Granger Remarks at State and Foreign Operations FY22 Subcommittee Markup

Jun 28, 2021

Madam Chair, thank you for yielding.

I want to thank you and Ranking Member Rogers for your work on the State and Foreign Operations bill for fiscal year 2022.

Unfortunately, this bill, like all of the ones we have marked up so far, is based on a topline funding level that only the Majority Party has agreed to.  

We must work together to come up with spending levels we can all support. 

We also must agree to drop controversial policy provisions. This bill contains some of the most troubling items yet, and I will address those specifically later in my remarks.

First, there are some areas where we agree, and I want to highlight those.

I want to thank the chair for including the full amount for Israel - $3.3 billion. Full funding makes it clear that the members of this committee are steadfast supporters of our great ally and partner. 

Funding was also maintained at the current level for other key partners in the Middle East, such as Egypt and Jordan. 

I hope the chair will work with us to ensure that the conditions on aid to Egypt do not prevent funding from reaching one of our most reliable partners in the region.

Now, I would like to discuss some of the most troubling items in this bill.

This bill includes a 12 percent funding increase, which is simply too high, especially because our military investments will not even keep up with inflation at the levels proposed.

One example of an enormous increase in this bill is the amount for the Green Climate Fund. Funding is provided at $1.6 billion, much higher than even the president requested. This cannot be justified. 

Unfortunately, this bill includes alarming changes to long-standing language to protect the unborn. Language that prohibits foreign aid from being used to pay for abortions was dropped entirely. 

This is the first time such an extreme position has been taken in this bill, and this shift in policy is going to be widely opposed by Members on my side of the aisle.

The bill also includes a permanent repeal of the Mexico City Policy and other controversial changes.  

Moving forward in this way could jeopardize the bipartisan support that global health programs have had for many years.

Finally, the bill weakens an important provision that has been carried unchanged for many years.

This language has held Palestinian leadership accountable for going to the United Nations and the International Criminal Court to advance their Anti-Israel agenda.  

Modifying it sends the wrong signal at an important time in the Middle East.

These kinds of partisan funding proposals and highly controversial policy riders must be addressed as the appropriations process moves forward.

Having chaired this subcommittee, I know how important these programs are. We are going to have to make significant changes to get support from Members on both sides of the aisle and get a bill signed into law.

We have a lot of work to do and not much time to complete it.

Thank you, Madam Chair. I yield back.