Washington, DC – Committee on House Administration Ranking Member Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today delivered this opening statement at today's Capitol security hearing with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the United States Capitol Police Inspector General.

CLICK HERE to watch the ongoing hearing.

Text of Davis's remarks as prepared:

Madam Chairperson, it is so nice to be back in this hearing room. I sincerely want to thank you for holding today's hearing in-person and hope that your fellow chairs across the House follow your example. There is still work to be done in order to fully re-open but this is an important step.

Now turning to today's hearing, I want to welcome Inspector General Bolton back and thank Dr. Gretta Goodwin from the GAO for her participation here today. In 2017, Dr. Goodwin led the Government Accountability Office's review of the functionality of the Capitol Police Board and determined significant reforms were needed to improve the board's overall performance, transparency, accountability, and embrace best practices. Fast forward to more than four years after the publication of GAO's report, the same concerns of poor functionality, lack of transparency and accountability have been highlighted time and time again in various reviews of January 6th. These are not new issues, they were just highlighted on that terrible day.

During previous hearings with USCP Inspector General Bolton, it became apparent that there is virtually no oversight of the Capitol Police Board – a board responsible for nearly every security decision on Capitol Hill. In fact, IG Bolton flat out said there is no one currently in charge of overseeing the board. In a separate hearing with the Architect of the Capitol Inspector General, it was revealed that the third voting member of the board – the Architect of the Capitol – is rarely consulted on board decisions. Then, probably the biggest indication of the lack of oversight, a third of the board declined to appear before this committee when invited.

And this is just the public record of the issues with the board. This record doesn't even reflect what I've seen privately: security decisions being made because of politics, different rules for different parties, and a heavy hand by the Speaker's office.

The board is in need of an overhaul and this committee needs to make this a priority.

In my opinion, this should be the first item of business because any other reforms we recommend USCP make are at risk of not being implemented. The IG has made a number of recommendations to reform the USCP, but if it wasn't apparent before today, it should become very apparent after the GAO's testimony today that the board's approval is required for many, if not most, of these reforms to occur. And if we can't even get the full board to show up to a hearing before this committee, how can we trust that these recommendations will be implemented? Especially since a lot these recommendations by the IG and the GAO are not new – they've been made before but have largely been ignored.

Last week, I was encouraged by the release of a bipartisan Senate report, that among other things, documented the short comings of the Capitol Police Board. While January 6th review process has been more partisan on the House side, I'm still hopeful we can mirror this kind of bipartisan cooperation, especially when it comes to reforming the Capitol Police Board.

The board isn't working. It failed leading up to January 6th, it failed on January 6th, and I fear it's continuing to fail even after.

It's imperative we work together to reform the Capitol Police Board so we can ultimately reform the USCP and strengthen security on Capitol Hill. Improving functionality, increasing transparency and accountability, and removing politics from the board must be a priority...

Or I fear, the status quo will just continue, which puts members, staff, and anyone who visits the Capitol at risk.

With that, I look forward to today's discussion and yield back.