June 3, 2015
House Appropriations Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee Chairman Mario Diaz-Balart today gave the following statement on the House floor in support of H.R. 2577, the Fiscal Year 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill:
"I am pleased to present to the House today for consideration H.R. 2577: the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2016.
"The Committee has put forth a bill that conforms to our 302(b) allocation of $55.3 billion in budget authority, and is in line with the budget cap of $1,016 (“ten sixteen”).
"Under such an allocation, we prioritized programs and spending to achieve three very important goals: continue the ob lim funding levels of MAP-21 contingent upon reauthorization, keep the commercial air space running smoothly, and preserve the housing option for all current HUD-assisted families.
"I think this is a balanced bill with the allocation given to us. The Department of Transportation is funded at $17.2 billion in budget authority and $70.6 billion in total budgetary resources to ensure the safe and effective transportation of goods and people in America. The Department of Housing and Urban Development is funded at $42 billion to provide housing opportunities and assistance to the most vulnerable in both cities and rural areas across the country
"We are a diverse body and this is a diverse bill, and some Members will speak for increased funding. I would like to remind my colleagues that by voting against this bill you are voting against the commercial airspace system and our air traffic controllers, against housing programs for the most vulnerable, including the elderly and families, and you are voting against community development programs that are vital to the cities and counties we represent.
"And some will speak for lower spending. It is important to remember that the House passed a Budget Resolution, which this bill adheres to, and the Congress and the President are currently bound by the Budget Control Act, which does include sequester, so this bill takes the responsible steps of setting funding priorities for the next fiscal year – many of which are shared between parties – without the across the board sequester.
"The whole House of Representatives now has the opportunity for full consideration of this legislation. It is imperative that we move this bill to final passage reflecting the amendments adopted by the House, and move this bill to conference in time for the new fiscal year.
"I’d like to thank my friend, the Gentleman from North Carolina and the THUD Ranking Member, Mr. Price for his ideas and support in drafting this bill. The Gentleman gives a lot of thought and careful consideration to the many programs under our jurisdiction, and I appreciate his willingness to collaborate on the bill before us.
"I’d also like to thank Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Lowey, plus the members of the Committee and especially the Subcommittee for the hours spent in hearings, mark ups and meetings, working together to bring this bill to the floor, and eventually signed into law. Finally, I’d like to thank the staff on both sides of the aisle.
"I urge the expeditious adoption of this bill.
"Thank you, and I reserve the balance of my time."