Holding Washington, D.C. Accountable to Taxpayers
When I am home from Washington, I spend a significant amount of time traveling throughout my congressional district and listening to the concerns of my constituents. Some of the regular feedback I receive is that government routinely wastes hard-earned taxpayer dollars and is not accountable to average citizens.
These concerns led me to seek the role of Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, a position I am honored to have recently been elected to. In this role, I will be a forceful advocate for rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse in government, as well as holding those accountable who misuse taxpayer dollars and promote corruption.
In my role as Ranking Member, I serve as the Republican leader of the committee, which is run by Democrats since they control the U.S. House of Representatives. I am proud to follow in the footsteps of some outstanding leaders in Congress like Jim Jordan, Trey Gowdy and Jason Chaffetz, who were faithful advocates of reforming the way government operates.
Unfortunately, in recent years the Oversight Committee has gotten away from its original mission to hold government accountable to taxpayers. Instead, we continue to see Nancy Pelosi and Washington Democrats use Congress to push an unprecedented level of harassment of President Trump, which culminated in his baseless impeachment late last year and continues with ongoing efforts to stifle his agenda.
We should prioritize conducting legitimate government oversight, including demanding answers from international groups like the World Health Organization (WHO) who receive American tax dollars, yet have repeatedly turned a blind eye to Chinese propaganda and human rights violations. In recent years, American taxpayers have spent ten times the money the Chinese have to fund the WHO, even as the organization has engaged in a COVID-19 cover-up with the Chinese Communist Party. It is critical for WHO Director-General Tedros to come before Congress and explain his negligent actions.
There are also other issues that our committee must engage on and hold government officials accountable for. For example, liberal mayors in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and New York must answer for their actions to “defund the police,” in their cities, especially given the significant federal funding these cities receive. And Democratic governors like Governor Cuomo in New York – who violated federal guidelines by readmitting COVID-positive patients back into nursing homes – should face the music and answer for their failure to protect vulnerable populations from the coronavirus.
In this new role, I will also be laser-focused on identifying other examples of wasteful spending and excessive regulations within the federal government. Americans work every day to support a government that far too often plays fast and loose with their money, squandering taxpayer dollars on items that are unnecessary to the functioning of our nation.
As the leader of Republicans on the committee, I will work every day to push the committee to take the constitutional role of Congress to conduct oversight seriously. I care deeply about reforming government and making it more accountable to taxpayers – which is why our time should not be wasted on political sideshows that simply serve to fight President Trump.
Spite and hatred should not drive the actions of elected officials. We must strive to responsibly serve all Americans out of a sense of duty to create a better, more prosperous nation for future generations.
Rep. James Comer is a United States Congressman for the 1st Congressional District, which spans from south central Kentucky to the river counties of far western Kentucky. He serves as the Republican leader of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.