The Line-by-Line: March 24, 2023

Mar 24, 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.

Budget Hearings
This week was yet another busy week for appropriators: 14 hearings over two days with witnesses ranging from department secretaries to Members and outside organizations.

Department of Defense
The events of the past year emphasize why it is essential that Congress provide the resources to ensure we are prepared to counter our enemies.
During the Department of Defense’s budget hearing, Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert discussed the administration’s “failure to anticipate and implement a coherent geopolitical strategy:”
“Weakness is provocative, and this administration’s weakness has emboldened authoritarians around the world.”


Photo of Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert (CA) and Committee Chairwoman Kay Granger (TX)


During the hearing, Committee Chairwoman Kay Granger spotlighted some of the biggest threats we face:
“Russia is waging an all-out war against the people of Ukraine. China continues to take provocative steps in the Pacific and spread its influence around the world. Iran is reportedly making significant strides in developing a nuclear weapon. Just last week, North Korea tested what they say is their largest intercontinental ballistic missile to send a message to the United States and our allies.”
Our enemies have become more bold and more capable. We must ensure our military has the tools to meet and defeat our adversaries.



Economic Outlook
The Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee held a hearing on the nation’s economic outlook – for the first time in over a decade – with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young.
What’s the consensus? Our economic outlook is grim under the Biden AdministrationThe CBO's most recent outlook shows that this administration has done more to increase our national debt than any other administration.



The CBO’s report also shows current policies will add more than $20 trillion to our national debt over the next decade. The interest payments alone will increase by $2 trillion over the next decade, compared to CBO’s earlier projections in May 2022.
A quick recap on how we got here: Democrats in Washington forced trillions through Congress, in the name of “COVID” and “climate change.”
Republicans, on the other hand, are committed to finding reasonable and responsible solutions to our nation’s debt, and part of that is finding ways to reduce spending.



During the hearing, Subcommittee Chairman Steve Womack noted that our country is in the “midst of great economic turmoil:”  
“It is of my opinion that the reckless spending and out-of-control regulatory expansion unleashed by President Biden and Democrats have pushed us into a recession. It has been anything but a transitory cycle. Our unsustainable trajectory is one of the greatest threats to America’s prosperity, security, and future generations.”



Department of Energy
House Republicans are focused on reducing costs for the American people, especially for everyday essentials like energy. It’s past time we return to energy independence. Unfortunately, the President’s Budget continues the administration’s out-of-touch energy policies. 
During a budget hearing for the Department of Energy, Subcommittee Chairman Chuck Fleischmann discussed how the President’s Budget Request has misguided energy priorities:



From the beginning, President Biden has focused overwhelmingly on Green New Deal initiatives, which have driven energy costs to their highest levels in decades and increased our dependence on China for critical minerals. We should be embracing an all-of-the-above approach that invests in new and innovative technologies, bolsters support for traditional energy sources, and expands domestic sources of critical minerals.



During the hearing, a handful of members reiterated their support for Israel, which continues to face active threats from Iran, its attempts to expand its nuclear capabilities, and its support for Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Not only that, but Israel has also been the target of baseless investigations at the UN. Members reiterated their support for one of our greatest allies, Israel, during a hearing on the State Department’s budget:
Committee Chairwoman Granger did not mince words:



Appropriations Subcommittees held six other budget hearings:



Member and Public Witness Days
To ensure that Members have an opportunity to provide input into the annual appropriations process, the Committee held three Member Day hearings.

Seventeen health, education, and policy organizations joined the Committee for a Public Witness Day to provide insight on the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee’s work.



Clarke Forsythe with Americans United for Life discussed the importance of pro-life policies: "Although Americans hold different views on abortion, polling data has shown a consistent consensus of Americans supporting restrictions on abortions... In fact, in the 2023 Marist poll, 60% of Americans said they oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.”
Richard Stern with The Heritage Foundation also joined the hearing to discuss items under the jurisdiction of the subcommittee, focusing his comments on overall spending: “If we are to restore America’s vitality and economy, to end the scrouge of inflation, and to avoid triggering a debt crisis, we must cut the size and scope of the federal government.”
It’s no secret that last Congress, spending on domestic programs skyrocketed. Instead of implementing policies to address record-high inflation, Democrats in Washington spent trillions of taxpayer dollars, which increased everyday costs for the American people and ballooned our national debt.



We must cut wasteful government spending. ICYMI, read Committee Chairwoman Granger’s recent release on spending.
Committee Schedule
House Appropriations Subcommittees will hold 28 hearings next week. The schedule is subject to change. Refer to the Committee’s website for the most up-to-date information.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Friday, March 30, 2023