Today, the full committee met to consider the fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills for the subcommittees on Energy and Water Development and Labor-Health and Human Services-Education. Committee Republicans were unable to support these two bills due to several new policy proposals and a total spending level that is billions of dollars above the budget agreement.
Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX), the lead Republican on the Appropriations Committee, said, "Unfortunately, these bills are no different than the others we've marked up -- partisan measures that will not be signed into law.
"It is disappointing that Democrats have chosen to play politics with the appropriations process instead of working together to craft bipartisan legislation. I hope we can come together to fulfill the agreement we made last summer - funding bills without controversial policy provisions and within the budget caps."
Energy and Water Subcommittee Ranking Member Mike Simpson (R-ID) added, "While I appreciate the Chairwoman's efforts to include input from members from both sides of the aisle, I have some serious concerns with the bill that prevent me from supporting it. Funding for the Office of Nuclear Energy suffers one of the largest cuts from enacted levels in the entire bill, and the bill shortchanges funding for the nuclear weapons program by almost $2 billion. Most concerning to me, though, is the astonishing amount of emergency spending, mandatory spending, and other gimmicks that effectively undermine the defense and non-defense spending levels agreed to in last year's bipartisan budget deal. All without discussion, let alone buy in, from House Republicans. I look forward to working with my colleagues as this bill moves through the legislative process to develop a final Energy and Water bill that reflects a more balanced and responsible set of priorities."
Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee Ranking Member and Full Committee Vice-Ranking Member Tom Cole (R-OK) added, "While there are many worthwhile priorities in the Labor-H appropriations package for fiscal year 2021 reported by the committee, Democrats unfortunately crafted it in a way that offers a false sense of accomplishment. I am very concerned about the use of emergency designated funds, instead of continuing to build on base funding increases for critical priorities -- like the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The use of these budget gimmicks not only violates the funding levels of the bipartisan budget agreement with the Administration, but such an approach will make it much more difficult to negotiate a final bill that can actually become law."
Backing their commitment to conservative policies, Republican Members offered amendments to:
-Advance critical water storage projects in the West where droughts are common;
-Protect life and religious freedoms for all Americans; and
-Remove harmful riders that prevent the Administration from enforcing regulations and rules that protect jobs and reignite the economy.