Lowey Statement on 302(b) Allocations
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
It may come as no surprise that I rise to oppose the subcommittee allocations offered today by the Chairman.
Most of us in this room voted for the budget “deal” that prevented another shutdown, averted default, and provided this committee two years’ worth of certainty. I supported that bill and the FY 2014 omnibus bill containing ALL TWELVE appropriations bills.
For Fiscal Year 2015 this committee has a “cap” that is less than $2 billion higher than last year. But scoring differences, mostly due to lower-than-expected receipts to the Treasury, have squeezed these bills by more than the increase. By way of example, yesterday we marked up the Transportation, HUD bill which faced a budget hole of about $3 billion before it even got an allocation.
Mr. Chairman, I understand that $1.014 isn’t going to allow a lot of increases or new investments. Tough choices will be required to prioritize the programs in each bill.
However, the majority’s allocations simply do not rise to today’s challenges. They fail to recognize the inadequacy of last year’s level for NIH and medical research; the need for critical investments in roads, bridges, and highways to create jobs; the obligation to preserve the environment and to invest in public safety and the health of our communities; the unsustainability of relying on discretionary appropriations to pay for wildfire suppression and Payment in Lieu of Taxes; and the necessity to address financial reform and acknowledge that the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land.
We cannot approve the allocations the Majority proposes. Mr. Chairman, to complete the omnibus last year at $1.012 trillion required some creativity and a lot of bipartisan cooperation. We are committed to working within the allocations, with at least as much creativity and compromise as was needed last year, to make these bills as effective as possible in addressing today’s challenges. Some will simply fall short. In the latter portion of this process, however, when we negotiate with the Senate, we will have to do what we have historically done on this committee: make it work.