The Line-by-Line: April 28, 2023
Welcome to the Line-by-Line, a summary of activities and highlights from the House Appropriations Committee Republicans, Members of Congress committed to reviewing the Federal budget, conducting oversight of taxpayer dollars, and making funding decisions, line-by-line.
The Committee held seven hearings this week. Looking ahead, the Committee is working on bills that address the nation’s highest priorities as the next step in the appropriations process.
Photo of Rep. Jerry Carl (AL) at Federal Trade Commission hearing
Veterans' Health Care
As the Committee focuses on returning to responsible funding levels, Republican Appropriators set the record straight on the Democrats’ untrue claims about veterans' health care.
Read Chairwoman Granger’s full statement on the passage of the Limit, Save, Grow Act here.
Last week, House Appropriations Chairwoman Kay Granger (TX) and Homeland Security Subcommittee Chair Dave Joyce (OH) led a bipartisan delegation to the Mexico border to see firsthand the worsening crisis and the true cost of this Administration’s open border policies.
Photo of Reps. Granger (TX), Joyce (OH), and Cuellar (TX)
“As leaders on the House Appropriations Committee, we viewed the situation at the border with an eye toward budgetary needs,” Granger and Joyce noted. “The takeaway from our trip was clear: we cannot simply spend our way out of this problem. While we support robust funding for the Department of Homeland Security, this crisis will not end until this Administration’s open border policies are reversed.”
Read the full op-ed in the Washington Times here.
Apprehensions, “gotaways,” and drugs confiscated have skyrocketed. In a three-week period (April 1st-21st), the numbers are staggering:
Sadly, in 2021, more than 107,000 Americans died from a drug overdose or accidental poisoning, a 15% increase from the previous year. Many of those deaths are as a result of fentanyl. What’s worse, we know where these deadly drugs are flowing from: Mexico. Unfortunately, the Biden Administration’s open-border policies have fueled the flow of fentanyl across our borders.
Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee Chairman Hal Rogers emphasized his concerns with the growing opioid epidemic in his opening statement during a budget hearing for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA): “Drug addiction and overdose deaths have become one of the most pressing public health crises in America today. And the impact of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, has been particularly devastating.”
Photo of Subcommittee Chairman Hal Rogers (KY)
During questioning, Rep. Mike Garcia pressed DEA Administrator Anne Milgram over the harmful impact of the Administration’s border policies and how it directly impacts DEA’s ability to carry out its mission: “Do you believe the open border is a myth?” The Administrator dipped, dodged, and refused to answer the question.
According to DEA, fentanyl seizures in 2023 so far represent nearly 78.1 million deadly doses. The trend of increased fentanyl seizures is a sign that cartels are emboldened more than ever to smuggle deadly drugs through the border.
Ultimately, the border crisis has escalated the fentanyl crisis in America.
During a separate budget hearing for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), a few Subcommittee Members focused on the FBI’s efforts to combat cartels and the smuggling of synthetic opioids across the border, including fentanyl.
Rep. Jake Ellzey touched on the lives lost to the fentanyl crisis: “The cartels don't see us as customers, they see us as the enemy, and they're killing us at a rate not seen since World War II. 287 overdoses a day, 200 coming from fentanyl… [In 2021], 107,000 Americans died from fentanyl. They didn't overdose, they were poisoned… Put another way, if two 737s crashed every day in this country, we would shut down that airline. That's how many people are dying every day from fentanyl.”
Photo of Rep. Jake Ellzey (TX)
Appropriations Subcommittees held five other budget and oversight hearings:
- Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: Budget Hearing – Fiscal Year 2024 Request for the Department of Justice Grantmaking Components
- Financial Services and General Government: Budget Hearing – Fiscal Year 2024 Request for the Federal Trade Commission
- Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies: Oversight Hearing – Provider Relief Fund and Healthcare Workforce Shortages
- Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies: Oversight and Budget Hearing – Fiscal Year 2024 Request for the Federal Aviation Administration; Oversight Hearing – Tribal Perspectives on Housing and Transportation
House Appropriations Subcommittees will not hold hearings during the upcoming District Work Period. The schedule is subject to change. Refer to the Committee’s website for the most up-to-date information.