Chair DeLauro Statement at Full Committee Markup of Fiscal Year 2023 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Funding Bill

2022-06-29 10:48

WASHINGTON —Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the Committee's markup of the fiscal year 2023 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs bill:

Thank you, Chairwoman Lee, and Ranking Member Rogers, and the Members of the subcommittee for your work on this bill.

I am proud of the bill, which is a result of our commitment to strengthening American leadership and to peace and to our security. We respond to the most urgent challenges of our day.

The State-Foreign Operations subcommittee worked tirelessly to craft this bill, which is also informed by the hearings held on everything from the role of the United Nations, the global engagement focus of the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) response to current global crises, and international assistance to combat narcotics trafficking.

It is also informed by what Chairwoman Lee and I believe our foreign policy must consist of: investments in defense alongside significant funding for development, diplomacy, and humanitarian efforts. We know that investing in these efforts is not just the right thing to do, it is critical to American and global safety.

As natural disasters, conflict, rising food and fuel prices, and the pandemic have shown, our world’s most vulnerable need our support. That is why this bill provides over $8 billion for Migration and Refugee Assistance (MRA) and International Disaster Assistance (IDA) to provide historic support for the 274 million people worldwide in need of humanitarian aid and protection.

As we prioritize humanitarian assistance abroad, we also know that safeguarding global health keeps us safe as well. This bill strengthens the global public health infrastructure, helps confront the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensures we are equipped to prevent future pandemics. We provide almost $11 billion for these efforts, including $1 billion for global health security and $2 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

As we fight infectious diseases, we also improve child and maternal health globally. Strengthening maternal health requires that we advance women’s health care and women’s rights. As women’s rights come under attack in our own country, I am committed, and the chair is committed, to fighting for every woman and every girl not just here, but everywhere. Nearly 300 thousand women die every year because they cannot access the pregnancy-related care they need. And over 200 million do not have access to contraception. To combat these horrifying statistics, this bill invests in family planning and in the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). It also repeals the punitive and unnecessary restrictions on safe and legal abortion by removing the Helms amendment restrictions and the global Gag Rule on non-governmental organizations that receive U.S. assistance.

As we make these critical humanitarian and global health investments, we recommit to U.S. leadership in the fight against threats to our security by supporting our allies. We provide our closest partners – including Israel and Jordan, and Ukraine and others facing threats from Russian aggression – the continued and robust support they need. And as we recommit to supporting international organizations and reaffirm our role as a global leader, we are fully funding our United Nations assessments and increasing our voluntary contributions to key UN agencies.

We also build on the supplemental appropriations this Committee spearheaded by making critical investments to help the Ukrainian people and support global freedom and democracy. But we know that is not enough – the need to promote democracy, human rights, and anti-corruption efforts everywhere has never been clearer. The bill before us strengthens and bolsters democracy abroad with $2.8 billion for democracy programs. And it invests over $1.7 billion to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific, while countering China’s growing malign influence in developing countries.

We can only succeed in confronting the climate crisis if we do so with partners around the world and in carefully coordinated ways. This bill helps us lead the global fight to combat climate change with over $3.6 billion to address environmental threats and reduce emissions.

Finally, I want to take a moment to highlight two items in this bill that honor people who, in my view, transformed public service. To honor Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s historic career following her passing this year, this bill names a $50 million fund to support political leadership opportunities for women in her memory.

And in honor of Chairman David Price’s retirement and the work he has done to strengthen democracy around the world including through the House Democracy Partnership, this subcommittee has created a $5 million Legislative Strengthening Program at USAID to build the capacity of national legislative bodies and the civil society organizations that interact with them.

I am proud that this bill makes America and the world safer, healthier, and more habitable. With investments in development, diplomacy, and humanitarian efforts, we ensure we are better equipped to handle the crises of the future.

Before I conclude, I want to thank the Subcommittee staff for their hard work. On the majority side: thank you Erin Kolodjeski, and to your team: Clelia Alvarado, Craig Higgins, Jean Kwon, Marin Stein, Jon Stivers, and Jason Wheelock. And on the minority side, I want to thank: Susan Adams, Jamie McCormick, and John Muscolini.

Again, I thank Chairwoman Lee and Ranking Member Rogers and urge my colleagues to support this legislation.

117th Congress