COMPASS: Impending Battles in House Judiciary Committee

April 18th, 2023

Good afternoon from Capitol Hill.

The House and Senate are back in session this week. The House will be in for eleven out of the next fifteen weeks dealing with everything from border security to debt ceiling (watch Speaker McCarthy’s pitch to the NYSE on his plan to raise the debt ceiling) to appropriations and the Senate will be in for twelve of the next fifteen weeks.

The House Committee on the Judiciary noticed markups on a couple pieces of legislation. The first being the “Border Security and Enforcement Act of 2023” and the second being H.J.Res. 44, providing for congressional disapproval of the Biden administration’s “stabilizing braces” rule. These are big policy ambitions many in the conservative movement are happy about.

The first piece of legislation, the Border Security and Enforcement Act of 2023 is the House majority’s response to the crisis at the southern border. In keeping with their “Commitment to America” pledge, this legislation would fulfill the majority’s promise to “Secure the Border and Combat Illegal Immigration.” As NumbersUSA CEO, James Massa, said, “NumbersUSA encourages every Member of Congress to end abuse of parole authority, stop the smuggling and exploitation of children, and mandate the use of E-Verify by all employers…We are grateful to Chairman Jordan and Chairman McClintock for their commitment to protecting American workers and ending the border crisis.” The Heritage Foundation echoed these remarks in a press release saying, “Thankfully, Congressional leaders answered the call and unveiled the Border Security and Enforcement Act of 2023 for committee consideration later this week, agreeing that the policies it contains are necessary to combat the chaos unleashed by the Biden administration on our borders.” This markup promises to be contentious and can be viewed through their website,

The second piece of legislation, H.J.Res. 44, introduced by Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA), would disapprove of the Biden administration’s brace stabilizing rule. This rule has risen as one of the major front burner issues in the firearms community. The Biden administration’s rule banning the use of stabilizing braces – requiring owners of a stabilizing brace to destroy, turn in, rebuild, or register them or face 10 years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines – has caught the ire of conservatives. Erich Pratt, GOA’s Senior Vice President, issued a statement earlier this year shortly after Congressman Clyde introduced the legislation: “Tens of millions of Americans are facing felony charges if they fail to comply with this executive fiat from the Biden Administration. This is the biggest gun grab in the history of our country, and we are fully committed to fighting this executive order at every turn.” Fox News reported on the introduction of this legislation in March writing, “Clyde told Fox that the ATF’s ‘abuse of rule-making authority’ would violate the Constitution and disregard Congress’ legislative authority, and was ‘nothing more than a reckless attempt to advance President’ Biden’s ultimate goal of an unarmed America.’”

These are two bold steps forward in policy making for such a narrow House majority, but many conservatives are happy with the policies and are hopeful for their eventual passage on the House floor.

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One More Thing…

ICYMI: As you may have heard, President Biden has signed into law H.J.Res 7, a resolution terminating the national COVID emergency. This resolution was sponsored by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and passed by the House by a vote of 229-197 and the Senate by a vote of 68-23 and signed into law on Monday, April 10, 2023.