September 6, 2017
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen today made the following statement before the U.S. House of Representatives on the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, a bill funding the federal government for Fiscal Year 2018:
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present H.R. 3354, the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act.
This legislation moves Congress one step closer to completing critical work on our Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations bills – ahead of the end of the Fiscal Year on September 30.
This bill respects the American people, their priorities for our nation, and their hard-earned tax dollars, and it will help move our great country forward to a more stable and prosperous future.
This funding – totaling $1.2 trillion – supports important domestic and international programs that keep our people safe, that help our economy grow and thrive, that protects us from terrorists and those who want to do us harm, and that preserve America’s top role across the glove – both militarily and diplomatically.
Importantly, this bill continues the work started in the national security funding package that passed the House in July, the Make America Secure Act, and it prioritizes the safety of the American people, targeting funding toward critical law enforcement programs, securing our borders and our cyber networks, fighting terrorism, combatting opioid abuse, and stemming the flow of illegal drugs and goods.
Other funds are directed to programs that provide the greatest national benefit – including those that keep our food and drug supply safe, that support public health preparedness, fight devastating wildfires, invest in critical infrastructure, and otherwise protect and support our economy and freedoms.
All of these investments are made responsibly. In each of the bills within this package, we have found savings, gotten rid of waste, fraud and duplication, and increased oversight to ensure that no taxpayer dollar is misspent.
But we still have more work to do. This is the next step in the process, but it is not the end.
We also must address any new needs arising from the terrible flooding and damage inflicted by Hurricane Harvey, which is affecting hundreds and thousands of people across Texas and Louisiana, as well as continue all government operations until a final Appropriations package can be conferenced with the Senate and signed into law. This legislation today represents the House priorities and shows the American people that this chamber is moving forward, governing effectively, and getting things done in Washington.
Before I close, I would like to thank the Members of the Appropriations Committee for their hard work over the past few months that allows us to consider this bill today, especially the 12 chairs.
The Committee drafted, considered, and marked up all 12 Appropriations bills in under 2 months – a record-breaking pace – and as a result, we have a fine package of solid bills on the floor today.
I particularly would like to thank the Chairs and Ranking Members of the bills we are considering today, as well as the Ranking Member of the Full Committee, Mrs. Lowey, for her partnership throughout this process. I would also like to extend my personal thanks to our staff for all their efforts on these bills.
This package is the product of not only the Committee’s work, but also the contributions of ALL members of this body.
While drafting the bills that compose this package, we took member submissions very seriously – creating a more representative bill that reflects the will of the American people.
In July, the House took the responsible step of providing funding for critical national security priorities; with this bill, we will complete work on all 12 of our Appropriations bills for the fiscal year. This morning, the House came together on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis to pass desperately needed emergency funding for the victims in Texas and Louisiana whose lives were destroyed by Hurricane Harvey.
Funding these important responsibilities of the federal government is our constitutional duty to the people we serve. I urge my colleagues to vote “yes” on this bill.