Davis, Steil Deliver Opening Statements During Committee's Member Day Hearing

Dec 17, 2021
Press Release

 Washington, DC – Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Subcommittee on Elections Ranking Member Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) delivered opening statements at today's Member Day hearing.

CLICK HERE to watch the hearing.

Text of Davis' opening statement:

The People's House is beyond mismanaged, it is broken. Over the course of these past three years Speaker Pelosi and the House Administration Committee Democrats have manipulated the rules at every turn, weaponized the institution and its support entities to consolidate power and politicized the day-to-day operations of the House.

Member Day hearings were created in House Rules by the Democratic majority and now they are the ones attempting to avoid them. Opening our committee to fellow Members from all regions, seniorities, delegations, and parties is a sign of respect.

In typical fashion, the Democrat majority has pulled out all the stops to suppress member's opportunity to have an audience with the Committee that is responsible for executing the Speaker's weaponization of the institution by doing this hearing right before Christmas and housing it with the Committee's Subcommittee on Elections.

As a recap, here are just a few of the things that have happened this year under this majority:
  • They failed to properly oversee the security of the Capitol complex on January 6 leaving members and staff completely exposed, took no responsibility for it, and have made no meaningful changes since to ensure it doesn't happen again.
  • They allowed a Democrat member to be on the House floor so they could vote in the Speaker election days after testing positive for COVID risking the health of every member, while not affording the same opportunity to Republican members.
  • They have politicized guidance coming from the Office of Attending Physician related to COVID-19 to justify mask mandates and to keep the People's House closed to the American people while on the other side of the same building tours have resumed and no mandates exist.
  • They manufactured a false narrative about Republican members being a threat to Democrat members and passed a rule requiring members to go through magnetometers or face fines. In practice only Republican members have been fined despite video evidence of the Speaker failing to follow the requirement.
At the same time this Committee has failed to execute even its most basic administrative functions . Here’s just a few examples:
  • A Republican member submitted to the Committee on August 18 a standard request to allow the MRA to cover damages to a rental car that occurred in the course of official duties. It took the majority of this Committee 10 weeks to approve the request.
  • The Committee on Ethics and minority staff of this Committee produced draft joint guidance for members and staff on multiple different issues in August of 2020. Majority staff of this Committee did not even respond until September of 2021, over a year later.
  • A Republican staffer of this Committee was out over $500 of their own money for over 14 weeks while the majority staff of this Committee failed to process his reimbursement request.
These are horrible precedents to set. As we on the committee are aware, House Administration is a unique committee because so much of what we do is inward facing to our institution. We are a member service committee. The mission I’ve set for my team is to “Make the House Work” because a stronger, healthier, and more efficient institution can serve all Americans better.
It is well past time for accountability and for the majority members of this committee to understand the frustration and negative impact that their decisions and actions have had on members ability to do their jobs and represent our constituents and the American people. I’m grateful for the members who have put forth the time and effort to be with us today to share their experiences and feedback.

Text of Steil's opening statement:

House Rules state that during the first session of the 117th Congress, each standing committee or each subcommittee thereof shall hold a hearing at which it receives testimony from Members, Delegates, and the Resident Commissioner on proposed legislation within its jurisdiction.

Today, 348 days into the first session, Chairperson Lofgren is just now fulfilling this requirement, but choose not to do so with the full committee. This requirement is being fulfilled by the Subcommittee on Elections. Oversight of federal elections is important and a key piece of this committee’s jurisdiction, this is only a fraction of what Members should be able to speak to during a true Members Day Hearing. Today we have a hearing on the Friday before Christmas, its almost like Democrats are trying to hide from the public their bad policies and legislation:
  • Like they did rushing through H.R. 1. which contained over 700 pages of one size fits all mandates to states and localities on how every minute detail of their elections should be operated. All of which would be controlled by partisan political actors at the Department of Justices
    • H.R.1 would have
      • Gutted voter ID Laws
      • Nationalized elections
      • Restricted states ability to maintain accurate voter rolls
      • And would have provided a handout to politicians with a 6 to 1 match of small donations funded with taxpayers money
  • This process is repeating itself right now in the Senate where they are trying to pass a “compromise” voting bill right now,
  • But really, this bill is just a shorter version of H.R.1 and would:
    • Mandate that mail in ballots must be accepted if they are received 7 DAYS after the election.
    • Weaken states VOTER ID requirements
    • Mandate automatic voter registration
    • And, Nationalize our elections systems and centralize their administration in Washington
Let’s take a couple of minutes to reflect on what this democrat majority has done when it comes to our role overseeing federal elections. Every day we hear from the other side about how our democracy is under threat and how critical it is that we pass their partisan election agenda to save our democracy. The reality is that what they have done, and continue to attempt to do, through their rhetoric, actions, and policy agenda is the greatest threat to our democracy as we know it.

Let us not forget that it was this Committee that attempted to steal an election in Iowa's Second Congressional District despite the race being certified and contemplated trying to steal a seat in New York's Twenty Second Congressional District. The democrat majority only backed down after facing major backlash from the public and once they realized they didn’t have the votes to get it done.

You want to know how to protect this democracy? You can start by not nationalizing elections in order to rig the outcomes in your favor, you can start by not using sensationalized language that undermines people’s faith in our elections, and you can start by not trying to steal an election for a congressional seat that was duly certified according to the law.

I will continue to fight to make sure that it's easy to vote and hard to cheat.

I appreciate our colleagues who have worked around the outgoing democrat majority’s attempts to do anything and everything to make today’s hearing as inconvenient as possible in an attempt to stymie member’s voices and avoid being held accountable for the way this House is being run.
117th Congress