Granger Remarks at Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education FY22 Subcommittee Markup

Jul 12, 2021

I want to thank the chair for presenting the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education bill.

Chair DeLauro unveils this bill today as the leader of our full committee and the subcommittee.

I know she has worked extremely hard to have the opportunity to hold both of these positions, and I have great respect for her dedication to these issues. 

I also want to thank Mr. Cole, who serves as both the vice ranking member of the full committee and the ranking member of this subcommittee.

I appreciate Tom’s ability to find common ground when it is necessary, but also to clearly highlight when the parties disagree.

I need to begin my remarks today by noting concerns that he and I share about this year’s Labor-HHS bill.

This bill, like several other bills we have seen brought before this committee, is based on a topline funding level that only the majority party has agreed to. 

This bill includes an unprecedented increase that is nearly 40 percent more than last year.  This is simply too high, especially when many programs in this bill have already received billions of dollars over the past year from COVID spending bills. 

Quite frankly, I do not believe these federal agencies have the capacity to manage this amount of funding over such a short amount of time. I question whether the proper oversight can be performed.

This morning we are beginning our last day of subcommittee markups, and we do not have much time left before the end of the fiscal year.

I fear that continuing to pursue these unrealistic spending levels without bipartisan buy-in could leave all of government in a continuing resolution in October. 

That said, the incredibly high price tag of this bill is not the only problem with this bill.

For the first time in nearly fifty years, this bill abandons long-standing, bipartisan language that prevents federal tax dollars from being used to pay for abortions. 

The bill also removes language carried for the last sixteen years that protects American doctors and nurses from being forced to participate in abortions.

This is the first time such an extreme position has been taken in this bill, and this shift in policy could actually destroy decades of bipartisan work.

Unless this longstanding compromise protecting human life is restored, this bill should not move forward.

My colleagues and I are going to have to strongly oppose it because it is out of step with the views of most Americans. It is just that simple.

There are many other highly controversial items included in the bill today that must also be addressed, including:

  • Language relating to labor law,
  • Excessive spending on new, unauthorized programs, and
  • Provisions relating to immigration enforcement.

Madam Chair, Republicans stand ready to discuss topline spending levels and funding for individual programs that will help improve the health and lives of the American people. 

But, restoring language that protects the lives of unborn children and protects Americans from being forced to participate – with their skills or with their tax dollars – in what they believe to be the taking of innocent human life, must be the first step.

This is the only way to get our appropriations bills through the House and the Senate and signed into law.

There will be an amendment later this week to restore this bipartisan language, and I hope that it will be agreed to before the bill proceeds to the House floor.

Thank you, Madam Chair. I yield back.