Chair DeLauro Statement to Rules Committee on Seven-Bill Appropriations Minibus

2021-07-26 14:41

House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) today delivered the following remarks to the House Rules Committee in support of an appropriate rule for the House to consider H.R. 4502, a minibus of seven fiscal year 2022 appropriations bills:

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and to you and to Ranking Member Cole, the Members of the Committee: thank you for the opportunity to present H.R. 4502, a package of seven fiscal year 2022 Appropriations bills. I, too, want to say a thank you to the staff of the Appropriations Committee on both sides of the aisle, and as well to the staff of the Rules Committee for their hours and hours and hours that they put into these bills.

After decades of disinvestment and the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic, the time has come to reinvest in the American people. We have an opportunity to build the architecture for the future and make vital investments that address inequities and elevate American workers and families.

The transformative funding increases in the legislation before us will create good-paying American jobs, grow opportunity for the middle class and small businesses, and provide a lifeline for working families and the vulnerable.

Our investments in education, nutrition assistance, and rural communities ensure that every American has access to the resources and support they need to lead healthy, happy and productive lives. By rebuilding our public health and physical infrastructure and confronting the climate crisis, we are creating and sustaining good-paying American jobs and building back better from the pandemic.

As Chair of the Labor, Health, Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee, I want to turn to the transformative investments we are making in that bill to lift up struggling families, to support the vulnerable, and to help prepare our nation for future challenges.

The $253.8 billion we provide in the Labor-HHS bill represents a historic increase of 28 percent.

The bill invests in education and high-quality child care, with $7.4 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, $12.2 billion for Head Start, nearly a $20 billion increase in Federal support for high-poverty schools, and record funding for students with disabilities. The bill also provides continued support for Social and Emotional Learning and “whole child” approaches to education to meet the nuanced needs of all students.

The bill provides a $400 increase for the maximum Pell Grant, making post-secondary education more affordable, accessible, and achievable for more students. And with $1.13 billion for programs serving Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), community colleges, and under-resourced institutions of higher education, we are making our education system more equitable.

It gives workers the skills they need with $1.6 billion for the Employment and Training Administration— including a total of $285 million for Registered Apprenticeships and $3.1 billion for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) State Grants. And this bill also provides $100 million for the Strengthening Community Colleges Training Grant program. Together, these investments will enrich our nation’s workforce and create jobs especially as our young adults move into the workforce.

To protect worker’s paychecks and benefits and ensure workplace safety, this bill provides $2.1 billion, an increase of $305 million for worker protection agencies.

And it heeds the lessons of the pandemic by investing in public health and cutting-edge medical research. We provide a record investment for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including $1 billion for public health infrastructure and capacity, with an increase of $250 million for CDC’s global health efforts.

We also continue to invest in the National Institutes of Health, who made it possible to have a COVID-19 vaccine ready for use in less than a year. The $3.5 billion increase we have included will continue to accelerate lifesaving and life-sustaining biomedical research. This bill supports the President’s request to establish the Advance Research Projects Agency for Health, or ARPA–H, which will be indispensable in achieving breakthroughs in the treatment of diseases such as diabetes, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

To address the mental health crisis that has only been exacerbated by COVID-19, I am proud of the $100 million we were able to provide to help communities create a new Mental Health Crisis Response Partnership Pilot Program in partnership with our law enforcement agencies. And, as the Ranking Member knows, this comes directly out of the suggestions made at one of our hearings where we discussed mental health and law enforcement.

And once again, this bill provides $50 million for gun violence prevention research at NIH and CDC. This money will save lives and make our communities safer.

Finally, I am proud that this bill supports the more than three million men, women, and young adults who receive the full range of family planning and reproductive health services funded by Title X through a game-changing increase. And we ensure equal treatment for women no matter what their zip code is by finally repealing the discriminatory and harmful Hyde Amendment.

I have just scratched the surface of the historic and unprecedented investments contained in this funding package. Together, they meet this moment of great challenge for our country and the world.

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

117th Congress