Lowey floor statement on FY2019 Defense and Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Minibus
M. Speaker, I join Chairman Frelinghuysen in strong support of this bipartisan legislation. The Defense and Labor-HHS-Education bills carry out some of Congress’ most important Constitutional responsibilities, and we should all be pleased that we have completed our work on these bills on time.
This conference report provides ample resources for our armed services and strengthens military readiness. It also upholds our commitments to our service members and their families by providing more funding to repair Department of Defense schools, additional resources to assist victims of military sexual assault, and more support for military medical research.
Turning to the Labor-HHS-Education division, I am pleased that Congress has resoundingly rejected President Trump’s budget and restored $10 billion in proposed cuts that would have hurt working families.
Instead, we have won increased funding for a number of important priorities. This bill boosts biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, expands opioid abuse treatment and prevention programs, and launches new initiatives for maternal and child health.
The bill increases funding for Head Start, child care, and after school programs that working families rely on. It lifts the maximum Pell Grant to help more students access postsecondary education. And it invests in the 21st century workforce with more support for Registered Apprenticeships and Career and Technical Education.
Finally, this bill stands up to President Trump’s cruel family separation policy with more transparency and oversight of child and family detention.
Just as important is what this bill does not include: the unnecessary partisan riders that caused House Democrats to oppose the Labor-HHS-Education bill in the Appropriations Committee.
While it is unfortunate that we have no choice but to include a Continuing Resolution for many important federal programs, I look forward to completing our remaining appropriations bills when Congress returns in November.
I appreciate the hard work of Chairman Frelinghuysen, Chairwoman Granger, Chairman Cole, Ranking Member Visclosky, Ranking Member DeLauro, and our Senate counterparts to get us to this point. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill and sending it to the President for him to sign into law.