DeLauro Statement to Rules Committee on Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act

2021-09-21 10:55

House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) today delivered the following remarks to the House Rules Committee in support of H.R. 5304, which continues vital federal funding through December 3 and provides disaster relief – the rising cost of climate change – and support Afghanistan evacuees.

Thank you very, very much, Mr. Chairman, and I want to say a thank you to you and Ranking Member Cole and thank you for your kind words, and to all the Members of the Committee. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before the Rules Committee to discuss the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act.

As our nation continues to face the COVID-19 pandemic and economic challenges, this bill extends funding for critical federal programs through December 3. It supports the working families who live paycheck to paycheck and the middle class families and we support them in what way? Education, health, housing, public safety programs and it ensures that we can continue to help the most vulnerable.

The funding in this bill invests in early childhood education, our schools, high quality training programs. It protects public health, it safeguards our consumers from dangerous products and unsafe food. It will support hungry families, provide housing for those who need a place to live. And it will help keep our communities and our entire nation safe.

However, 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. And I might add that the House has passed nine of the 12 appropriations bills, its my understanding that the Senate [Appropriations Committee] has passed three, Ag, MilCon, Energy and Water –and they need to deal with the rest of their appropriations bill and at that time we can come together to talk through where we will ultimately end up for 2022.

But even as we provide for these vital efforts, we cannot wait until December to address climate emergencies that require federal resources. That’s why this legislation includes emergency supplemental appropriations to respond to recent disasters to address needs created by recent developments in Afghanistan as a result of ending the 20 year war.

The climate crisis gave us the devastation of Hurricane Ida and last year’s hurricanes, recent wildfires, severe droughts and winter storms. The survivors of these tragedies need our support, which is why I am proud that this bill provides $28.6 billion in desperately needed relief and $7.5 billion for Hurricane Ida, but it is desperately needed relief for survivors and long-term support for families, for small businesses, for hard-hit communities. And I might add, the relief is provided to virtually all corners of the nation, because all corners of the nation have been suffering. It helps to rebuild in the wake of these disasters and provides a lifeline to families struggling to get back on their feet.

At the same time, the bill responds to the humanitarian needs of Afghan evacuees because President Biden finally ended the war in Afghanistan. Our Afghan allies loyally served the United States, and the United States must honor our commitments to them and to their families. The bill delivers $6.3 billion for urgent humanitarian assistance in the region while supporting temporary housing, security screening and the long-term resettlement of Afghan evacuees in the United States, where they will contribute richly to the fabric of our nation. And I personally believe that this is a moral imperative that we have, to move in this direction.

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

I believe we must pass the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act to support the working families in this country.

I respectfully request an appropriate rule for Floor consideration of the legislation and look forward to answering your questions.

117th Congress