Chair DeLauro Statement at United States Agency for International Development (USAID) FY22 Budget Request

2021-05-27 11:25

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee's hearing on the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) FY22 Budget Request:

Thank you, Chairwoman Lee and Ranking Member Rogers, for holding this hearing. I too would like to welcome Ambassador Samantha Power today and thank her for testifying and for her decades of work supporting our world’s most vulnerable people. We are so fortunate to have such an experienced, principled diplomat and leader at the helm of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) at a time when American foreign assistance is more important than ever. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored just how imperative it is to care for our neighbors abroad. It has brought into stark relief the principle that when one of us suffers, we all suffer. When one of us gets sick, we all get sick. But when development efforts are well funded, the rest of the world is healthier and safer for all of us. 

As you well know, the world needs strong American leadership, especially through development and humanitarian assistance. That is why I am glad that President Biden’s discretionary request for fiscal year 2022 recommits to those values. 

To support the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden-Harris Administration has requested $10 billion for global health programs and reengagement with international organizations like the World Health Organization. This includes $1 billion, an $800 million increase from 2021, for global health security. This will not only help our nation and the world recover from this pandemic today, it will also ensure that we are well-prepared to tackle any healthcare threats in the future. 

In addition to the proposals embodied in the discretionary request, I want to thank you, Ambassador, and President Biden for helping deliver COVID-19 vaccines to at-risk populations around the world. It is so good to see that America is taking our rightful role leading the continuing fight against this pandemic.

And I call attention to my colleagues of the article in the Washington Post about two weeks ago: “Samantha Power wants to restore U.S. prestige by getting American-made vaccines ‘into arms’ around the world.” We thank you for that effort.  

Along with increased funding to fight COVID-19 worldwide, USAID needs more resources to advocate for human rights and democratic values, to combat corruption and democratic backsliding, and to protect against authoritarianism. 

I am confident that USAID will similarly recommit itself to advancing development specifically for women, mothers, and girls around the world, including in family planning and in educational, leadership, and economic opportunities.

None of this will matter in the long run, however, if we do not address the existential threat of global climate change. To that end, I am pleased that USAID is requesting $691 million, an increase of $200 million, to help developing countries adapt to climate change, expand clean energy production, and reduce emissions. 

Ambassador Power, I know that you are a tireless advocate for the world’s most vulnerable people and I hope you know that this Committee will be your partner as you lead USAID. I look forward to our discussion on the administration’s budget request and USAID’s goals for the coming year, and I thank you again for testifying this morning

117th Congress