- U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop, R-8th District, endorsed a new congressional subcommittee focusing on the "weaponization of the federal government."
- The Republican-led U.S. House approved the group with a 221-211 vote.
A new congressional subcommittee could help reveal and cut out the “rot” inside federal government. U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop, R-8th District, used that word in speaking on behalf of the new group Tuesday.
The Republican-led House voted 221-211 to approve H.Res. 12. It establishes a new select subcommittee on the “weaponization of the federal government.” The new group will operate under the House’s Judiciary Committee.
‘We entrust our Department of Justice, FBI, and intelligence community with great power to keep us safe, and yet, as long as these agencies have existed, they’ve violated Americans’ civil rights — everyday Americans,” Bishop said during a floor speech before the vote. “The security state believes itself to be above the Constitution and the laws passed by Congress. Or perhaps the belief is only tacit. It is aware only of power. Not authority: power.”
Bishop offered colleagues a history lesson. “The FBI spied on Frank Sinatra, John Lennon, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Muhammad Ali because they were national security threats,” he said. “Celebrities, but everyday Americans, as to their constitutional rights.”
“The intelligence community abused power to spy on presidential candidates, a sitting president, and members of Congress, and their staffs,” Bishop added. “The FBI continuously coordinated with social media companies to ‘moderate’ social content — the public square.”
“So contemptuous are they and out of touch, when confronted with this just weeks ago they said, ‘We were merely engaging with our community partners,” he said. “Leading up to the 2020 election, the FBI worked hand in hand with Twitter and Facebook to silence the Hunter Biden laptop story. Concealment from everyday Americans.”
“They’ve continued to censor and silence criticism of COVID policies and vaccine mandates to the harm of everyday Americans,” Bishop continued. “In 2013 the former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, lied to Congress about the [National Security Agency] collecting data on millions of Americans. Yet he’s escaped a reckoning. The NSA spied on groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, and other [nongovernmental organizations]. FBI contractors conducted searches on NSA databases.”
“The intelligence community spied on journalists and political opponents in clear violation of the First Amendment,” he said. “That’s not all just illegal. It’s un-American, and it cannot continue.”
“The government’s massive surveillance apparatus is well-documented, but there’s still much more that we do not know,” Bishop said. “We owe it to the American people to reveal the rot within our federal government and cut it out so that it can no longer harm everyday Americans.”
“Today, we’re putting the deep state on notice: We’re coming for you on behalf of everyday Americans,” he concluded.
Bishop attracted national attention during the opening days of the new congressional session. He refused to vote for leading Republican House speaker candidate Kevin McCarthy until the final day of voting in a process that stretched over four days.
Published reports suggest the new congressional subcommittee was one concession McCarthy granted in return for support from Bishop and other GOP holdouts.