Statements

March 12, 2019 Statement
The Capitol Police is an essential agency of the Legislative Branch. Chief, your team is charged with keeping Congress - it’s Members, employees, visitors, and facilities both here and within our districts safe and protected from harm’s way. The men and women of the Capitol Police put their lives on the line each day to ensure Congress is able to operate efficiently. You do your jobs so that we can do ours in a safe, secure but open environment. Thank you Chief and all the officers and civilians of the Capitol Police that work tirelessly to ensure the safety and security of the Capitol complex.
March 12, 2019 Statement
FEMA has a demanding job. Congress has given FEMA very broad and flexible authority and a difficult mission. We ask FEMA to help people and communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from some of the worst days they will ever face. FEMA employees do this frequently, and with long periods away from home and families. And we fully recognize that no matter how many times FEMA does amazing things, it is usually the things that don’t go well that get reported in the media and to members of Congress. While this subcommittee is very supportive of FEMA, its employees, and its mission, that does not abrogate our responsibility for vigorous oversight. During this hearing, and as we work with you going forward, we intend to ask tough questions. This is not to make things more difficult, but to ensure we are fully informed as part of our responsibility to see that FEMA carries out its mission in a fast, efficient, and effective manner.
March 12, 2019 Statement
I have an abiding interest in your work and what you do. We must do everything that we can to eliminate fraud, waste, and abuse, and mismanagement. And we must do all we can to assure that all of the USDA programs over which this subcommittee has oversight are operated with the best possible efficiencies – in order to create the best possible outcome for those who use the agency. I was particularly pleased to see your annual plan for fiscal year 2019 focuses on many of the concerns of this Subcommittee. From enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act, to food safety threats, to oversight of disaster assistance programs, we rely on you to conduct audits and investigations to ensure the programs we fund are run efficiently and that issues are addressed in a timely manner.
March 12, 2019 Statement
In fiscal year 2019, Treasury’s budget request stated its intent to use available funds to support investigations and other activities to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The recent decision to redirect these funds towards border fencing recklessly undermines the ability of Treasury and Homeland Security to address known threats against our financial system—and the nation.
March 12, 2019 Statement
Our public witnesses represent a wide array of perspectives and expertise that help Congress better assess the impact and effectiveness of foreign assistance. As we assess the President’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2020, your voices are critical to the appropriations process. Let me be clear: Our nation’s security cannot afford a budget that does not adequately fund our diplomatic and development programs, or life-saving humanitarian assistance. The draconian cuts this administration continues to advocate are irresponsible – particularly at a time of unprecedented human suffering – and wholesale, haphazard cuts are not an option.
March 12, 2019 Statement
We have a duty to be examining predatory for-profit colleges. One, because this subcommittee is charged with oversight of the Department of Education. Two, because we fund the Pell grant program. And, for-profit colleges receive nearly 14% of all Pell Grant funding. Last year, the University of Phoenix was the largest recipient of Pell Grants—not just among for-profits but all colleges and universities (they received more than $200 million). Phoenix has committed a number of violations, including deceptive or unfair targeting of military veterans in the advertising, marketing or sale of products or services. As a result, the Department of Defense suspended the University of Phoenix’s ability to recruit on U.S. military bases and its access to Title IV funds. So, it is our responsibility in this arena to be sure we shine a light on those bad actors, who seek to scam students and taxpayers, and thereby block that door to education.
March 12, 2019 Statement
The fiscal year 2020 budget request for the House of Representatives is 1.4 billion dollars. This request will allow us Members an opportunity to retain and hire the best and the brightest. The work we do here is important and it requires a “certain set of skills” to negotiate legislation that will move our country forward. This request also includes funding that will help us to maintain and grow our physical and cyber security postures, two areas that remain a top priority for this Committee.
March 12, 2019 Statement
For more than 60 years, the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice has been a shining example to our nation. It has fought for marginalized communities, protected basic rights, and ensured justice for all communities. In communities of color, the Civil Rights Division holds a place of reverence that is well earned through a record of achievement. The mission of the division is essential to ensuring that ALL Americans receive equal protection under the law.
March 12, 2019 Statement
The Related Agencies title is the smallest section of the bill but has a great impact on our country’s history and our Veterans. Frankly, I am disappointed and concerned to see that once again each of your Agencies is flat funded in the President’s Budget. I am concerned that we aren’t keeping up with the maintenance needs of the American Battle Monuments around the world, which honor our fallen servicemembers.
March 12, 2019 Statement
Intercity passenger rail moves millions of Americans every year, and it serves as an economic engine for rural and urban communities. Rail service, when running smoothly, offers passengers an extremely attractive travel option compared to car and aviation alternatives, especially over short and medium distances.

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