Chair DeLauro Statement at the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Request for The Department of Commerce Hearing
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee's hearing on the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Request for The Department of Commerce:
Thank you so much Mr. Chairman, and Ranking Member Aderholt for holding this important hearing. And I want to welcome Secretary Raimondo for your first appearance before this subcommittee! It was such a great pleasure to welcome you to Connecticut earlier this week and to talk more in depth about the profound ways in which registered apprenticeships and job training programs can help furnish our workers with the resources and skills they need to build successful careers and a path to a brighter, more prosperous future. Thank you so much for being in Connecticut.
I deeply appreciate the work you are doing to build back better and revitalize our workforce and the American economy following the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. And I am grateful for the work you have been doing especially as it relates to women and in strengthening the care economy. While I know this is not something specifically within the jurisdiction of the Department of Commerce I do want to stress the importance of addressing the issues we have seen in the child care economy that have been further exacerbated by this pandemic so that women and mothers can go back to work. As you know, the recent release of the 2020 Census results showed a somewhat surprising drop in the birthrate. This is despite surveys showing that women want to have as many babies as ever, so I think there is no doubt that this is due in large part to the so-called “She-cession” and the lack of childcare, daycare, and education resources for American families across the income spectrum. So again, I think this is a particularly important part of what you are doing, Madam Secretary, in your work to bring back our economy and create jobs.
But let me turn more specifically to the Biden Administration’s funding request for the Department of Commerce. As you know, the 2022 discretionary request for the Department of Commerce is $11.4 billion, a 28 percent increase. And it includes significant increases for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, Minority Business Development Agency, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). As someone from a coastal district I know very well how important it is for NOAA to continue investing in climate resilience and supporting coastal communities.
This funding request also includes $500 million over 2021 for the next generation of NOAA’s satellites, incorporating a diverse array of new technologies, which would improve data for weather and climate forecasts and provide critical information to the public.
Finally, in addition to these specific funding proposals, the administration is also sending a strong signal that support for trade enforcement and addressing unfair trade practices will continue. I fully believe that these important initiatives, coupled with further investments in the American Jobs Plan to spur economic growth and create jobs, will play a crucial role in rebuilding and revitalizing the American economy, and I look forward to learning more about this administration’s plans for the future.
So, let me say thank you again, Secretary Raimondo, for all of your tireless work and for joining us to discuss these critical issues.