Earlier this week, CNN projected that Republicans will win the House majority. Shortly afterward, they made it very clear what their priority will be: Investigating President Biden and his administration on a variety of fronts.
“In just 47 days, House Republicans will have the gavel, and we will be prepared to hold the Biden administration accountable from day one,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted Thursday. “Our investigations are just getting started.”
So, what, exactly are they panning to investigate? Well, a whole lot of things. Here’s a list of areas:
1) The southern border. On Friday, Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas telling him and other department officials to be prepared to provide their testimony once the 118th Congress convenes in January. At a hearing earlier this week, Republicans on the Homeland Security Committee questioned Mayorkas on the number of migrants entering the US via the southern border. US border authorities encountered more than 2 million migrants in fiscal year 2022, an increase from the 1.7 million encounters in 2021. In announcing his 2024 presidential bid earlier this week, Donald Trump focused heavily on immigration. “Our southern border has been erased and our country is being invaded by millions and millions of unknown people, many of whom are entering for a very bad and sinister reason, and you know what that reason is,” said Trump. (He did not explain what he believed the reason to be.)
2) The Afghanistan withdrawal. President Joe Biden’s decision to remove US troops from Afghanistan last year around the 20-year anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks turned into a disaster. The withdrawal led to a frantic attempt by many Afghans to flee the county, with devastating scenes of people clinging to the wings of planes as they tried to escape before the Taliban government officially assumed power. A bombing outside the Kabul airport in August 2021 killed 13 US service members and about 170 Afghans. CNN previously reported that Biden had made the decision to withdraw troops over the objection of many of his senior-most military advisers.
3) The origin of the Covid-19 pandemic. Back in 2019, Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee launched their own investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus. At that time, they sent a letter to Frances Collins, who was the head of the National Institutes of Health, requesting “an independent, expert investigation of the origin of COVID-19,” which they insisted was “of paramount importance to public health and biosecurity.” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce panel, has said that “how the pandemic started, that’s probably the most important public health question that needs to be answered.” Two studies released in July both concluded that a seafood market in Wuhan was most likely the epicenter for the virus.
4) The Department of Justice. Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who is widely expected to chair the House Judiciary Committee when Republicans formally take over the majority in January 2023, sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland on November 2, requesting a slew of documents on everything from the Justice Department’s alleged “targeting” of Project Veritas to the search for classified documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. In a report released on November 4, Jordan insisted that “the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the stewardship of Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland, is broken.”
5) Hunter Biden. Kentucky Rep. James Comer, who is in line to chair the House Oversight Committee in January, said this week that “in the 118th Congress, this committee will evaluate the status of Joe Biden’s relationship with his family’s foreign partners and whether he is a President who is compromised or swayed by foreign dollars and influence.” At the center of that future investigation is the president’s son. As CNN noted earlier this week: “At the heart of Comer’s investigation is digging into a series of suspicious activity reports that Republicans claim banks have filed related to Hunter Biden’s financial activities.” Hunter Biden has denied any wrongdoing.
This is far from a complete list of the investigations various Republican-led committees will embark on over the next two years. But it does give you a sense of the breadth which they plan to investigate the Biden administration, and how that will complicate efforts to get anything done on a bipartisan basis.