Chairman Rogers Opening Statement on FY 2013 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill for Subcommittee Markup

Jul 18, 2012

Thank you, Mr. Chairman for yielding. We have before us the bill to fund the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and related agencies for Fiscal Year 2013. The members of the Subcommittee and staff have worked diligently to put forward a good bill that balances the realities of our dire fiscal situation with the need to protect our most vulnerable citizens in the face of these continued economic woes.

Overall, this bill right-sizes these departments and agencies, providing roughly $150 billion in funding, which is $6.3 billion below last year and some $8.8 billion below the President’s request. Through Chairman Rehberg’s keen eye, the Subcommittee has endeavored to fund proven and effective programs covering everything from workplace safety, to rural health care, to early childhood education. A lot of thoughtful work has gone into the discretionary accounts in this bill.

However, while this bill makes strong strides to rein in spending and over regulation to help our economy grow, our recovery continues to sputter. Our nation’s unemployment is deadlocked at over 8 percent, with more Americans being added to the disability rolls than landing jobs this past quarter. Yet the President has only worsened the situation by continuing lending, tax, and regulatory policies that stifle our entrepreneurial spirit, over-empower regulators, and drive companies from the marketplace. His massive health care law promises to tax individuals and businesses large and small, while moving millions of Americans onto already hemorrhaging state Medicaid systems. All of this is adding to the extreme uncertainty for job creators, limiting their full potential to help rebound our economy. While the Supreme Court upheld this law last month, it does not mean that ObamaCare is good policy, and it doesn’t mean we should fund it.

In this bill, we do what we can to address the runaway spending created by ObamaCare and continue to eliminate duplicative and ineffective programs as we have for the last two fiscal years. I am incredibly proud of the work that all of you on this Committee have put forward to bring this, our twelfth and final FY13 Appropriations bill, forward today. It is a testament to your commitment to regular order that our Committee continues to function with efficiency, transparency and comity. I encourage you to support this bill and vote for its consideration in full Committee. Thank you.