The Line-by-Line: March 10, 2023

Mar 10, 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.

President's Budget Request
On Thursday, President Biden released his budget blueprint for fiscal year 2024. Members on the Committee quickly responded to the proposal. Member statements and comments are linked below:

Rep. Kay Granger, Appropriations Committee Chairwoman
Rep. Robert Aderholt, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee Chairman
Rep. Ken Calvert, Defense Subcommittee Chairman
Rep. Jerry Carl
Rep. John Carter, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee Chairman
Rep. Tom Cole, Appropriations Committee Vice-Chairman and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee Chairman
Rep. Ben Cline
Rep. Michael Cloud
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, State Department and Foreign Operations Subcommittee Chairman
Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, Energy and Water Development Subcommittee Chairman
Rep. Andy Harris, Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration Subcommittee Chairman
Rep. Jake LaTurner
Rep. Mike Simpson, Interior and Environment Subcommittee Chairman
Rep. John Moolenaar
Rep. David Valadao
Rep. Steve Womack, Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee Chairman

Hearing Recap
Budget Hearings
Last week was the start of oversight hearings, and this week kicked off budget hearings, where administration officials testified on their department or agency’s budget request for fiscal year 2024 – all before the President delivered his budget request.

The Legislative Branch Subcommittee, led by Chairman Mark Amodei, held budget hearings on the Office of Congressional Workplace RightsCongressional Budget Office, and United States Government Publishing Office.


Photo of Subcommittee Chairman Mark Amodei (NV)


While these budget hearings primarily focus on the upcoming fiscal year, Members will continue to use these to hold the administration accountable for its out-of-control spending.
Oversight Hearings
Given the unprecedented increases in funding USDA has received over the past several years through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, the Agriculture Subcommittee held an oversight hearing with the department’s Office of Inspector General.



Agriculture Chairman Andy Harris raised concerns about the lack of oversight of those tax dollars within the department and the expansion of USDA programs and initiatives: “Since the start of the pandemic USDA has spent billions of dollars to expand programs and initiatives that have not always been authorized by Congress… These two laws provided over $52 billion in additional dollars to USDA and monitoring these funds is critical to prevent fraud… While I remain concerned about USDA’s spending, I have become increasingly concerned that the department has been stretching its authorities beyond Congressional authorization or intent, which makes your agency’s work even more important to maintain program integrity throughout USDA.”


Photo of Subcommittee Chairman Andy Harris (MD)


During questioning, Congresswoman Ashley Hinson discussed the importance of overseeing the purchase of agricultural land by foreign entities under the Agricultural Foreign Investment Disclosure Act: “Recently, an internal USDA memo revealed that the department did not assess a single penalty for failure to report foreign acquisition of American agricultural land from 2015 to 2018. So, we had a three-year gap there, even as the number of foreign acquisitions increased substantially during that same period. That is really where my concern lies as we face these increased threats from foreign actors, specifically the CCP.”

Photo of Rep. Ashley Hinson (IA)


The State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee also held an oversight hearing – this one focused on the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which Subcommittee Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart, a Cuban American himself, described as an important tool of U.S foreign policy: “For people living under repressive regimes, such as Russia, Iran, and Cuba, access to accurate reporting and the ability to counter authoritarian propaganda is critical... While the mission is important, funding for agencies like USAGM must be predicated on thoughtful planning, performance, and ultimately, results.”
Member Days
To ensure that Members have an opportunity to provide input into the annual appropriations process, the Committee held three Member Day hearings.

Public Witness Days

Interior Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson invited American Indian and Alaska Native leaders to testify on Tribal programs under the jurisdiction of the Interior and Environment Subcommittee.

During the four hearings (Day 1, Morning SessionDay 1, Afternoon SessionDay 2, Morning SessionDay 2, Afternoon Session), Chairman Simpson reaffirmed his commitment to Indian Country: “I look forward to working with Ranking Member Pingree to advance programs that help conserve and protect our nation’s most critical natural, cultural, and environmental resources, and strengthen the Committee’s longstanding efforts to increase the federal commitment to honor our treaties and trust responsibilities to American Indians and Alaska Natives… Indian Country has been and will continue to be a bipartisan priority for this subcommittee.”


Photo of Subcommittee Chairman Mike Simpson (ID)


Committee Schedule
House Appropriations Subcommittees will not hold hearings next week during the District Work Week and will continue hearings the week of March 20th. The schedule is subject to change. Refer to the Committee’s website for the most up-to-date information.