Chair Quigley Statement at Office of Management and Budget FY22 Budget Request Hearing

2021-06-09 15:08

Congressman Mike Quigley (D-IL), Chair of the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's oversight hearing on the Office of Management and Budget FY22 Budget Request:

This morning we welcome the Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Shalanda Young. I should say, we welcome back, because this Committee knows Acting Director Young very well. She worked for the Committee for 14 years, serving as Democratic staff director beginning in 2017. I am thrilled that President Biden has chosen Ms. Young for this role. He could not have made a better choice for one of the government’s most important and influential positions. Be warned, Ms. Young – we know well the great job you did at the Appropriations Committee, and we have equally high expectations for you in your new role.

We last had OMB testify before this subcommittee in March 2020. What a difference a year makes. At that time, we heard about a budget that aimed to drastically shrink almost every part of Federal government, except for Defense. That view of limited government has not aged well. It was swift action by Congress – and execution by Federal agencies – that allowed us to deliver much-needed support to the American people during the COVID pandemic and to develop the vaccines that are helping us to emerge from this crisis.

This year’s Budget builds upon the lessons of the last year by recognizing the important role of government and making long overdue investments in critical domestic programs. The Budget proposes necessary increases to ensure we can deal with the lingering effects of the pandemic and help us become more resilient against future health crises. It takes steps to address the structural economic and racial inequities highlighted by the pandemic, alleviate poverty, and ensure that we have a society that works for everyone – not just the richest Americans. And it recognizes the urgency of taking aggressive action to mitigate an existential threat to America and the rest of the world – climate change. I look forward to discussing these proposals with you in more detail, Acting Director Young.

What is true on the large scale is also true on the smaller scale. The last Administration undermined the authority of OMB career staff, overrode their expertise to illegally delay and divert funds, and attempted to remove their job security. Many experienced staffers left the agency, and we fear they may have left Federal service forever. According to the most recent Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, job satisfaction at most agencies improved in 2020. But it plunged at OMB by 16 percent. This year, the new leadership team is placing a priority on supporting and expanding the OMB career staff. The agency is asking for $121.9 million in fiscal year ‘22, a 14.3% increase over fiscal year ‘21, to help rebuild the agency’s expertise and morale.

Acting Director Young, I look forward to discussing with you in more detail these new OMB initiatives and how you will leverage the experience you gained at the Committee to maximize the impact of any new agency funding. Again, congratulations on your new role.

117th Congress