Chair DeLauro Floor Remarks on Seven-Bill Appropriations Minibus

2021-07-27 15:33

House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) today delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in support of H.R. 4502, a minibus of seven fiscal year 2022 appropriations bills:

I yield myself such time as I may consume. Though, to consume time is not what I am here to do today. To consume time is a luxury that we can no longer afford. After decades of disinvestment and the devastation of the pandemic, the time is now to reinvest in the American people. The time is now to create jobs, grow opportunity, and support our nation’s most vulnerable. The time is now to meet the moral test of government.

Vice President Hubert Humphrey defined this test by how government treats ‘those who are in the dawn of life… those who are in the twilight of life… and those who are in shadows of life.’

As I have led the Appropriations Committee over the past six months, this idea has served as a guiding light. It has challenged us to dig deeply into the areas of greatest need and to provide every American the opportunity to contribute and to succeed.

I believe the package of seven Appropriations bills before us, H.R. 4502, will not only pass this moral test. It will fulfil the sacred mission we are charged with as a body to leave this nation stronger, and better than we found it. 

With investments in education, nutrition assistance, and rural and underserved communities, we are providing every American the resources they need. By rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure and confronting the climate crisis, we are creating and sustaining good-paying American jobs. And with renewed urgency to protect our democracy, close racial disparities, and advance women’s rights, we are building back better and fostering a brighter future: we are meeting the moment and more than meeting Hubert Humphrey’s moral test.

As Chair of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee, I want to take a moment to turn to the investments we are making in this legislation more specifically to lift up the most vulnerable and prepare our nation for future challenges.

The $253.8 billion we provide in the Labor HHS bill represents a historic increase of 28 percent. It includes $7.4 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, $12.2 billion for Head Start, nearly a $20 billion increase in Federal support for high-poverty schools, and record funding for students with disabilities. It provides continued support for Social and Emotional Learning and makes post-secondary education more affordable with a $400 increase for the maximum Pell Grant. It includes $1.1 billion for programs serving Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), community colleges, and under-resourced institutions of higher education. And it provides $100 million for the Strengthening Community Colleges Training Grant program.

To give workers the skills and protections they need this bill includes an increase of $1.6 billion for the Employment and Training Administration— including a total of $285 million for Registered Apprenticeships and $3.1 billion for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) State Grants— and $2.1 billion for worker protection agencies.

This bill heeds the lessons of the pandemic by providing record funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including $1 billion for public health infrastructure and capacity. It invests $6.5 billion in the National Institutes of Health which were crucial in developing the COVID-19 vaccine in record time, including an increase of $3.5 billion for biomedical research at existing NIH Institutes and Centers. And it supports the President’s request to establish the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, or ARPA–H, which will be indispensable in achieving breakthroughs in the treatment of diseases such as diabetes, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. This bill further provides $100 million to help communities create a new Mental Health Crisis Response Partnership Pilot Program in partnership with our law enforcement agencies. And it provides $50 million, for gun violence prevention research at the NIH and the CDC. Finally, this bill ensures equal treatment for women by repealing the discriminatory Hyde Amendment and supports the more than three million men, women, and young adults who receive the full range of family planning and reproductive health services funded by Title X.

I have just scratched the surface of the historic and unprecedented investments contained in this funding package, which together meet this moment and, I believe, faithfully fulfill the moral test of government.

I thank all of the Subcommittee Chairs, the Ranking Members, all the Members of the Appropriations Committee, and their staffs for their hard work on these bills.

In particular, I must note my deep appreciation for my partnership with Ranking Member Cole, my partnership with the Ranking Member of the full Committee, Congresswoman Granger, and my gratitude for the Labor-HHS-Education staff, led by Stephen Steigleder, and including Jared Bass, Philip Tizzani, Jennifer Cama, Jackie Kilroy, Laurie Mignone, Becky Salay, and Trisha Castañeda. Thank you as well to the minority staff Susan Ross and Kathryn Salmon. And last, but not least, I must thank my personal staff, including Liz Albertine, Christian Lovell, Caitlin Peruccio, and Marie Gualtieri.

I urge support for the bill and reserve the balance of my time.

117th Congress