Chair DeLauro Floor Remarks on Six-Bill Appropriations Minibus

2022-07-19 13:44

House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) today delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in support of H.R. 8294, a minibus of six fiscal year 2023 appropriations bills:

Over the last year, Congress began to restore our investments after the years of disinvestment that working families, the middle class, and vulnerable people believed was wrong. Spending has favored the biggest corporations and special interests who got heard first in Washington. But hardworking Americans are still paying high taxes and have not seen a pay increase in years.

The spike in the cost of living, gas prices, and rent are blows to so many. That has guided our priorities – and it has guided that in these bills.

In the Appropriations Committee, we were determined to put together bills that ensure we offset the rise in prices produced by blocked supply chains, the greed of oil companies, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

H.R. 8294, the package of the six 2023 Appropriations bills before us, provides the critical funding America needs. Instead of catering to big corporations and the wealthy, we uphold our commitment with this legislation that helps lower the cost of living, creates American jobs, gives working families a better shot, and supports small businesses. And as we do so, we tackle our nation and the world’s toughest crises.

We reach some of our most vulnerable Americans by funding the programs that keep roofs over the heads of millions and keep food on the tables of millions more. We strengthen nutrition assistance through WIC, Food Stamps, and Child Nutrition programs like school meals. We increase access to affordable housing with rental assistance programs and improve the safety and living conditions of those in public housing. We also expand opportunities for families with support for homeownership programs.

These bills help invigorate rural communities as we expand broadband, strengthen water programs in rural areas, and invest in single family home loans. We support Native Americans and honor the federal government’s responsibilities to Native families by investing in strong and resilient tribal communities, including through housing, education, and health care programs.

We also transform the ways we meet the needs of our veterans who deserve and who have earned our support, including the 9.2 million veterans who rely on the VA for their health care, by increasing funding for medical programs. And for the first time ever, we put VA Medical Care into its own funding category so that funding for veterans does not have to compete with other critical programs.

Supporting those who protect us also means protecting servicemembers and their families in communities all over this nation. We invest in our national security and improve our military readiness through robust investments in critical military installations at home and abroad and in the wellbeing of our servicemembers and their families.

At the same time, we also make our communities safer by supporting victims while fighting crime, violence, and corruption.

This package strengthens our capacity to work for all Americans. We ensure the IRS has the resources to crack down on big corporations and the wealthy who do not pay their fair share and provide better customer service to families navigating the tax system. And we protect consumers with more funding for critical consumer protection agencies and by strengthening our food safety infrastructure, including oversight of the baby formula industry.

We do this while bolstering economic development in distressed communities and strengthening our economy and our economic growth by supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs as they pursue the American Dream. We create jobs and we put Americans to work rebuilding our infrastructure, help small businesses grow and thrive, foster the green energy jobs of tomorrow, and support a skilled and growing workforce.

We confront the existential threat of climate change and strengthen our resiliency on various fronts, including by investing in cleaner, safer, and more affordable American energy, advancing climate science, conserving our land and water, expanding environmental enforcement, and embracing stronger environmental justice efforts.

And finally, with inclusion of nearly 2,700 Community Project Funding requests totaling over $6 billion, we are directly meeting the needs of Americans everywhere in ways that will have a profound and a lasting impact.

When taken together, this package meets the moment at a time when so many want to see critical changes in our priorities. It reaches every corner of our nation to give hard working Americans, the middle class, and the vulnerable a better shot. I urge my colleagues to support these bills.

And with that, I want to say a thank you to the subcommittee staff led by our Clerks for all their work – Christina Monroe with T-HUD, Martha Foley with Agriculture, Scott McKee with Energy and Water, Matt Smith with Financial Services, Rita Culp with Interior, and Jenny Neuscheler with MilCon/VA.

I also want to say a thank you to all the Subcommittee Chairs and Ranking Members for their efforts and their dedication to these efforts. Interior-Environment Subcommittee Chair Pingree is not here today, but I want to specifically thank her for her work. This bill makes transformative investments in our environment, and this is in large part because of her relentless advocacy.

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

117th Congress