Rogers Remarks At FY24 Budget Hearing For The Department of Commerce (As Prepared)

Apr 18, 2023

The Subcommittee will come to order. Without objection, the Chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time.

I would like to welcome everyone to this afternoon’s hearing. Thank you to our Subcommittee members and to Secretary Raimondo for being here today. I will begin by recognizing myself for an opening statement.

The Department of Commerce’s mission of promoting job creation and economic competitiveness is critical to our economy and to furthering American innovation.

The Department of Commerce has 13 major bureaus with a budget of over $11 billion. The FY24 budget request is $12.3 billion, an increase of over $1 billion, or 11% over the enacted level.

The Department’s diverse mission areas combine to help foster the innovation and development that propel the U.S. economy.

Whether it is research in emerging technologies such as quantum computing, development of improved industrial standards, advances in support of the commercial space industry, improvements in weather forecasting, or efforts to ensure fair trade, the Commerce Department is at the forefront of U.S. economic advancement.

The Commerce Department also administers a critical system of export controls to restrict the export of goods that could have a detrimental impact on the national security of the United States. These controls are helping us to hold Russia accountable for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and counter the mounting threat posed by China.

Closer to home, the Economic Development Administration administers the Assistance to Coal Communities program, which is vital to my district in Kentucky because it helps support job growth and industrial expansion.

Although I am very supportive of the Department’s mission and many of its bureaus, we have seen unsustainable growth in government spending that cannot be continued in good faith. The Department of Commerce in particular has received substantial discretionary and supplemental funding increases in recent years. These increases have far eclipsed typical discretionary budgets of many Commerce bureaus.

While I wholeheartedly support the Department’s mission of promoting job creation and economic competitiveness, we must ensure that funding is not only being used in accordance with Congressional intent, but also examine which programs are worthy of continued investment. 

As Appropriators, we can and will agree on responsible spending initiatives to continue advancing manufacturing and innovation, rural broadband deployment, and trade enforcement and compliance.

Secretary Raimondo, your efforts to promote U.S. economic interests and restore the U.S. as a leader in manufacturing are commendable.

In this hearing, and in the coming months, I look forward to discussing how we can work together to ensure that programs important to everyday Americans and American innovation are prioritized.

I would now like to recognize the ranking member of the Subcommittee, Mr. Cartwright.