Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following welcoming remarks at the first full Committee markup of fiscal year 2023:
Let me just start by again welcoming everyone to the first full Appropriations Committee markup of fiscal year 2023. This is the busiest time of the year for our Committee. We have already hit the ground running. We have completed eight subcommittee markups, and there two more scheduled for after today’s full committee markup concludes. And we will, as I said, finish all of the sub and full committee meetings by the end of next week.
To start, let me just say a warm thank you to Ranking Member Granger for her partnership, for her commitment to the work of this Committee and the time and efforts she puts into making the Appropriations process one that works not only to the benefit of both sides of the aisle but also the people we represent in this body. So thank you very, very much for your help.
I also want to welcome a new member on the Republican side, but Ranking Member Granger is going to introduce her, but I have met with Congresswoman Letlow, an outstanding addition to the Appropriations Committee. She shares my love of education, but I don’t want you to hold that against her. Welcome.
Let me also say a thank you all to our subcommittee Chairs and Ranking Members for their hard work and for shifting immediately from finishing the 2022 bill, into holding –this is extraordinary – 94 hearings, 94 hearings conduced by the Appropriations Committee to write the bills so we could mark up this month. You – and your staff – have done such an incredible job in such a short time, and we’re all grateful.
This is now my second time leading this process. Last year at this time, I reiterated the great responsibility we hold to the generations of Appropriators before us to exercise Congress’ power of the purse. And at that time, I paid tribute to the many Democratic and Republican Chairs of this Committee who came before me, who with trust from the people that they serve, championed the programs and policies that have shaped our nation and the world for over 150 years.
We too held up our responsibility, and I am so proud of what we have achieved. Through the fiscal year 2022 federal spending package, we secured transformational investments that help fight inflation, lower the costs of living, create jobs, and support working families.
Now, as we continue this work this year, I am so proud of all that we have done to carefully develop legislation that provides tailored and targeted support for those who need federal investments the most.
Instead of catering to big corporations and billionaires who despite record profits continue to raise their prices, we are introducing bills that help the middle class, working families, small businesses, and the vulnerable who work hard every day. We are building safer communities with less crime and violence. And in this time of great uncertainty and change, we are tackling some of our nation’s toughest challenges as we strengthen our national and border security, make health care more affordable, and confront climate change on several fronts.
And we are growing and strengthening the Community Project Funding that was so successful last year with investments that support underserved areas, foster economic development, and make a real difference in the lives of so many communities all over the country.
There will inevitably be disagreement in certain areas, and we should be ready and willing to debate them. But I want us to never forget the reason we are all here. And I hope that, as we debate the bills, we approach this process knowing it can and will help people in long-lasting ways.