DeLauro Floor Remarks on Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act

2021-09-21 19:01

House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) today delivered the following remarks the House Floor in support of H.R. 5305, the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act:

M. Speaker, I rise in support of the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act, which extends funding for federal programs and services through December 3.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, amid many other serious challenges, this bill provides tens of billions of dollars to support the working- and middle-class families who live paycheck to paycheck. It supports them through investments in education, health, housing, and public safety programs. And it ensures that we can continue to help the most vulnerable.

Through investments in our schools, high-quality job training programs, and early childhood education, this bill will grow opportunity and uplift hard-working American families. It will put food on the table for those who are hungry and provide a roof over the head for those who are unhoused. Finally, it will protect public health and safeguard our consumers from dangerous products and unsafe food.

But let me be clear. This is not a long-term solution. It simply allows additional time for bicameral, bipartisan negotiations on a final year bill for fiscal year 2022. The House has advanced our process, and we are ready to begin negotiations with the Senate as soon as we complete work on this legislation.

As this bill provides critical support for our families and communities it also addresses recent emergencies that require federal resources and incorporates feedback from members on both sides of the aisle. It provides emergency supplemental appropriations to respond to the recent disasters caused by climate change and to address needs created by the end of more than 20 years of war in Afghanistan. 

The climate crisis gave us the devastation of Hurricane Ida and last year’s hurricanes, recent wildfires, severe droughts, extreme heat, and winter storms. As a result, thousands of Americans across the United States are still in great need of assistance and support. I am proud that this bill provides $28.6 billion in desperately needed federal aid, including $7.5 billion for Hurricane Ida, so that survivors, small businesses, and hard-hit communities can rebuild and put struggling families back on their feet. We provide this relief to virtually all corners of the nation, because all corners of the nation need our help. 

As we respond to these disasters in the United States, we must address humanitarian needs resulting from the end of the war in Afghanistan. This bill delivers $6.3 billion for urgent humanitarian assistance in the region and honors our commitments to our Afghan allies and their families who are now in the United States. It provides funding to support temporary housing, security screenings, and long-term resettlement of these Afghan evacuees. These people risked their lives to serve our nation, and it is our moral imperative to protect them and to help them get back on their feet.  

Finally, the legislation suspends the statutory debt limit through December 2022.

M. Speaker, with this bill we are doing what is right: supporting working families and this country.  

I urge my colleagues to support this rule and I reserve the balance of my time.

117th Congress