Granger Remarks at FY23 State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee Markup
Thank you, Madam Chair, for yielding, and for your work on the fiscal year 2023 State-Foreign Operations appropriations bill. I also want to recognize the work of the former chairman of the committee and the current ranking member of the subcommittee, Mr. Rogers.
I previously served as chair of this subcommittee and know that this bill funds many programs that have bipartisan support – the most important being the funding for Israel. I am pleased to see that Chairwoman Lee has included $3.3 billion for Israel’s security.
Even though we can agree on some spending priorities in the bill, the 15 percent funding increase overall is far too high and is based on a funding level that passed the House without support from Republicans. At a time of record-high national debt and soaring inflation, we should try to reduce spending where we can.
In addition to my concerns about spending, there are very serious policy issues with this bill that will prevent Members on our side of the aisle from supporting it. Once again, there are alarming changes to long-standing provisions that protect life. This bill removes language prohibiting foreign aid from being used to pay for abortions.
The bill also includes a permanent repeal of the Mexico City policy and other controversial changes. These are extreme positions widely opposed by Members on my side of the aisle and by American taxpayers. As I made very clear last year, moving forward in this way risks the bipartisan support that global health programs have had for many years.
The bill also includes too many conditions on aid to our key partners around the world. As Russia wages war in Ukraine and China continues its aggressive actions, we should be focusing on making our partnerships stronger, not weaker. I am concerned that more conditions will push our partners away.
Finally, the bill drops long-standing language about two of the most controversial international organizations. Conditions on the United Nations Human Rights Council and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency have been in place since I was chair of the subcommittee, and I am very concerned that they have been dropped.
We must not walk away from our commitment to ensure oversight and demand accountability for the bias against Israel at the United Nations.
As this process moves forward, the concerns I have laid out must be addressed to get votes from Members on our side of the aisle.
The long-standing language carried in previous bills must be retained, and the controversial policies that were added must be dropped. With that framework in place, we will work to reach agreement on funding so this bill can get signed into law.
Thank you, Madam Chair. I yield back.