Committee Republicans Highlight “Completely Misguided” Bills During FY22 Markups

Jun 30, 2021
Press Release
WASHINGTON – Today, the subcommittees on Defense and Homeland Security met to consider their appropriations bills for fiscal year 2022. The measures were reported out to the full committee with concerns raised by Republicans.
The full committee also met to consider the fiscal year 2022 appropriations bills for the subcommittees on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration. Committee Republicans were unable to support the bills due to the total spending level and controversial policy provisions that are in the bills.
Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX), the lead Republican for the Appropriations Committee, said of the measures, "Whether through a strong national defense or a safe food and drug supply, the programs in these bills have a direct impact on the health and security of the American people.
“However, the bills marked up in both subcommittee and full committee are completely misguided. The increases proposed for non-defense bills are just too high, and the funding for our nation’s defense is too low to meet the security challenges we face worldwide. With enemies like China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran gaining capabilities and confidence, now is not the time to divert funds away from our national security.
“In addition, with the ongoing crisis at our southern border, we need to move a Homeland Security appropriations bill that provides resources to enforce the law, rather than undermine it. The Administration’s open-border policies coupled with the Majority’s proposed funding levels essentially give the cartels free rein to continue smuggling and trafficking.
“If we are to meet our quickly approaching deadline, these bills will have to be changed. I encourage my Democrat colleagues to work with Republicans on bipartisan bills that both chambers can support.”
Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee Ranking Member John Carter (R-TX) added, “Our responsibility on the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee is to provide adequate resources for our service members, ensure that we fulfill the promises America made to our veterans and be good stewards of Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars. While this bill includes funding for many of my priorities like barracks, suicide prevention and electronic health records, it is not part of a bipartisan funding framework that appropriately allocates funding between defense and non-defense programs. Not a single member of the committee wants to see important programs for our heroes be held up by larger funding debates, but I fear if we don’t right this ship now that is what we may face with only three months until the end of the fiscal year. We must work together to reach spending levels that we can all agree on, that fulfil our responsibilities and protect taxpayer dollars.”
Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration Subcommittee Ranking Member Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) added, "The vastness of our land, our ingenuity, and our technological prowess allow our nation to provide the most abundant, low-cost, nutritious, and diverse array of foods in the world.  This bill builds upon important ag programs, but, unfortunately, it has over a 10% increase in spending, making this bill far too big.  I look forward to working with the full committee to solve outstanding problems, think creatively, and hopefully get us to a point where we can pass a good bill into law."
Troublesome funding levels and provisions in the Defense and Homeland Security Bills:
  • Provides $258 million below the President’s budget request, and much lower than recommended by the bipartisan National Defense Strategy Commission.
  • Requires a $15 minimum wage for defense contractors that would be better addressed by the appropriate authorizing committee.
  • Includes troubling language that says funds cannot be used after next September to operate the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.
  • Adds burdensome mandates on DOD law enforcement agencies.
  • Prevents funds from being used in offensive operations against the Iranian-based Houthi rebels in Yemen.
  • Prevents the use of force against Iran and North Korea, two regimes that pose a direct threat to our national security.
Homeland Security
  • Provides nearly flat funding of $52.8 billion in discretionary spending.
  • Rescinds prior year border wall funds and provides no new funds for a border wall system along the southern border.
  • Reduces the number of adult Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention beds by 5,500 from FY21.
  • Authorizes Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and ICE funds for family reunification including costs associated with shelter, temporary housing, subsistence expenses, transportation, medical care, and access to legal services.
  • Authorizes CBP and ICE funds to reimburse third parties for sheltering and providing COVID-19 tests to migrants. 
  • Prohibits funds to detain individuals for more than 20 days unless they are determined to be a flight risk or threat to public safety.
  • Establishes that detainees who volunteer to work will be paid the local prevailing wage.  
117th Congress