September 5, 2018
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen gave the following statement before the House-Senate Conference Committee meeting for the first FY 2019 "minibus" Appropriations package, which includes the Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, Energy and Water, and Legislative Branch Appropriations bills:
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for yielding. It is a pleasure to meet as a formal Conference Committee.
I, alongside Ranking Member Lowey and our House colleagues, have appreciated the opportunity to work with you, Chairman Shelby, Vice Chairman Leahy, and all the Senate conferees over the past few months.
I want to commend Chairman Shelby and your Committee for the work you have done to get us to this point. Thanks to your leadership, we are all coming together this afternoon.
The bipartisan, bicameral “caps” agreement of 2018 has outlined our discretionary funding levels for two years, including significant increases for national defense and important investments in bipartisan domestic priorities, like infrastructure and addressing the opioid epidemic. With these in place, we laid the groundwork for a productive FY 2019 Appropriations cycle.
The three bills before us today fund a variety of critical federal programs and services, including national security, care for veterans, investments in power and water infrastructure, and the operations of the Legislative Branch.
These are some of our most important responsibilities to fulfill as Members of Congress, and we will continue to provide the resources they deserve.
We’ve made some difficult choices, but I believe we have successfully worked together in good faith to complete this package, and will continue to do so with our remaining nine bills. I expect that in the end, we’ll have legislative packages that we can successfully move through both chambers and to the President’s desk.
With that, I yield back to the Chair.