Ranking Member DeLauro Statement to House Rules Committee on Republican Continuing Resolution

2023-09-18 18:05

House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) delivered the following remarks at the House Rules Committee in opposition to a rule for the House to consider Republicans’ continuing resolution:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I oppose consideration of this continuing resolution which perpetuates the majority’s inability and unwillingness to govern responsibly.

The clock has run out. We are less than two weeks away from a government shutdown and have little to show for it. Yet, rather than negotiating in good faith on the bipartisan legislation that everyone knows will ultimately be required to keep the United States government operational, House Republicans are attempting to unify their own conference with a disastrous continuing resolution that would cut border security and the Coast Guard, cut biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, obliterate LIHEAP, abandon distressed farmers and rural communities, cripple the FAA, desert our allies, yield global competitiveness and energy leadership to China, cut funding to fight wildfires, and pull thousands of teachers out of our children’s classrooms hardly a month into the school year, and cut needed funds for the 988 crisis hotline.

Finally, we get to see an America First bill! But how does this bill put the American people first? This bill cuts America First. Then it cuts Israel. And it cuts Ukraine and other allies. It cuts funding for the border! It cuts police, teachers, doctors, and scientists. It cuts children and families, and it cuts farmers.

I understand there was some confusion on the conference call House Republicans held last night over what, if anything, was cut from the border. I know my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are concerned with the border. Allow me to let you know what is in your bill – an 8.1 percent cut for border security measures. Please let your leadership know if you have any questions – and if they still cannot answer them, I would be happy to. But I implore you to please, read the bill. Read the bill. Read the bill.

Winter is coming. It gets cold in Connecticut – and even colder, I am sure, in the Dakotas. Yet our colleagues from North and South Dakota have introduced a bill that cuts LIHEAP an astonishing 65 percent from last year’s level. What will happen to those that depend on this program for assistance paying their energy bills? This is unprecedented. This body has never not provided LIHEAP the resources needed, in a continuing resolution or otherwise. It has always been a bipartisan priority.

Or consider the constituents of our colleagues from Florida. We are still in the heart of hurricane season and have already seen a storm devastate coastal communities this year. Not only would this bill directly inflict cuts to FEMA and the National Weather Service, harming our readiness in the face of escalating catastrophes – it undermines our response capabilities as well. How will Americans dealing with impacts from natural disasters react when they learn how emergency disaster relief funding fares in this bill – when cleanup and recovery efforts in their neighborhood are shut off because the funding ran dry?

My good friend, the Chairman from Oklahoma, is a champion for Native American programs. Yet activities for Native American children, families, and law enforcement would all be cut. Roads, energy development, public safety, and education on tribal lands would be upended.

Mr. Chairman, I believe you know as I do the hard work and sincere compromise and collaboration required to actually pass appropriations bills. This bill will not become law.

Everyone in this body knows that to be true. The bill’s timeframe does not give enough time to consider all twelve appropriations bills – this would not be the only continuing resolution required to get us to the finish line. This is not a 30-day agreement. It will be continuing resolution after continuing resolution with these same cuts and the same disastrous consequences. It is long past time to abandon this partisan path and for appropriators to work together and to get the job done. Appropriators know how to do this. And in fact we already have a path, signed into law by the President, endorsed by the Speaker and passed by this body, to get there. And from the day the majority reneged on that agreement, we have known we were headed for a continuing resolution at best, and a shutdown at worst.

Democrats are ready to work. We were ready in the Spring. We were ready last week. We are ready today, tomorrow, and every day, to work in good faith with our colleagues on the other side of the aisle to do the work of the American people. I hope members of the majority will find it within themselves to step forward and do the same.


118th Congress