Granger: Democrats Once Again Shortchange Defense, Promote Controversial Policies
WASHINGTON – Today, the Defense Subcommittee; Legislative Branch Subcommittee; Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee; and Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration Subcommittee considered their appropriations bills for fiscal year 2023. The measures were reported out to the full committee with concerns raised by Republicans.
Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX), the lead Republican for the Appropriations Committee, said of the measures, “Just a few months ago, we passed full-year appropriations bills that Members on both sides of the aisle could support. Unfortunately, that is not where we are today.
“To kick off this year’s appropriations process, Democrats put a resolution on the floor last week with funding levels no Republican supported.
“Congress holds the purse strings, and we have the responsibility to exercise oversight and fiscal restraint, especially after trillions of dollars were forced through Congress in support of a left-leaning agenda that is only making inflation worse. We also must meet our Constitutional responsibility to provide for our nation’s defense, and the bills marked up today fall short of the funding needed.
“On policy issues, Republicans want to start where we ended last year’s process, avoiding controversial riders and including long-standing language, but the bills marked up today are a reversal of that agreement.
“My Republican colleagues and I will cooperate with moving these appropriations bills through our committee and onto the floor of the House so that the process of improving them can begin. Make no mistake, these bills have a long way to go before we have a product Members on both sides can get behind, but I am committed to finding a way to get this done.”
Problematic Funding Levels and Provisions:
- Provides a 4.6% increase, significantly less than recommended by the bipartisan National Defense Strategy Commission and below the current level of inflation.
- Drops long-standing riders that prohibit closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, instead requiring the facility to be closed in FY23.
- Requires a $15 minimum wage for defense contractors that would be better addressed by the authorizing committees.
- Establishes in law military leave policies related to abortion.
- Provides a 20.1% increase (excluding Senate items).
- Permits the Legislative Branch to employ individuals participating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
- Furthers House staff unionization efforts by increasing the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights (OCWR) account by $500,000.
Military Construction and Veterans Affairs
- Drops longstanding provisions prohibiting the closure of Naval Station Guantanamo Bay and the use of military construction funds to build a detention center in the United States or territories.
- Includes extensive authorizing language, not under the jurisdiction of the Appropriations Committee, that expands the eligibility for assisted reproductive technology.
Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration
- Provides an 8% increase.
- Essentially grants the Administration unlimited spending authority for a nutritional program that was already dramatically expanded during the pandemic.
Ranking Member Granger’s remarks in each subcommittee are linked below:
Defense Subcommittee Markup (NA – Markup Closed)
Legislative Branch Subcommittee Markup
Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee Markup
Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration Subcommittee Markup