July 31, 2013
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers gave the following statement on the removal of the Transportation/Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill from floor consideration today:
“The Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development funding bill that was pulled from floor consideration today was the first major attempt by the House to consider and pass an Appropriations bill that funds domestic programs under the austere level delineated under the Budget Control Act and the House budget resolution.
“The bill today reflected the best possible effort, under an open process, to fund programs important to the American people – including our highway, air and rail systems, housing for our poorest families, and improvements to local communities – while also making the deep cuts necessary under the current budget cap. In order to abide by sequestration budget levels, this bill cut $4.4 billion below the current, post-sequestration total to a level below what was approved for these programs in 2006 – over seven years ago.
“I am extremely disappointed with the decision to pull the bill from the House calendar today. The prospects for passing this bill in September are bleak at best, given the vote count on passage that was apparent this afternoon. With this action, the House has declined to proceed on the implementation of the very budget it adopted just three months ago. Thus, I believe that the House has made its choice: sequestration – and its unrealistic and ill-conceived discretionary cuts – must be brought to an end. And, it is also clear that the higher funding levels advocated by the Senate are also simply not achievable in this Congress.
“This Congress must now deal in a productive way to address the nation’s crippling deficits and debt to put our budget back on a sustainable and responsible path. This means that all government programs – not just those on the discretionary side of the ledger – must be reduced. Spending reductions in mandatory and entitlement programs, which are the drivers of our deficits and debt, are the most effective way to enact meaningful change in the trajectory of federal spending. The House, Senate and White House must come together as soon as possible on a comprehensive compromise that repeals sequestration, takes the nation off this lurching path from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis, reduces our deficits and debt, and provides a realistic topline discretionary spending level to fund the government in a responsible – and attainable – way.”