Chairwoman Lowey Floor Remarks on Appropriations Minibus H.R. 2740

2019-06-12 12:51

WASHINGTON — House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey today delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in support of H.R. 2740, the first minibus of fiscal year 2020 appropriations bills:

Today we bring four bills to the Floor that reject the slash-and-burn approach of the Trump administration and instead chart a new course – one that increases investments in American families to make up for lost ground; one that gives every person a better chance at a better life.

With these bills, we are investing For The People. We invest in education and in the health of the American people; in infrastructure and in the environment; in our national security and in the needs of service members and military families.

And let me just say – because, frankly, the Administration’s misuse of government funds should concern both parties – this bill includes necessary oversight provisions to prohibit the Administration from misappropriating funds, including for a border wall.

This hallowed institution must not be a rubber stamp for presidential pet projects.

As Chair of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, I am proud of the Fiscal Year 2020 State and Foreign Operations division, which reflects Congressional priorities that advance United States foreign policy.

The allocation of $56.381 billion, a 3.9% increase above Fiscal Year 2019, is critical to support important investments in our national security, fund our international commitments, and repair America’s reputation abroad.

This bill rejects the Administration’s unacceptable budget request and irresponsible policies and, rather, strives to uphold many bipartisan congressional priorities.

America’s foreign policy is strongest when diplomacy, development, AND defense are well-funded and equally prioritized, as many of today’s global challenges cannot be addressed by military intervention alone. 

I want to quickly highlight some of the key provisions in this division. Unlike the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2020 request, this bill would ensure ample funding for humanitarian assistance, multilateral organizations, basic education, and reproductive health services.

It would also permanently repeal the anti-woman Global Gag Rule and prevent prior funds from implementing this destructive policy.

To restore U.S. leadership on fighting climate change, the bill would replace the prohibition on the Green Climate Fund with permissive authority and prohibit the use of funds to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. And it would provide robust funding to our key allies while protecting our investments in the Northern Triangle.

Members on both sides of the aisle know these efforts save lives, promote goodwill, and support American interests abroad. This bill would support these programs and restore American leadership in the world.

Our talented Appropriations subcommittee chairs will tell you more about what the other parts of this package do For the People.

In totality, this legislation truly is a product of hard work and bipartisan collaboration, with input from Members on both sides of the aisle, that meets the diverse needs of our nation.

Hubert Humphrey once said that “the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those in the shadows of life.”

This has been our goal. If we pass this bill, it can be our achievement.

So, as we consider this bill, let’s do so in good faith. Let’s pass this bill for the good of the American people.

I urge my colleagues to join me in support of this bill and I reserve the balance of my time.


116th Congress