Granger Remarks at FY23 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Full Committee Markup
Thank you, Madam Chair, for yielding. First, I want to thank the chair and ranking member for their work on fiscal year 2023 appropriations for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. I also want to acknowledge the committee staff who have worked on this bill.
Unfortunately, just like the other markups before this one, this bill is based on a funding level that passed the House without Republican support. In addition, we disagree with several policy provisions that were both dropped from, and added to, this particular bill.
This bill fails to include long-standing language prohibiting the transfer of detainees currently at Guantanamo Bay. These detainees are the worst of the worst, and we need assurance that they will never be moved to the United States.
The bill also goes well beyond our committee’s jurisdiction with the provisions and language regarding fertility treatments for veterans. This is a complicated issue that should be carefully considered by the authorizing committee – the House Veterans Affairs Committee.
We must move beyond these controversial provisions so that we may:
- Fund the many important and needed military construction projects in the bill;
- Improve military family housing and child development centers; and
- Make certain that our veterans receive the health care they deserve and have earned.
I also need to address a bill called the “PACT Act” that the House will consider in the near future. If passed, it will move some veterans’ health care costs from discretionary spending counted against this bill to mandatory spending. This shift should affect the topline funding level and this subcommittee’s allocation.
Even though these funds will move off of our books, this committee should work with the House Veterans Affairs Committee to ensure this new authority is used appropriately and the VA is held accountable. Our nation’s veterans and taxpayers deserve nothing less.
In closing, while there are many issues that need to be resolved, I am committed to getting this important bill enacted into law. Thank you, Madam Chair, I yield back.