Lowey Remarks on House Floor on Security Minibus
Typically, the Legislative Branch, Military Construction and Veteran’s Affairs, Energy and Water, and Defense bills would be debated and amended by the full house individually.
Regrettably, we are debating this $790 billion so-called security minibus in only two hours for some reason other than necessity. Substantive amendments, chosen at the discretion of the Chairman of the Rules Committee, will be debated for 10 minutes. We also expect $1.6 billion in Border Wall funding to be added through a rules gimmick meant to prevent an up or down vote on the Wall. The undemocratic maneuver by the Rules Committee to unilaterally remove Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s amendment to debate a new AUMF, which received bipartisan support in Committee, is simply outrageous.
All the promises of Republican leadership of returning to regular order have been broken.
I do, however, thank Chairman Frelinghuysen for conducting business in the Appropriations Committee markups fairly and collegially as the minority offered amendments late into the nights.
On top of the many procedural inequities, the Majority’s “increased defense spending” is a mirage. Shattering Budget Control Act caps would trigger automatic across-the-board cuts of 13 percent to every defense account. Yet the Majority pretends the sequester, which would cut $72 billion in defense funding in this bill, isn’t real.
Playing politics with the bill that funds the troops by inserting the toxic border wall to it is beyond the pale.
Why not include the FBI or the entire Homeland Security bill, IF the intention is to pass security related bills? Securing our homeland goes beyond the Department of Defense and our own budgets in the Legislative Branch.
The Republican approach to funding our government for FY18 all but guarantees a short-term, if not a full-year, Continuing Resolution. Just like every year, Democratic votes will be needed to enact appropriations law. I hope we will soon start to work together to invest responsibly in both defense and nondefense priorities to grow the economy, create jobs, and secure the country.
I urge you to vote NO on this bill, which would waste $1.6 billion on Trump’s border wall, uses fraudulent defense numbers, guts critical investments in clean energy, includes poison pill riders, and leaves the remaining spending bills with no path forward.
I reserve the balance of my time.