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Public Statements

Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2017

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. WELCH. Mr. Speaker, I am delighted to be here presenting this amendment. My cosponsor of this amendment, Jaime Herrera Beutler, is unable to be here, but it is relevant. She had a baby 2 weeks ago--this is not her first child--and she is a breastfeeding mother.

This amendment is about creating the potential for the House Office Buildings and this Capitol to come into compliance with the General Services Administration guidelines for having breastfeeding stations available for women who need them. There are 7,000 women who work here. There are thousands of women who visit on a regular basis, and we don't have the stations that the women who visit the Capitol, work in the Capitol, work in the House Office Buildings, or visit need to be here in order to take care of their infant children.

It is just amazing to me. Jaime Herrera Beutler is someone we all admire. She can't be here--she wishes she was--but she is a big advocate of this. What this amendment would do is not cost new money, but it would allow a shift in money, $500,000, from the capital construction and operations account to the Capitol Building and House Office Building accounts, appropriating $250,000 each.

The fact is, why wouldn't we want to be in compliance with the GSA requirements as to the access to the breastfeeding stations for mothers who work and visit here?

Mr. Chair, my hope is that there will be broad bipartisan support to do something that I think all of us know needs to be done.

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Mr. WELCH. I yield to the gentleman from Georgia.

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Mr. WELCH. Mr. Chairman, I yield such time as she may consume to the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Wasserman Schultz), the ranking member of the committee.

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Mr. WELCH. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank Chairman Graves. I appreciate his support of this amendment. I also want to thank the ranking member for her support. I also thank my cosponsors, Congresswoman Matsui and Congresswoman Frankel, but I especially want to thank and congratulate Congresswoman Herrera Beutler.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

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