Chair DeLauro Statement at Subcommittee Markup of Fiscal Year 2022 Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies​ Funding Bill

2021-07-12 17:36

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies​ Appropriations Subcommittee's markup of its fiscal year 2022 bill:

Chairman Price and Ranking Member Diaz-Balart, many thanks to you for your work. I also want to just say a thank to the subcommittee, the full Committee staff, personal office staffs all for their efforts. Please know how valued your work is in helping us to get where we are today at this subcommittee hearing.

After decades of disinvestment, I believe now is the time to make desperately needed robust investments to rebuild our nation, and that includes in transportation and affordable housing where the deck has been stacked in favor of the wealthy and big corporations for far too long.

This significant investment builds the architecture for the future by delivering far-reaching, forward-thinking progress for American families, and invests in the safety and well-being of people across the country. As we rebuild our crumbling infrastructure through transformative legislation, we will be able to spur job creation that cannot be outsourced, create a better living for the vulnerable, and small business and grow the middle class.

This bill addresses head-on the American infrastructure crisis. It provides $106 billion in budgetary resources to modernize and improve our nation’s transportation, including transit, airports, and passenger rail systems. By repairing crumbling infrastructure with a focus on equity, we will foster safer communities and long-lasting and inclusive economic growth.

But we can only get to rising prosperity that benefits all of us if we also take action to address a housing crisis that has left an affordable place to live out of reach for too many people in America. This bill recognizes that homeownership is a pathway to economic opportunity and self-sufficiency. It invests $44 billion in homeownership opportunities and rental assistance to support working families. And it strengthens protections for the vulnerable who would struggle to afford to keep a roof over their head with $21 billion to expand housing access, prevent evictions, and provide stable housing for people experiencing homelessness.

I know how vital these investments are for families across America. When I was a child in New Haven, Connecticut, I came home one Friday night. I was about 10 years old and our furniture was out in front of the house. We had been evicted. It was not because my parents weren’t working or struggling. They were. But it was hard financially for them. Ans so we went to live with my grandmother until we could get back on our feet. By building on prior housing investments made by this subcommittee, we build a future of opportunity and stability for vulnerable families.

As we support affordable housing, we must also recognize the need for those homes to be safe. That is why I am proud that this bill invests $590 million to mitigate threats like lead paint and radon, which are potentially life-threatening home health hazards. This is a true win-win for our communities, because this capital maintenance will create good-paying jobs and make our public housing safer.

Safe, strong, equitable, and resilient transportation and housing are critical to the success of our families. Every child deserves to wake up in a safe home and travel to school on a sound road. And parents deserve to know that they can get to work through reliable transit without worrying if this is the day they lose their job because the city bus was delayed again.

That is why I am so proud of this bill, which makes desperately needed investments in our nation. Once again, I say thank you to Chairman Price and Ranking Member Diaz-Balart and the staff for their work. I urge support from my colleagues for this critical bill, and I yield back.

117th Congress