Chair DeLauro Statement at Full Committee Markup of Fiscal Year 2023 Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Funding Bill

2022-06-30 14:49

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 Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies bill:

Thank you very much, Vice Chairman Quigley and Ranking Member Diaz Balart.

Again, all of us want to express our condolences to Chairman Price and to the Price family on the loss of a very special woman, Lisa Price, who I got to know very well when David and Lisa lived in New Haven and Lisa served on the New Haven Board of Aldermen with my mom for a number of years.

We thank Mr. Price for his many years of service. Just a couple of quick points: Mr. Price joined the House Appropriations Committee in the 102nd Congress, getting his start on what was then known as the “Transportation Subcommittee.” And it’s only fitting that he concludes his time with the Committee as Chair of the T-HUD Subcommittee, which he has led as Chair or Ranking Member since 2015. He worked tirelessly to create new affordable housing opportunities for seniors and people with disabilities, improve living conditions in distressed communities through the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, and advance passenger rail projects through the CRISI grant program. He takes seriously the feedback and needs of his constituents and colleagues on both sides of the aisle to create responsible solutions to complex problems.

His – and Lisa’s – commitment to this work has made our country and our world a better place. We know we will dearly miss David when he retires at the end of this Congress.

Vice Chair Quigley, thank you so much for stepping in for him and taking the reins.  

The goals of the programs funded in the Transportation-Housing and Urban Development bill that we consider today are critical: they ensure every American has access to reliable and efficient transportation and a safe and affordable place to call home.

As mentioned, this bill before us advances these goals with $90.9 billion, an increase of $9.9 billion over 2022. It builds on the 2022 funding package that was passed and the historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in an effort to fight inflation, lower the costs of living for working- and middle-class families, and create good-paying jobs, American jobs. As Chairman Price says, the T-HUD bill is an infrastructure bill – and we enact one every year. It’s not just one every five years or ten years. It’s every single year.

This bill looks at so many efforts. One of the things that’s important for me comes out of a direct experience that I had growing up. That was, when, at the age of nine, my parents and I went home and we found all of our personal goods on the street. We had been evicted. My parents fell on hard times, they financially struggled so we went to live with my mother till we could get back on our feet. A searing experience and one that really you’re left with. And it’s critical that we have strong programs in place and that this legislation can prevent evictions before they happen.  

This bill provides more than $61.5 billion – a 10 percent increase over 2022 – in critical support for 5 million people through programs such as public housing and the housing voucher program, addresses the homelessness crisis across the country, and expands affordable housing with over 140,000 new housing vouchers for individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness and 5,600 new units for seniors and people with disabilities.

Safety is at the forefront of the minds of the people in this country today. This is why the bill recognizes that living without fear for your family’s health and well-being is a right for all, not a privilege for the few. It invests in public housing improvements, lead paint and radon remediation, and the installation of energy and water efficient systems.

Safe and affordable housing is not enough if American families cannot also travel safely and efficiently to go to work, to go to the grocery store, or to go to school. We make our roads safer with a combined $2 billion in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

We strengthen and sustain the reliability and resiliency of our transportation and housing infrastructure, we support our most vulnerable. The bill includes over $2.6 billion to cut emissions, improve resiliency, and address inequities, while creating and sustaining tens of thousands of jobs in construction and related industries. It indeed works to combat the climate crisis and generates economic opportunities for working- and middle-class families.

Finally, I’m proud of the investments we are making for Community Projects. In this bill we included an overwhelming majority of requests from Democrats and Republicans—over 1,800 in total. Projects that will meet the needs of our constituents and are genuinely community projects.

Before I end, which I will, I want to say thank you to the majority side: Christina Monroe, Xavier Arriaga, Winnie Chang, Josephine Eckert, Rachel Kyes, and Samhita Subramanian. And on the minority side, I want to thank: Doug Disrud and Alyssa Erdel.

Again, I say a thank you to Chairman Price, Vice Chair Quigley, and Ranking Member Diaz-Balart. I urge my colleagues to support this legislation, and yield back.

117th Congress