Chair DeLauro Opening Statement at First Fiscal Year 2022 Full Committee Markup
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following welcoming remarks at the first full Committee markup of fiscal year 2022:
“As we begin the first full Appropriations Committee markup of fiscal year 2022 today, I am struck by the gravity of responsibility we have not only to our constituents in this process, but also to the many historic leaders, both Democratic and Republican Chairs, who have shaped the United States of America for over 150 years.
“In many ways, our work here today honors their legacies. And what legacies they are.
“The very first Chairman of this Committee, Thaddeus Stevens, fought to secure the freedom promised by the 13th Amendment and investigated the violence against African Americans and other Union loyalists in the south following the end of the Civil War.
“And in my own tenure on the Committee, we have seen the work of William Natcher, a fierce advocate for infrastructure funding, and Dave Obey, an ardent champion of education and healthcare funding.
“In recent years, we have been ably led by Hal Rogers – who we are honored to still have with us on the dais today, Rodney Frelinghuysen, and my dear friend Nita Lowey.
“In their own ways, they each affected the trajectory of our nation.
“I am in awe of how much we can impact people’s lives and the obligations that creates.
“We touch every aspect of American people’s lives. At its best we can provide greater opportunity and essential support for all our citizens who just want a chance to work hard and reach for the American Dream.
“This is especially important now as we are still recovering from the greatest public health and economic crisis in a generation.
“I have in my office a quote to which I turn often, from Vice President Hubert Humphrey, who said, “The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in shadows of life, the sick, the needy, and the handicapped.”
“That is my mission as I lead this Committee. Together, through the more than $1.5 trillion that goes through our 12 subcommittees, we will invest in the American people. We will create good-paying American jobs, grow opportunity in every corner of the nation, and provide a lifeline to the middle class, small business, and the vulnerable. We will confront rising inequality by mobilizing the whole of government to build a society and an economy that works for every American.
“And I am so proud of the way we have already begun this work, with a strong and inclusive approach. Our Chairs, informed by the expertise of the diverse voices on this Committee, have crafted strong bills.
“There are, of course, disagreements in some areas. In the coming weeks, we will debate these bills – oftentimes vigorously.
“But it is in a collaborative approach that the Appropriations Committee distinguishes itself. So as we mark up these bills this week, I hope we do so with the same goal we have for the same country we all love: building back a better nation where everyone has the opportunity to contribute and succeed.”