Appropriations Democrats at Work: Fighting For The People
A PDF copy of this report is available here.
Through 12 Committee markups this year, House Appropriations Committee Democrats have offered nearly 150 amendments to stand up for our values and push back on President Trump and the Republicans’ backwards agenda. While Republicans have defeated many of these important amendments, House Democrats have succeeded in forcing important debates and putting Republicans on the record, laying down a marker for the battles that lie ahead. Democrats have offered amendments to:
Challenge Trump’s Cruel Immigration Policies
- Protect Dreamers, with amendments to prevent deportation of Dreamers and ensure Dreamers are able to secure government employment.
- Provide accountability over the Trump administration’s family separation policy, with more than two dozen amendments to keep families together and protect the welfare of children and families in detention.
- Defund President Trump’s border wall, with amendments to save nearly $5 billion in wasteful spending and redeploy it to other vital priorities like a Coast Guard heavy icebreaker to counter Russian dominance in the Arctic.
- Support TPS recipients and asylum seekers, with amendments to prevent the deportation of TPS recipients and ensure that valid asylum claims can be successfully processed.
Defend Women’s Reproductive Rights
- Promoting family planning, with amendments to fund the Title X family planning program and teen pregnancy prevention, allow Planned Parenthood to receive federal funds, and prevent employers in DC from discriminating against workers who use family planning services.
- Protecting access to a full range of safe and legal health services, with amendments to strike refusal/”conscience protection” policies, allow the DC government to use its own funds on abortion services, and promote women’s health worldwide.
Fight for Better Government
- Cracking down on egregious abuses of power by the Trump Administration, including protecting the Mueller investigation from interference, preventing Trump from backtracking on sanctions on Chinese telecom company ZTE, and increasing transparency and resources to investigate the plethora of ethical lapses from then-EPA Administrator Pruitt.
- Helping voters and improving elections, with amendments to protect election systems from cyber hacking, allow the SEC to require the disclosure of companies’ political contributions, and improve the transparency of online political advertisements.
Protect Americans’ Health Care
- Protecting the ACA in court, by stopping Trump Administration from advancing divisive legal effort that would hurt people with pre-existing conditions.
- Prevent Congressional Republicans from further eroding ACA, by providing sufficient funding for agencies to administer the ACA and strike policy riders to undermine its implementation.
Stand Up for Safer Communities
- Close the terror gap, with an amendment to ensure that terrorists who are too dangerous to fly on a plane are prevented from buying guns.
- Fund gun violence research, with an amendment to give the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dedicated resources to examine ways to prevent firearm injuries and deaths.
- Strike the Tiahrt Amendments, with an amendment to repeal gun lobby-backed provisions that make it harder for law enforcement to investigate gun crime and prosecute gun dealers.
Stop Attacks on Our Environment
- Protecting national treasures from oil drilling, with amendment to stop oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and on the Outer Continental Shelf.
- Safeguarding clean air and clean water, with amendments to protect bedrock environmental laws like the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.
- Preserving biodiversity, with amendments to stop the Trump-GOP assault on our endangered species.
- Commit to climate action, with amendments to restore funding for the Green Climate Funding, climate change research at NOAA, and CDC efforts to prevent the worst impacts of climate change on human health.
Offer A Better Deal for Working Families
- Raise American workers’ wages, with amendments to gradually raise the minimum wage and increase resources for wage and hour enforcement.
- Help Americans get the skills they need for better jobs, with amendments that support job training programs, apprenticeships, and other hands-on learning opportunities.
- Lower the cost of college, with amendments to increase Pell Grants and offer more consumer protections to student loan borrowers.
- Invest in our communities, with amendments to increase transformational science and energy efficiency research funding and provide more resources for Community Development Financial Institutions.
This year’s amendments from House Democrats come on the heels of a successful fiscal year 2018 budget cycle, when President Trump sought to slash investments in the economy and job creation by cutting discretionary spending by $54 billion. Not only did Democrats successfully fight those efforts, but we secured $117 billion more in non-defense discretionary spending than President Trump requested. Those investments pay dividends in job creation, economic growth, and critical support for American families and communities, including the following increases:
- Early childhood education - $610 million for Head Start and $2.37 billion for Child Care and Development Block Grants
- Opioids - $3.2 billion to respond to the opioid crisis
- Research - $3 billion for the National Institutes of Health, $231 million for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and $297 million for the National Science Foundation
- Election integrity - $380 million to protect election systems from cyber threats
- Infrastructure - $2.5 billion in highway formula grants, $1 billion for National Infrastructure Investment grants, and $232 million for transit
- Environment - $763 million for the EPA
- Housing - $808 million for the Public Housing Capital Fund, and
- Veterans - $7 billion for the VA