Ranking Member DeLauro Statement at the Full Committee Markup of the 2024 Financial Services and General Government Funding Bill

2023-07-13 11:01

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the Appropriations Committee's markup of the fiscal year 2024 Financial Services and General Government bill:

– As Prepared For Delivery –

Thank you Chairwoman Granger, and thank you Subcommittee Chairman Womack, Ranking Member Hoyer, and the subcommittee staff on both sides of the aisle, especially Matt Smith and Philip Tizzani, for all the work that you do.

The funding and policy riders in this Financial Services and General Government bill put forth by the majority are unacceptable. The Republicans propose cutting critical agencies the American people depend on for a stable, secure, and safe economy by a staggering 58 percent.

My Republican colleagues claim to support things like law and order, economic competition, and protecting children. Yet their actions, demonstrated by this bill, suggest otherwise. Cuts to the Internal Revenue Service would protect tax cheats over honest, hard-working families. Cuts to the Small Business Administration would cut off assistance and resources that help small businesses start, grow, and compete. Cuts to the Securities and Exchange Commission would benefit market manipulators and inside traders over families saving for retirement. Cuts to the Federal Trade Commission would levy higher prices on Americans and make seniors more prone to be victimized by scammers. And cuts to the Consumer Product Safety Commission would enable dangerous products to hit store shelves and enter our homes, potentially harming our children.

In all, the agencies funded in the Financial Services and General Government Funding Bill are critical to keeping our economy equitable and Americans safe – which is what makes the cuts proposed in this bill especially egregious. Disadvantaging small businesses; Making seniors susceptible to scammers; Exposing children to dangerous products; Rigging the stock market for the well-connected and wealthiest. We cannot stand for this.

Earlier this week I met with SBA Administrator Guzman – the Small Business Administration is extraordinarily concerned with how they will provide the resources America’s entrepreneurs rely on to help their businesses start and grow. These small businesses are an essential part of the American economy and core to the financial security of our middle class – and they define Main Streets in neighborhoods across the country. Businesses in my district like Chabaso, a family-owned bakery named SBA’s Family-Owned Small Business of the Year in 2022; Collaborative ABA Services, SBA’s 2023 Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year; and FAD Mechanical, SBA’s 2023 Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year. These small businesses help bring communities in my district and all of our districts together, and that’s why we must foster the growth and success of small businesses around the country. During the pandemic, it was the small business administration that enables businesses to survive.

This bill reneges on the debt ceiling agreement that Speaker McCarthy negotiated, and which was signed into law. By slashing $1.1 billion from the Internal Revenue Service, this bill benefits millionaires, billionaires, the biggest corporations, fraudsters, and tax cheats at the expense of hardworking Americans who pay their taxes. Many of the wealthiest pay no taxes at all – Elon Musk can find $44 billion for a social media app, but he avoids paying income taxes to fund the federal government his businesses and employees rely on.

The emphasis is always on the domestic investments we make and how they are bankrupting the government and creating debt. I say to you, the lack of revenue is where the problem lies. In fact, we have a Ways and Means Committee that has come out with a $1.2 trillion tax package with tax cuts for the wealthiest and biggest corporations. You can’t script this, but it’s the reality of what we face.

I have heard my colleagues on the other side of the aisle talk about wanting to be “tough on China” and yet, this bill includes no funding for the Administration’s efforts to restrict outbound investment in countries that threaten our national security. The majority is giving a green light to the potential offshoring of critical United States’ supply chains to foreign adversaries like China and Russia.

This bill provides no funding for the new FBI Headquarters, no funding for the Technology Modernization Fund, and no funding for Electric Vehicles.

And of course, the majority does not stop there. They have included some 50 or so problematic and pointless riders, including prohibitions on the SEC’s climate disclosure rule, prohibitions on gender-affirming health care and abortion, and micromanaging the District of Columbia’s traffic laws at a level that is petty and deserves derision. I must ask the majority, which one of your members has so many tickets, you are looking to side-step D.C.’s traffic laws? Remind me not to take a ride with them.  

The appropriations committee is central to effectively running the federal government and providing services to the American people. That’s what this committee is about. This is a place of serious governing, and sadly, this is not a serious bill. The majority only looks to protect the tax dollars and priorities of the wealthiest—billionaires and big corporations. Chairman Womack, you have been a voice of reason in recent months, and you clearly understand the inevitable conclusion of the course the majority is charting. I hope more of your fellow Republicans will come to their senses.

For all these reasons, I cannot support this bill. The Appropriations Committee is the heart and soul of the federal government. It is where we make the decisions that shape our values, and our priorities. I respectfully request that those on the other side of the aisle go back to the drawing board and come back with a slate of workable allocations and reassess their priorities so that we are able to proceed with the important business of our government and of the American people, and get on with the 2024 appropriations work.

I yield back.


118th Congress