WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) spoke on the House Floor today in support of the first minibus of Fiscal Year 2021 appropriations bills, which includes State-Foreign Operations, Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA, Interior-Environment, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery and a link to the video.
Click here to watch the video.
“Madam Speaker, I want to thank Chairwoman Lowey. Not only for her tireless work on this minibus, but for all her years of extraordinary service on the Appropriations Committee and in this House.
“The House is getting its work done for the people and passing these appropriations bills well in advance of the end of the fiscal year. Unfortunately, the Senate is on track to fail to mark up a single appropriations measure in committee for the first time on record. Why? Because, as former appropriator and former Senate Budget Committee Chair Judd Gregg said, ‘I don’t see any reason why they should go to markup if the goal of that markup is to simply create political fodder for the election rather than move the bills forward.’
“That bleak assessment speaks directly to the harmful effects of Senate Republicans’ policy choices, because in this body, and in the Democratic Caucus, we believe appropriations bills are a statement of our values and an opportunity to communicate them to the American people.
“This package contains important and positive investments in our people, our economy, and our national security that reflect House Democrats’ commitment to governing for the people. It reflects our priorities for moving America forward and helping our people get ahead.
“This bill will help ensure that children and families receive the assistance they need through SNAP and WIC to protect against hunger, an extraordinary challenge in today’s COVID-19 inflicted America.
“It strengthens our conservation efforts and ensures a cleaner environment. In particular, I’m pleased it includes funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program, which is so vital to my state and our region. We are taking steps as well to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and this package will require that the National Park Service remove any commemorative displays honoring the Confederacy, so that no American would be humiliated or denigrated as they visit our national parks.
“The bill also ensures we provide resources to support our veterans. We are standing with our service members by prohibiting President Trump from stealing funds from our military in order to build his wall. And I am proud that this bill continues America’s strong and robust support for our ally Israel.
“In all, this is a funding package of which our country and this House can be proud. It reflects our values and our principles. It is focused on governing responsibly and spending taxpayer resources wisely.
“Sadly, it will in all likelihood join the more-than 275 other bipartisan House bills languishing in the Republican-controlled Senate. I urge the Senate to do its part to avoid even the risk of another shutdown and put its responsibility to govern ahead of political calculations. Let’s get the job done together for the people.”