Chair DeLauro Statement at Subcommittee Markup of Fiscal Year 2023 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Funding Bill
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Subcommittee's markup of its fiscal year 2023 bill:
Thank you very much, Chairwoman Lee and Ranking Member Rogers, and to the Members of the subcommittee for your work on this bill. I also add my thanks to the subcommittee staff. I’ll say it many, many times over and over again: you keep our names on the doors. So thank you very, very much.
For the past year and a half, Congressional Democrats and the Biden Administration have reaffirmed America’s presence as a leader on the world stage. And as Chairwoman Lee and I have consistently agreed on, our nation and our world are safer and healthier when, alongside defense, we provide significant funding for development and diplomacy.
With that as our guiding force, this bill serves as another significant step in our work to lead the world in confronting global challenges – and that begins with supporting our allies.
The bill provides continued support for our closest partners, such as Israel and Jordan, and for countries facing continuous threats from Russian aggression. Combined with the resources passed by this Committee this spring, this bill makes critical investments to help the Ukrainian people who are suffering the consequences of Russia’s unprovoked attack and strengthens our allies in the region as they fight to protect freedom and democracy. At the same time, we are reaffirming our leadership at organizations like the United Nations and increasing our funding for key UN agencies.
The atrocities being committed in Ukraine further highlight the desperate need to promote democracy, human rights, and anti-corruption efforts globally. In this bill, we strengthen and bolster democracy abroad with historic funding for democracy programs. And as we promote democracy and support our allies and partners, we provide over $1.7 billion to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific and counter growing malign influences in developing countries.
At the same time, we are supporting those who need us most. This bill responds to the changing needs of our world’s most vulnerable – needs exacerbated by natural disasters, conflict, rising food and fuel prices, and the pandemic. We are providing 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.
This is the right thing to do and the safe thing to do – because as the pandemic has made abundantly clear, keeping others safe keeps us safe as well. Viruses do not stop at the border. For that reason, we are continuing to strengthen our global public health infrastructure, confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, and preventing future pandemics. With almost $11 billion for these efforts, including $1 billion for global health security, we are supporting the health of families and communities all over the world. Along with fighting infectious diseases, we are improving maternal and child health outcomes all over the world.
In that vein, this bill advances women’s health care and women’s rights around the world. 299,000 women annually die of pregnancy-related causes because they cannot access the care they need. And 218 million women worldwide need contraception and cannot get it. That is why we will continue fighting for every woman and every girl around the world by funding programs that support them, family planning, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). We are also removing Helms amendment restrictions and the global Gag Rule on non-government organizations, repealing punitive and unnecessary restrictions on safe and legal abortion.
As we have done over the past year and a half, we are leading the world to confront the climate crisis. We are expanding global efforts to address environmental threats and reduce emissions by investing over $3.6 billion. These problems can only be tackled by partnering with others globally. This bill gives us the resources to strengthen U.S. leadership in this fight.
And finally, I want to take a moment to honor former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright who we lost this year. Secretary Albright was a true national treasure and a dear friend. Working with Chairwoman Lee, and in recognition of Secretary Albright’s historic, ceiling busting career, this bill names, in her honor, a $50 million fund to support political leadership opportunities for women.
And in honor of Chairman David Price’s retirement, 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. Strengthening democratic institutions abroad has been an important priority for Mr. Price, especially in his work as Chairman of the House Democratic Partnership.
I am so proud that these investments reflect the values that we hold so dear as a nation and make the world a safer, healthier, and a more habitable place.
Again, my thanks to Chairwoman Lee and Ranking Member Rogers. I urge my colleagues to support this legislation, and yield back.