Ranking Member Matt Cartwright Statement at the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request for the Department of Commerce Hearing

2023-04-18 14:37

Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Ranking Member of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's hearing on the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget Request for the Department of Commerce:

Thank you, Chairman Rogers, and I would like to join you in welcoming Secretary Gina Raimondo back to the Subcommittee.   

Madam Secretary, as we all know, it’s been an extremely busy two years at the Department of Commerce.  You have been engaging in your ordinary, year-to-year responsibilities—everything from census surveys to export control enforcement to forecasting severe weather—the Department is now involved in the massive effort to bring semiconductor production back to the United States as provided in the CHIPS and Science Act approved by the last Congress and signed by President Biden. The Department is also busy implementing funding to help expand high-speed internet access and to support climate resilience efforts, as provided in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, also both approved by the last Congress.

In the middle of all this, I was overjoyed to welcome you to my district in northeast Pennsylvania. We had some very productive discussions and Pittston’s own Mayor Mike Lombardo is one of your top fans at this point.

The President’s fiscal year 2024 budget is the subject of today’s hearing. You have a request of $12.1 billion for the Department of Commerce. It represents an increase of $1.1 billion, or just over 10 percent, for what are important and diverse missions of the Department of Commerce, all of them critical to quality of life for the American people and American competitiveness in the world.

Your Department plays an important role to help strengthen and secure our supply chains, which we became painfully aware of during the pandemic, and you help keep American businesses successful in the global trade market.

I am pleased that your request includes strong funding increases for the Economic Development Administration and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, which we discussed in Pittson, to help create jobs and economic opportunity, and to strengthen the Nation’s manufacturing base.

Among many other initiatives, this request includes strong funding for investments in next generation weather satellites to help provide more accurate weather forecasting that American citizens and American business rely on, as well as a strong funding increase for the Bureau of Industry and Security to help expand its capacity for export enforcement both domestically and overseas, in order to prevent sensitive dual-use technologies from falling into the wrong hands.

However, I am greatly concerned that proposals by many in Congress, and there are voices out there talking about as much as 22 percent decreases for departments across the board. Those calls for slashes in funding in discretionary spending will greatly damage these efforts.

I look forward to discussing these issues at this hearing, and I thank you, Madam Secretary, for joining us and providing us your testimony.

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

118th Congress