixth largest item that the federal government spends money on is sending checks to people who don’t deserve that money – while they’re working two, three jobs in some cases to barely get by.
“So we’re going to be aggressively rooting that out as well. So we’re going to keep working while the American people continue to expect to see this administration try to reverse the trend – but they’re not – but in the meantime, we’re going to keep doing our work.”