Cole Remarks at FY24 Oversight Hearing for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Transportation (As Prepared)

Mar 28, 2023

The subcommittee will come to order.

Today, we welcome the Inspectors General (IG) from the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Good morning to our witnesses, the DOT IG Eric Soskin and the HUD IG Rae Oliver Davis. Thank you for appearing before us today, and for your service to the taxpaying public. I would also like to welcome my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to our first hearing of this budget season.

One of our fundamental roles as members of the Appropriations Committee is to make sure that the funding we allocate is spent as intended. That’s why our first subcommittee hearing of this Congress is focused on oversight. We look to the Offices of Inspector General across the Federal government to conduct much-needed oversight to ensure our tax dollars are being well spent. We rely on you, Inspectors General Soskin and Oliver Davis, to help us root out waste, fraud, and abuse at the agencies under your jurisdiction.

I have some concerns regarding the management and effectiveness of both DOT and HUD, given the unprecedented federal funding both Departments have received in recent years. This raises the risk of lax oversight and rushed decision-making. Your audits and investigations provide a critical window for policymakers and members of the public to peer through. I am most interested to learn about the outcomes of your various reports – which recommendations have been implemented and which have not – and where additional Congressional attention may be needed.

Your testimony today will help Members on both sides of the aisle assess the strengths and weaknesses of both Departments ahead of our budget hearings with both Secretaries next month.

I look forward to your testimony as we make the tough decisions that will be required to put together the THUD Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations bill.

With that, I recognize the Ranking Member of this Subcommittee – alongside whom I very much look forward to working this Congress – the gentleman from Illinois, Mr. Quigley, for his opening statement.