Chairwoman Lee Statement at Full Committee Markup of Fiscal Year 2023 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Funding Bill

2022-06-29 10:37

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), Chairwoman of the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Appropriations Committee's markup of the fiscal year 2023  State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs bill:

“Good morning. It is my honor to present the fiscal year 2023 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations bill.

“To craft this bill, we have received constructive input from colleagues across Congress and conducted oversight hearings for the Department of State, USAID, the United Nations, and counternarcotics programs. The bill reflects 6,800 congressional requests, reinforcing just how much our colleagues on both sides of the aisle are invested in these important global programs, which are critical to addressing today’s many challenges.         I would like to thank Ranking Member Rogers for his input and partnership as well as the work of our subcommittee members – Representatives Meng, Price, Frankel, Torres, Espaillat, Wexton, Diaz-Balart, Reschenthaler and Letlow.  I also want to thank our Chair, Rosa DeLauro, and Ranking Member Granger for their leadership of this process.

“The FY23 State and Foreign Operations bill provides $64.57 billion in new discretionary budget authority, which is $8.5 billion above the fiscal year 2022 enacted level and $1.76 billion below the fiscal year 2023 request.  The resources provided through this bill to diplomatic, development, and humanitarian efforts enables the United States to be on the front lines every single day working to save lives, promote stability, and increase engagement with people around our interconnected world.

“While we seek to put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, many countries are still struggling.  I am proud of the historic investment of $11 billion that the FY23 House bill includes for global health, a field where U.S. leadership is literally saving lives every day. The bill provides $2 billion to support the United States pledge to the upcoming seventh replenishment for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant economic and social harm globally. The development investments in this bill are crucial to reversing the damage and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, including eliminating extreme poverty, achieving an AIDS-free generation, and supporting efforts to build inclusive, equitable, and accountable societies for everyone.

“The House bill also prioritizes the resources, programs, and policies for the protection and advancement of women and girls.  This is especially important in light of the attack on women’s health and reproductive freedom in our own country. Neglecting the reproductive health care of women will limit any progress we can make in providing economic opportunity or bolstering women’s political leadership in the United States and around the world. More needs to be done to recognize the ongoing injustice felt by half the population who disproportionately bears the burden of poverty, poor health, violence, and climate change.  The funding in this bill moves us in the right direction.

“We are also increasing our commitment to combating the climate crisis, including a $1.6 billion contribution to the Green Climate Fund and an additional

“$1.6 billion for bilateral climate programs. We are running out of time. Climate change is becoming more expensive, more dangerous, and more devastating to the planet, with deadly effects here at home and overseas. This is a national security issue. Nowhere is this more true than for small island developing states in the Caribbean, who have special vulnerabilities we help address in this bill. Are we to ignore their needs and force them to turn to our competitors like the PRC for help?

“The bill also supports rebuilding our nation’s diplomatic and development workforce, and ensures it reflects the diversity of the American people. We build on the strides made last year to provide increased funding, authority, and guidance to push the agencies under our jurisdiction to move faster and be more bold in addressing the entrenched institutional barriers to diversity.

“Lastly, the House mark affirms our support for key allies and partners around the world, including Israel and Jordan; assists countries facing down Russian aggression; and provides strategic support for our neighbors in Central America. We heard from members, and our bill reflects, the importance of supporting the people of Central

“America by addressing corruption, combating violence against women and standing up for human rights.

“I was pleased to be able to participate in the Summit of the Americas a few weeks ago. This bill supports a renewed focus on our own Hemisphere and the commitments made by the Administration at the Summit, including the needs of our neighbors in the Caribbean—needs that have too often been neglected.

“The bill also reaffirms strong support for achieving a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and increases our humanitarian and economic assistance for the Palestinian people. We also provide support for Africa and the countries in the Indo-Pacific as we have a mutual interest in deeper and stronger partnerships for the future.

“The challenges that this bill seeks to address are immense – economic and social pain coming out of a historic global pandemic, renewed Russian aggression, global displacement and conflict, and rising food security needs that threaten to further destabilize whole countries and regions. The bill before us today moves us to greater engagement with our allies and partners, including the United Nations and UN organizations like UNFPA, UNICEF, and UNESCO, to work collectively on these challenges.

“I want to thank the staff that have worked so hard to get this bill before us – Clelia, Craig, Jon, Marin, Jason, Jean and Erin as well as their minority partners – Susan, Jamie, and John. I also would like to recognize the work of Greg Adams and Julie Nickson on my personal staff.

“Before I close, I want to recognize the collaboration and friendship of a colleague on the SFOPS Subcommittee. Chairman David Price and I have served together for many years and his commitment to the agencies and issues addressed in this bill is known to us all, including through his leadership of the House Democracy Partnership. It is my great honor to announce a new legislative strengthening program, named after Chairman Price, in the FY23 House mark.  His commitment to bringing citizens together and building the role of legislative bodies, on a bipartisan basis, in developing democracies will be known for years to come despite his departure from this Committee and the Congress.

“I am proud of this bill and hope my colleagues will support it in recognition of the great needs facing us globally.  Thank you and I yield back.”



117th Congress