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Congressman Mike Johnson

Representing the 4th District of Louisiana

Rep. Johnson Discusses FARA Reform, Asylum Updates and Planned Parenthood with AG Sessions

November 15, 2017
Press Release
Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before the House Judiciary Committee on DOJ oversight

Washington D.C. – On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing with Attorney General Jeff Sessions regarding oversight of the Department of Justice (DOJ) where Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04) brought to light serious failures in our current foreign disclosure laws and a lack in the department’s enforcement capabilities under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Johnson also raised questions about the need to address asylum immigration reform and potential investigations into Planned Parenthood’s actions regarding the transfer of fetal tissue.

Video of Johnson’s questions today can be found here.

Rep. Johnson released the following statement:

“During the hearing on DOJ oversight, Attorney General Sessions agreed to work with me to reverse decades of abuses of our foreign registration laws, was supportive of efforts to prevent fraud in our asylum programs and promised to look into Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s grotesque use of fetal tissue for financial gain. These areas are of great importance to the American people, and Congress must move forward with the commonsense solutions we have prepared.”

Background

FARA Reform

In October, Johnson introduced the Disclosing Foreign Influences Act to correct longstanding loopholes exploited by lobbyists of foreign entities to conceal their work to influence U.S. government activities. The legislation strengthens FARA by clarifying reporting requirements, authorizing important investigative tools and establishing new enforcement safeguards. Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), introduced Johnson’s legislation in the Senate.

Asylum Reform

In July, the House Judiciary Committee approved Johnson legislation to reform our asylum system by a vote of 19-11. The Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act (H.R. 391), would make a number of improvements to our nation’s laws to prevent fraud and abuse in this program and ensure it is reserved for those truly fleeing persecution in their home countries. Following Johnson’s legislation, in October, asylum reform was included in a list of the administration’s immigration policy priorities released by the White House. The director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services also acknowledged the need for reviewing our current asylum standards and credible fear determination during a recent hearing.

Planned Parenthood

In September, Johnson led a congressional letter to the DOJ with 17 other members from Texas and Louisiana requesting a thorough investigation into Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s actions. Previous congressional investigations found they were likely harvesting and transferring fetal tissue for financial gain. Specifically, the letter requested the AG look into the Congressional findings of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives.