Lowey Statement on 2014 Omnibus
Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, today delivered the following statement on the Fiscal Year 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act:
Congress’ misguided rush towards austerity has hurt our economy, slashing critical investments that create jobs and make us more competitive. Discretionary spending, which represents only one-third of the budget, has borne a disproportionate share of cuts.
The December budget agreement and this bill set us on a path to fulfilling our basic responsibility of annual spending bills. Chairman Rogers, I commend your leadership and enjoy working with you toward that end.
This bill makes key investments that will bolster job creation and economic growth. We should not have federal furloughs again this year; education, Head Start and new pre-k initiatives will help working families and restore teaching slots; and infrastructure investments will support construction jobs and safety upgrades.
Other vital priorities fell short. It is incredibly disappointing this package doesn’t restore unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed. In addition, while it received $1 billion more than last year, biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health is still funded below the 2012 level, forcing scientists to shelve promising research. By not authorizing a change to the quota for IMF, we neglect the United States’ vital role in the global economy and an important tool to promote international financial stability, and support U.S. jobs, exports, and markets.
This is not the bill I would have written, but is the result of a negotiation that required significant compromise and protected the appropriations process from political warfare by dropping most of the new contentious riders.
Finally, I would like to praise the tireless work of David Pomerantz and all of the Appropriations staff on both sides of the aisle. This bill was a huge undertaking, possible only with the hard work of such dedicated staff.
I wish we had completed this process last October, when this fiscal year actually started, but better late than never. The President’s budget will likely arrive late given Congress’ tardiness in completing our work for fiscal year 2014 but I hope the bipartisan spirit with which the Omnibus agreement has been reached will be preserved in the cycle to come. I will support this omnibus and work in the coming year to address its shortcomings.