WASHINGTON–House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) today delivered remarks on the House floor in support of the bipartisan Chance to Compete Act of 2023 (H.R. 159), a bill introduced by Representative Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) that ensures government agencies are equipped with the tools to provide objective, skills-based assessments to evaluate job candidates.
Chairman Comer noted that many government agencies lack modernized tools to identify the most qualified job candidates. This bill helps improve upon bipartisan policy initiatives to evaluate candidates in order to strengthen the federal workforce to deliver services to the American people, defend our nation, and execute the laws passed by Congress.
Below are Chairman Comer’s remarks as prepared for delivery.
Thank you, Mr. Speaker.
Congress is charged with overseeing the Executive Branch.
This includes overseeing the general management and operations of government agencies.
For the success of our government’s missions and federal programs, we must have a competent and skilled workforce to deliver services to the American people, defend our nation, and execute the laws passed by Congress.
However, agencies lack the tools to identify and hire the best candidates to fill these positions.
The problem is that hiring for the federal civil service has over-relied on the paper credentials and self-administered job proficiency assessments of candidates.
The reintroduced Chance to Compete Act of 2023 ensures agencies use objective, skills-based assessments to evaluate job candidates.
The private sector already uses such structured interviews, knowledge tests, and writing samples for the hiring process.
It is time the federal government does too.
Agencies should be able to hire professionals that can do the work—and there are many ways to build the right kind of professional expertise.
H.R. 159 represents one of those rare bipartisan legislative reforms that targets a specific problem, implements tested solutions, and reflects private-sector best practices.
The bill codifies and improves upon policy initiatives begun in the Trump Administration and which the Biden Administration is continuing to implement.
I want to thank the Chairwoman of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, Dr. Virginia Foxx—also a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability—and Congressman Gerry Connolly for working quickly to ready this bipartisan bill.
I would also like to thank Representative Ro Khanna for again supporting this bill that will help us modernize our government.
We hope that our Senate colleagues can swiftly advance this important legislation so it can be signed into law this year.
I urge my colleagues to support this important bill and I reserve the balance of my time.