Lowey Floor Remarks on Omnibus Spending Bill
I am proud to present legislation that comprises all 12 fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills, a number of items agreed to on a bipartisan basis between authorizing committees, and a coronavirus relief package.
The 12 appropriations bills include a strong increase in non-defense discretionary funding, allowing Congress to make important investments for the people.
I am particularly proud that we have been able to fund:
- Better education for our students;
- More affordable housing;
- Food security initiatives;
- Safer communities, with funding to address America’s gun violence epidemic;
- Clean air and water;
- Action on the climate crisis; and
- Care for our veterans, with a special emphasis on suicide prevention and gender-specific care.
As Chairwoman of the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, I am also proud that this legislation bolsters international security and stability.
In particular, the Middle East Partnership for Peace Fund will support people-to-people exchanges and economic partnerships between Israelis and Palestinians.
Turning to the coronavirus relief portion of the legislation, the bill provides $892 billion to confront the pandemic.
While Republican intransigence means the legislation doesn’t include state and local relief that is desperately needed, the amounts it provides for education, public health, and transportation will greatly benefit our local communities.
Of particularly importance to me, the $4 billion for GAVI will help children across the world receive the coronavirus vaccine, though far greater investments are needed to support international COVID-19 response.
President-elect Biden has spoken about the dark winter that we face because of this pandemic. It is my hope that this bill will be a source of light as we face that winter.
And I am proud that, through the careful use of federal funds, the appropriations in this bill will help set our nation on a course to Build Back Better.