Chairman Ryan Statement at Budget Hearing on Open World Leadership Center

2020-02-11 10:26

Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH), Chair of the Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's hearing on the Fiscal Year 2021 budget request for the Open World Leadership Center:

The Committee will come to order. I am pleased to welcome everyone to our first Legislative Branch hearing for the FY. 2021 cycle. Currently, we have 11 hearings scheduled this year, with most being doubleheaders, with the exception being the House Budget hearing. While I am excited to start the 2021 cycle, it is going to be a tough year for the subcommittee. As you all know, the budget cap for 2021 only increased by $2.5 billion for all non-defense agencies. Needless to say, we are going to have some tough decisions to make over the next few months because while this subcommittee is small in size, it has a very important function.

Turning to some positive news, I want to give you some subcommittee staffing news:  Our clerk, David Reich, has re-retired, despite our best efforts to keep him here. But we’re lucky that David is being replaced by Matt Washington, who has served on Defense, the Full Committee, and most recently as clerk of Military Construction-VA appropriations.  Several of you know him from his work on that subcommittee.  He’s going to have to get used to taking six zeroes off of every number, but on the other hand, he can escape the fights about funding for the border wall.  I know you’ll give him a warm welcome.

So, let’s get started, Ms. Sargus, thank you for being here today to discuss the Open World Leadership Center and your FY2021 budget request.

Although the budget for the Open World Center is small as compared to the rest of our Legislative Branch Agencies, it’s had a real impact in showcasing US values and democratic institutions in an area of the world where Russian officials stand firmly against our nation's democratic principles. It does so by facilitating visits to the US by legislators and other government officials from Russia, Ukraine, and other countries to meet with their colleagues here.

I understand the Center uses the strength and expertise of local volunteer organizations and cost-sharing in grant proposals to maximize savings. This is a benefit to the taxpayer, visiting countries, and local communities — a win-win for everyone involved.

We are thankful for the leadership of the Center, its staff, and the many volunteers across America who have worked hard to ensure the success of Open World.

I look forward to your testimony today and working with you to continue building global relationships.

116th Congress