Chairwoman Lowey Floor Statement on Conference Agreement H.J. Res 31
Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee and Chair of Fiscal Year 2019 Conference Committee on Homeland Security, delivered the following remarks on the House floor during debate on H. J. Res 31, the conference agreement:
Mr. Speaker, the bill before us would prevent another government shutdown by completing the remaining appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2019. It represents what is possible in a strong democratic process, when we work hard to reach agreement that puts politics aside and puts the American people first.
This bipartisan compromise rejects the President’s irresponsible budget cuts and instead invests in priorities that will strengthen our families, communities, and economy. Additionally, it does not contain poison pill riders that threatened the environment, public health, and consumer protections in the House Republican versions of these bills.
Among the bill’s vital increases are:
$80 million for state and local law enforcement to keep communities safe;
$1 billion for the Census Bureau;
$308 million for research and development at the National Science Foundation;
$25 million for the Environmental Protection Agency;
$293 million for port infrastructure; and
$123 million for grants to combat homelessness.
Strong international affairs funding will help stabilize the world economy, meet unprecedented humanitarian needs, and continue our fight against radical extremism and terrorism.
Federal workers will receive a 1.9% pay raise that the President attempted to deny hardworking families.
The Homeland Security division of this bill upholds Democratic values and funds smart and effective border security including construction and screening technology at ports of entry, where most drugs illegally enter the country.
The $1.375 billion it provides for border barriers is 76% less than the President demanded for a concrete wall, and critical protections are put in place for environmentally sensitive areas.
Neither Democrats nor Republicans got everything they wanted, yet every Democrat and nearly every Republican who served on the conference committee to write this bill has signed it in support.
I thank the conferees for their hard work and commitment to this process, which we couldn’t have completed without our excellent, dedicated staff, both majority and minority.
I urge a yes vote, and I reserve the balance of my time.