February 9, 2018
House Committee on Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen made the following statement on the House floor today in support of the Bipartisan Budget Act (Senate Amendment to House Amendment to Senate Amendment H.R. 1892):
I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present the Senate Amendment to the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 1892, a bipartisan, bicameral bill outlining funding for the next two fiscal years and funding for the government through March 23, providing much needed emergency supplemental funding for disaster recovery, and raising the nation’s debt ceiling.
This legislation will help our nation move forward – without the threat of shutdown or default, and with greater budget certainty.
This bill will allow us to move past this destructive cycle of Continuing Resolutions, which undermine the Appropriations process and promotes only more uncertainty and doubt about our government’s ability to function, and meet the needs of those we represent!
I’m pleased that this legislation includes an agreement, reached on a bipartisan basis by House and Senate Leaders, on spending “caps” for both FY 2018 and FY 2019.
Especially important is a substantial increase in funds for national defense. Our nation faces multiple security challenges and increasingly aggressive – not to mention, well-equipped – adversaries. We must be prepared to meet these challenges, and we must take care of the men and women in uniform, who do the work of freedom.
After years of reductions to military funding and months of uncertainty caused by Continuing Resolutions, it’s time that we provide our Armed Forces what they need to rebuild and keep our nation safe!
The agreement also outlines investments in important, bipartisan domestic priorities, such as fighting the opioid abuse epidemic, supporting veterans, and rebuilding and renewing infrastructure across the country.
These topline spending levels will enable us to get to work immediately on our 12 Appropriations bills to wrap up fiscal year 2018, and to quickly turn our attention to fiscal year 2019.
This legislation also includes a short-term Continuing Resolution – our last for this year – which will fund the federal government through March 23, 2018. This will maintain programs and services that all Americans depend on until all 12 annual Appropriations bills can be enacted.
I look forward to working with our Senate counterparts to negotiate and complete all 12 full-year Appropriations bills ahead of that deadline.
In addition to these critical pieces of government funding, this legislation also provides $89.3 billion in emergency disaster funding – funding that has been urgently needed since the House passed its version in December. This funding will provide residents of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Western states with the means to rebuild their lives after last year’s historic and devastating natural disasters.
Lastly, this bill increases the debt limit through March 1, 2019 – so we can pay our bills and avoid the economic damage of a default.
Mr. Speaker, the Senate has just passed this bill, and now it is up to the House to do the same, and send this legislation to the President for his signature.
I urge a “yes” vote on this bill.
I reserve the balance of my time.