Ranking Member DeLauro Statement at Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Public Witness Hearing

2023-03-23 10:10

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee and the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's fiscal year 2024 Public Witness hearing:

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for hosting today’s Public Witness Day hearing.

As you pointed out, this is a highlight of the hearing schedule, so important in helping us craft legislation as we go forward.

And to our witnesses—welcome to the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee. I want to express my most sincere gratitude and appreciation to all of you here today and to those who sent written testimonies for the record. Your experiences and your testimonies are invaluable to us and to this subcommittee’s bill. Today’s hearing is one of the most important things this subcommittee does.

The work that we do together to fund the programs and services in this bill impacts every single American, at every stage of their lives. In the 2023 Labor-HHS-Education bill that we passed and enacted in December, we made critical investments in programs and services that our communities rely on.

We created and we sustained better-paying American jobs by strengthening job training, apprenticeship programs, and worker protection. We increased funding for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for the first time since 2010. We invested in high-poverty schools, students with disabilities, and post-secondary education. We supported middle class and working families with increased funding for child care, Head Start, and preschool grants. We strengthened lifesaving biomedical research with increased funding for the National Institutes of Health. We bolstered America’s public health infrastructure through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and our state and local governments. And we tackled our nation’s most urgent health crises, including opioid misuse, mental health, and maternal mortality.

Our achievements of the past few years were possible because of the input that advocates like you provided throughout the process. So it is critical that we in fact work together to not lose ground on this progress.

I am worried about House Republicans’ reported proposal to cap the domestic spending for the 2024 budget at the 2022 level. The cuts would be detrimental to the American people, our economy, and essential government functions our constituents rely on.

As we draft the 2024 bill – using the President’s budget request as a starting point and with direct input from stakeholders including all of you – we will continue to fight for the programs that transform the lives of Americans all across this country—the programs that working- and middle-class families rely on.

I am looking forward to your testimonies. And again, thank you so much for being here this morning.

Thank you again, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.

118th Congress