Womack Remarks at FY23 Financial Services and General Government Full Committee Markup
Thank you, Madam Chair.
First, let me thank the chairman of the subcommittee for his friendship and approach to the committee's work. I recognize the hard work from him and his staff, which have allowed us to move the process forward. I would also like to thank my staff as well.
I am grateful the chairman included many priorities for Republican Members and addressed several bipartisan priorities such as helping small businesses, supporting sanctions programs, and providing additional security funding for the Supreme Court.
Unfortunately, as currently drafted, the bill’s uncontrolled baseline spending is just simply without justification and ignores our unsustainable fiscal trajectory. It also includes several controversial policy changes I cannot support.
Last year, during our markups, I expressed concern that the administration’s excessive spending was ushering in historically high debt and inflation. Unfortunately, these concerns have materialized. This bill further contributes to our growing debt and inflationary problems that are hindering the recovery and will burden future generations of Americans.
The bill before us proposes a 17% increase in discretionary spending over fiscal year 2022.
Numerous agencies funded in the bill receive a double-digit percentage increase over last year, including a 30 percent for the Federal Trade Commission, a 20 percent increase for White House Offices appropriation, and a 20 percent increase for the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
While I believe the IRS could use some additional resources for specific concerns, the bill provides them with a $1 billion, or 8 percent, increase.
While much of the federal workforce has been teleworking for more than two years, this bill provides a $1.6 billion increase to GSA, most of which is for federal buildings and vehicles. I was hoping that the lessons learned during the pandemic could lead to savings in office space and travel expenses, not more.
There are also several controversial policy changes included in the bill, DC tax dollars to fund abortions and removing the prohibition on Federal Employee Health Benefits funding for abortions.
While I have many concerns with the bill at this stage in the process, I am hopeful that, just like last year, at some point in the near future, we will be able to reach a bipartisan and bicameral agreement on spending and eliminate controversial policy changes.
I am confident that as this process moves forward, we can continue working together to find bipartisan agreement on the items that matter most. I look forward to the discussion on the amendments presented.
I yield back.