Just over a year ago I was honored to be selected to serve as the 52nd Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee's jurisdiction is broad and it is one of the most active committees in Congress. This Committee has been at the forefront of some of the most significant issues of our day, including protecting Constitutional freedoms and civil liberties, immigration reform, oversight of the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, legal and regulatory reform, intellectual property protections, competition and antitrust laws, and combating terrorism and crime.
When I laid out my agenda for 2013, I said that under my leadership the Judiciary Committee would advance policies focused on making America more competitive and free. This year, the Committee conducted over 60 hearings and passed 26 bills with this goal in mind.
The Judiciary Committee has passed five bills to reduce the economic burdens that our nation's small businesses are facing, to get more Americans back to work, and to help grow our economy by providing relief from excessive regulation.
We have also focused on ensuring an efficient and just legal system, which is another ingredient to a more competitive America. The Committee and the House of Representatives have passed multiple bills to encourage openness and transparency, discourage fraud, and prevent frivolous lawsuits.
Additionally, the House Judiciary Committee has passed legislation to discourage frivolous patent litigation and keep U.S. patent laws up to date. The strength of our economy relies on our ability to protect new inventions and build on innovation in the 21st century.
The House Judiciary Committee also began an extensive examination of the U.S. immigration system. This examination had been conducted in a careful and methodical manner so as to not repeat the mistakes of the past. To date, the Committee has conducted over a dozen hearings and passed four bills that strengthen the enforcement of our immigration laws and improve our legal immigration system.
One of the most important roles of the Judiciary Committee is to conduct oversight over the Administration. This year the Committee conducted numerous oversight hearings covering important issues like the President's Constitutional duty to enforce the laws, the Department of Justice's (DOJ) targeting of journalists, wasteful spending at DOJ, DOJ's misplacement of known terrorists within the Witness Protection Program, the abuse of the asylum program, and the management of DOJ's Civil Rights Division, just to name a few.
I am extremely pleased with the work of the House Judiciary Committee this year. We tackled many important and diverse issues in 2013. I know that 2014 promises to be just as busy for the Judiciary Committee. As I lead the House Judiciary Committee in the second session of the 113th Congress, we will remain committed to advancing pro-growth policies to create jobs and restore economic prosperity for families and businesses in the Sixth District of Virginia and across the nation.