Rogers Remarks at FY24 Budget Hearing for the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General (As Prepared)

Mar 23, 2023

Good morning.

The subcommittee will come to order. 

This is the first hearing for the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the 118th Congress.  I am honored to serve as Chairman of this important Subcommittee, once again.

We have a few new Members of the Subcommittee including, Rep. Tony Gonzales, Rep. Andrew Clyde, and Rep. Jake Ellzey on this side of the aisle, and Rep. Joe Morelle. 

We welcome you and the returning Members, including Rep. Aderholt, Judge Carter – who is returning to the subcommittee after an absence of several years, Rep. Cline, and Rep. Garcia, as well as Rep. Meng, Rep. Ruppersberger, and Rep. Trone. 

We are fortunate to have Rep. Cartwright serving as the Ranking Member. Mr. Cartwright chaired this Subcommittee for four years, and we will benefit from his input and experience as we move forward this year.

We will follow the 5-minute rule for questions.  Of course, I don’t plan on cutting anyone off mid-sentence.

I will recognize Members in order of seniority based on who is present at the beginning of the hearing, going back and forth between our two sides.  For late comers, I will recognize you in the order that you arrive continuing to go back and forth between the sides.

While I am sure that we will not always agree on the issues coming before the Subcommittee, all Members and witnesses will be heard and respected.

This morning’s hearing is with the Inspector General from the Department of Justice, the Honorable Michael E. Horowitz.

With Federal debt surpassing $31 trillion, it is imperative that this Committee ensure that every dollar provided to the agencies is spent efficiently and appropriately. 

The President has proposed to increase spending in virtually every area of government and pays for it with proposed tax increases.  However, the House Budget Resolution is not likely to adopt this approach.

As the Appropriations Committee works to appropriately fund the government, we must continue to look for additional savings wherever possible.  Our allocation this year is likely to limit the funding available to agencies within our jurisdiction. 

While we will do our best to meet the needs of the agencies and priorities of Members, it’s possible we will not be able to meet everyone’s request. 

Therefore, we have asked the Inspector General to come up and discuss the challenges that the Department of Justice is facing and how we can help improve the Department’s performance and reduce spending. 

Given your expertise, we would like to hear your ideas on how the Department can improve its work, accomplishing its core mission, while at the same time reducing spending and debt burdens placed on future generations.

With that, I would like to welcome our witness – the Honorable Michael E. Horowitz. 

Mr. Horowitz has been the Justice Inspector General since 2012. 

Mr. Horowitz, we value your efforts to promote integrity and efficiency at the Department of Justice, and this Subcommittee – having worked with you for many years now – can attest that you lead by example.

Having led your office for over a decade now, you have proven yourself to be effective, impartial, and dedicated to your work.  We appreciate your willingness to answer the hard questions, time after time.

We also appreciate your command of the myriad programs and activities of the Department of Justice, from the matters that dominate the national headlines down to your detailed oversight of your own annual budget.

We look forward to the opportunity to discuss with you today several major challenges facing the Department of Justice.

Mr. Horowitz, once again, we appreciate you being here and your hard work on behalf of the American people.

Before we proceed, I would like to recognize Ranking Member Cartwright for any remarks he may wish to make.