The Line-by-Line: March 3, 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.
Community Project Funding
ICYMI, Chairwoman Kay Granger released guidance on Member Requests for fiscal year 2024 appropriations bills.
Chairwoman Granger strengthened the guidelines for Community Project Funding so that only projects with a federal nexus – those with purposes authorized by Congress – will be funded. Ultimately, the new common-sense reforms will focus federal spending on federal responsibilities. The guidance and other information on Member Requests can be found here.
This week marked the start of hearing season for the Committee, where Appropriators exercised oversight of hard-earned taxpayer dollars. This week’s hearings included:
- Military Construction and Veterans Affairs: Quality of Life in the Military
- Defense: Ukraine
- State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: United Nations
Quality of Life in the Military
To start things off, senior enlisted leaders from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Space Force joined the Committee on Tuesday to discuss the quality of life for our servicemembers and their families. It is essential that our men and women in uniform have the resources they need – especially concerning their well-being – to protect the American people.
During the hearing, Subcommittee Chairman John Carter made a point to discuss the important connection between facilities, readiness, and quality of life: “Investing in infrastructure bolsters the military’s ability to train and fight, while also ensuring our servicemembers and their families are taken care of at home, every day.”
To ensure Ukraine has the weapons it needs to defend itself against Russian aggression and to make certain previously provided resources are being used responsibly and consistent with the intent of Congress, the Defense Subcommittee held an oversight hearing with Department of Defense officials.
Committee Members reiterated their support for Ukraine, with Chairman Calvert saying: “Americans want to see this conflict come to an end. The Russians must understand that the West is united behind Ukraine, and Russia must end this senseless conflict. Until then, this Committee will ensure Ukraine has both the defensive and offensive weapons they need. The battlefield is dynamic, and Ukraine must have what it needs immediately."
Photo of Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert (CA)
Calvert went on to urge the administration to be more transparent: “Support for Ukraine is bipartisan, but it is not without limits and free from demands for transparency. This administration can and should do a much better job in showing the American people how funds are being spent.”
Similarly, during questioning, Representative Chris Stewart brought up concerns about how this conflict ends: “I’ve always supported the appropriations for Ukraine… but I need you to know so that you can take this to the administration, to the war planners: There’s a growing concern in Congress about where this ends and how it ends. For example, when the President says we will support them for as long as it takes, my question is: as long as it takes to do what?”
There is no shortage of oversight needed at the United Nations (UN). Republicans will not turn a blind eye to anti-Israel bias and glaring hypocrisy at the Human Rights Council and will work to ensure Taiwan’s participation in international organizations. We must return to leveraging our UN contributions for reforms.
To ensure strict oversight of funding, the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee was joined by U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield to discuss the UN.
During his opening remarks, Subcommittee Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart touched on the U.S.’s leverage with the UN: “The administration has dismantled the leverage we had at the UN on the premise that by merely showing up and providing U.S. funding without preconditions, we can advance U.S. priorities. This has resulted in a UN comfortable with its own brokenness and a continuation of the status quo.”
Photo of Subcommittee Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL)
Former Full Committee Chairman Hal Rogers focused a line of questioning on the Chinese Communist Party and its threat to Taiwan, saying: “China has been successful at blocking Taiwanese access to the UN or even allowing Taiwanese tourists to visit UN buildings. These actions have broader implications and show China can reshape rules and norms. As the largest contributor to the UN, the United States should have the leverage to push back on Taiwan’s access issue and others.”
Photo of Subcommittee Chairman Hal Rogers (KY)
House Appropriations Subcommittees will hold 13 hearings next week. The schedule is subject to change. Refer to the Committee’s website for the most up-to-date information.
Wednesday, March 8, 2023
- Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies: American Indian and Alaska Native Public Witness Day 1, Morning Session, 2008 Rayburn, 9:00 a.m.
- Legislative Branch: Budget Hearing – Fiscal Year 2024 Request for the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights, HT-2, The Capitol, 9:30 a.m.
- Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies: Member Day, 2358-C Rayburn, 10:00 a.m.
- Legislative Branch: Budget Hearing – Fiscal Year 2024 Request for The Congressional Budget Office, HT-2, The Capitol, 11:00 A.M
- State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs: Member Day, H-140, The Capitol, 11:30 a.m.
- Interior, Environment, And Related Agencies: American Indian and Alaska Native Public Witness Day 1, Afternoon Session, 2008 Rayburn, 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 9, 2023
- Interior, Environment, And Related Agencies: American Indian and Alaska Native Public Witness Day 2, Morning Session, 2008 Rayburn, 9:00 a.m.
- Legislative Branch: Budget Hearing – Fiscal Year 2024 Request for The United States Government Publishing Office, HT-2, The Capitol, 9:30 a.m.
- Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies: Oversight Hearing – United States Department of Agriculture Office Of The Inspector General, 2362-A Rayburn, 10:00 a.m.
- Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies: American Indian and Alaska Native Public Witness Day 2, Afternoon Session, 2008 Rayburn, 1:00 p.m.
- Defense: Member Day, H-140, The Capitol, 2:00 p.m.
- State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs: Oversight Hearing – United States Agency for Global Media, 2362-A Rayburn, 2:30 p.m.
Friday, March 10, 2023
- Military Construction and Veterans Affairs: Member Day, HT-2, The Capitol, 9:00 a.m.