Chair DeLauro Statement at Full Committee Markup of Fiscal Year 2022 Legislative Branch Funding Bill
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the Committee's markup of the fiscal year 2022 Legislative Branch bill:
“I would like to congratulate Chairman Ryan and Ranking Member Herrera Beutler, for producing a strong bill that meets the needs of the Legislative Branch.
“Your dedication to these issues and your commitment to the work of this Committee, this body, and your unfailing battle for working people everywhere: The bill we have before us today would not be what it is without your hard work and dedication. And I want to thank everyone, on both sides of the aisle, who has shared their input on this important effort.
“The Legislative Branch Subcommittee held 11 hearings on topics that include responding to the January 6 insurrection and the urgent needs of the Capitol Police. I participated in several of these hearings, and I am pleased that this bill faithfully responds to the critical needs that were raised in those discussions, particularly as it relates to protecting our democracy by securing the Capitol.
“As a nation, we pride ourselves on our commitment to preserving a government of, by, and for the people. As the oldest modern democracy in the world, the United States exemplifies not only the success but also the long-term sustainability of democratic governance. We are a beacon of hope to people suffering under the oppression of authoritarian or totalitarian regimes.
“If we fail in this great experiment and fail to sustain the pillars of democratic governance that have encouraged and inspired people around the world, then we fail to honor our sacred duty not only to our own citizens, but to America as an ideal.
“The brutal, violent assault on the Capitol on January 6 – when many of us feared for our lives – was an attack on the cradle of our democracy and against liberty. It was also an attack not just against the American people, but all who aspire to a freer world.
“The brave women and men in uniform who risked their lives defending this institution understood this.
“This bill honors their sacrifices, and gives these heroes the funding, resources and training they need to ensure what happened on January 6 never happens again. This bill provides $603.9 million, an increase of $88.4 million, for our Capitol Police. It builds the force to a total of 2,112 sworn officers and 450 civilian members. And following the tragic death by suicide of Officer Howie Liebengood, it boosts support for wellness programs.
“In recognition of the changes the Capitol Police desperately need, this bill and the accompanying report include measures to provide more transparency, diversity, and leadership training for Capitol Police, and to standardize vetting and routinely review staff for employment suitability.
“While securing the Capitol must be our top priority, we must also make sure that the institution within these walls remains strong. That is why I am pleased that this bill provides increased funding for the Member’s Representation Allowance (MRAs), standing and select committees, and leadership funding to help retain and recruit a talented and diverse workforce. And, to grow opportunity and create a diverse hiring pipeline, it expands paid internship opportunities while also providing authorization for Dreamers to work in Congressional offices.
“Together, the initiatives in this bill would not only protect the Congress and our democracy – they would strengthen and sustain it. I thank my colleagues for their impressive work, and I urge your support for this important legislation. Thank you.”