Additional safeguards for state and local elections from foreign interference are needed, and making it illegal for foreign donors to contribute to any ballot initiative or referendum provides a bipartisan solution.

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Mark Warner (D-VA) reintroduced the Protecting Ballot Measures from Foreign Influence Act, which would make it unlawful for a foreign national to contribute money, either directly or indirectly, to a State or local ballot initiative or ballot referendum. Notably, the bill ensures that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) cannot assert authority over those State or local ballot initiatives or referendums.

There is growing awareness of the threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party to America’s economic and national security interests. Unfortunately, past efforts, including the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, left the door wide open to continued exploitation of our markets, research, and innovation.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) criticized the Democrat-only effort and offered 25 bills that should be included in any serious, bipartisan package aimed at strengthening our markets, reinvigorating our national research infrastructure, and protecting against China’s predatory behavior.

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, delivered the following opening remarks at a hearing on the Department of the Navy’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget request.

Chairman Rogers’ remarks as prepared for delivery:

Today we complete our FY24 budget and posture hearings with the Department of the Navy.

I want to thank the Ranking Member and all the Members for their cooperation, hard work, and dedication as we worked through 27 hearings in 13 legislative days.

These hearings have helped provide the information we need to markup the FY24 NDAA next month.

I also want to thank our witnesses for being here and for their service to our nation.

The President is requesting a 5 percent increase for the Navy and a 3 percent increase for the Marine Corps.

Unfortunately, with today’s record level of inflation, those increases don’t go very far.

We are seeing that very clearly in the request for shipbuilding.

The President is seeking to build a paltry 9 battle force ships in FY24.

At the same time, he wants to retire 11.

Several of these ships have years of service life remaining.

Two of my bills, the American Energy Act and the 90-Day Review Act, passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support as part of H.R. 1. I promised that I would deliver real solutions to problems facing Colorado. Promises made, promises kept. My bills will reduce gas prices, streamline the process for critical infrastructure projects, prevent frivolous litigation, and help make American energy independent once again.

I’ve started the 118th Congress being an extremely effective legislator and have now passed two bills through the House of Representatives with bipartisan support and passed nine of nine amendments offered through the House, eight of which had strong bipartisan support.

My American Energy Act passed the House as Sections 20212 and 20217 of H.R. 1. This legislation ensures that the Department of Interior continues to process drilling permits under a valid existing lease regardless of any unrelated civil action, extends the term of drilling permits from 2 years to 4 years, and requires courts to remand lease sale EIS’s to agencies to remedy when necessary rather than allowing judges with a political agenda to simply vacate these leases. Ultimately, this bill will increase American energy production and help decrease gas prices for Coloradans.

Our nation’s veterans deserve exceptional care and service when they seek assistance from the VA. In 2017, the bipartisan VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act was enacted to hold the VA accountable to ensure its employees continue to provide our veterans with the best experience.

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Steve Daines (R-MT) sent a letter bashing U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough for announcing the VA will ignore important provisions of the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act that require the agency to hold bad employees accountable.

The United States Senate voted this week by an overwhelming and bi-partisan margin of 68-23 in favor of H.J. Res 7, legislation I introduced terminating the COVID-19 national emergency declaration. The Senate action follows the House of Representatives passing my bill on February 1, 2023. Mr. Biden is now expected to soon sign H.J.Res.7 into law.

To quote my favorite President, Donald J. Trump, this is BIGLY because it terminates the extreme executive branch powers granted under the COVID-19 emergency declaration that are now unnecessary and were abused by the Biden administration.