DeLauro Floor Remarks on Continuing Resolution: “Once again, the Republican majority needs Democratic votes to govern.”

2023-11-14 16:32
Statement

WASHINGTON — House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) delivered the following remarks on the House floor:

Mr. Speaker, once again, the Republican majority needs Democratic votes to govern. We are considering this bill under suspension of the rules, because House Republicans could not agree to pass a rule on a bill to keep the government open and operating on behalf of the American people. They cannot do it.

This Continuing Resolution is flawed. Critically, it does nothing to help our allies. It does not include any emergency assistance for Israel, for Ukraine, our Indo-Pacific partners, for humanitarian aid, for childcare, or for disaster victims here at home.

At a time when the Departments of State and Defense need to quickly respond to global crises, House Republicans would put our diplomats and our warfighters under outdated funding levels into February, for more than one-third of the fiscal year. Not only is it irresponsible to kick the can down the road for several months, but it is really a waste of taxpayer dollars.

This proposal also shortchanges the WIC program. As a result of increased participation rates, the Administration requested an additional $405 million to ensure that we can meet demand for nutrition programs. The House Republican proposal includes no additional funds, and will require states to halt enrollment or scale back benefits.

A Continuing Resolution is a bridge to a final agreement. It should be judged on how it helps facilitate our goal, which is to update spending levels for full-year bills. A so-called “laddered” bill makes it harder to reach a final agreement. Why? It doubles the likelihood of future shutdowns. In a time of global crisis, we should promote stability, not chaos.

Ultimately, we are here because House Republicans broke the June budget agreement they overwhelmingly supported and that was signed into law by the President, which established a topline to be translated into allocations for each subcommittee. They then proceeded to waste the entire six weeks of the current stopgap bill overthrowing their own Speaker and pushing partisan spending measures that take us further from a final agreement.

Congress must avoid a shutdown. But we must find a path forward to finish full year bills. So, the worth of this agreement will be proven by what comes next. The only successful path forward requires the following:

First, the majority must recognize reality and abide by the bipartisan budget agreement that accompanied the debt limit law. That means a modest increase for defense programs, and maintaining nondefense investment levels. It also means adhering to the same policy framework we have adopted on a bipartisan, bicameral basis. That means no new poison pill riders.

Second, the Appropriations Committee must be let loose to effectuate this agreement. That means a good faith negotiation to set allocations for all 12 bills. I have done this before with Chairwoman Granger, and I am ready to get to work to do it again.

Lastly, we must address the crises across the globe threatening our allies, and endangering our own national security. That means a promise to work in good faith to bring forward an emergency supplemental for Ukraine, Israel, humanitarian needs, influence in the Indo-Pacific, and to address border security.

That is the only way we avoid finding ourselves right back here in January and February considering another extension.

Thank you, and I reserve the balance of my time.
 

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118th Congress