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U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations

07/14/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/14/2020 17:08

Committee Republicans Object To Defense, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Bills

Jul 14, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Today, the full committee met to consider the fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills for the subcommittees on Defense, Commerce-Justice-Science, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development. Committee Republicans were unable to support these three bills due to several controversial policy proposals, a total spending level that is billions of dollars above the budget agreement, and some questionable funding decisions that were made within the amounts provided.

Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX), the lead Republican on the Appropriations Committee, said, 'These bills fund very important priorities for our national security, critical space exploration activities, and key investments in transportation and infrastructure. They also invest in the U.S. manufacturing industry and cutting-edge innovation. The programs funded in these bills will improve the quality of life and security of the American people.

'While I support many of the funding priorities, unfortunately, these bills also fund programs that were included in legislation without consultation with Republicans, and there are some political 'poison pills.' We must be fiscally responsible and prioritize programs that are worthy of taxpayer dollars. We cannot spend more money simply because we aren't willing to make tough decisions. These bills and the programs they fund are too important to be slowed by politics. We must do better - the American people expect it and deserve it.'

Defense Subcommittee Ranking Member Ken Calvert (R-CA) added, 'There's no greater responsibility of our Committee than providing the funding necessary to train, equip, and supply the men and women in our Armed Forces for the missions they are asked to carry out to secure our nation. The bill considered by the Committee today meets that responsibility by significantly investing in shipbuilding, aircraft, as well as the research and development needed to ensure America wins the race on hypersonics, AI, quantum computing, and other technological fronts critical for our national security. I'm also pleased that we were able to give our troops a full 3% pay raise and include robust funding for the health and family care programs that are essential for our military families. Unfortunately, the bill contains a number of partisan, poison pill policy riders that do not belong in a spending bill and restrict the ability of our national security leaders, including the commander in chief, to respond to emergencies. Limitations on troop deployments to respond to national emergencies at the southern border and restrictions on property transfers with state and local law enforcement only serve political interests and make it more difficult to pass this important bill through Congress.'

Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee Ranking Member Robert Aderholt (R-AL) added, 'A primary responsibility of the federal government is to ensure the security of these United States. That includes our military, our law enforcement and justice system. Likewise, the science and engineering work at NASA ensures our access to space, which also is part of national security. Unfortunately, the bipartisan strengths of these bills is undermined by the Majority's focus on blocking President Trump from securing the border. Likewise, there are unworkable restrictions on Dept. of Justice grants. Law enforcement is underfunded, as are important parts of our space launch and human exploration programs. As the Fiscal Year 2021 process continues, I look forward to working with Ranking Member Granger.'

Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee Ranking Member Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) added, 'Those of us who have worked on this bill over the years understand that this is a vital piece of legislation which boosts our nation's infrastructure and helps house millions of Americans. While I strongly support many components of the base bill, I cannot support the unnecessary policy provisions, exorbitant supplemental spending that nearly doubles the size of the bill with no bipartisan input, and budget gimmicks encompassed in this legislation. However, I remain confident that under Chairwoman Lowey and Ranking Member Granger's leadership, and working alongside my friend, Chairman Price, we can reach a bipartisan agreement that we can all support.'

Backing their commitment to conservative policies, Republican Members offered amendments to:

  • Remove harmful riders that prevent funds to be used for a border wall system along the southern border, enabling funds to be used to address national security concerns;
  • Guarantee the right to emergency medical care for children born alive following an abortion;
  • Ensure new, burdensome policies do not prevent our law enforcement officers from acquiring the equipment and resources they need to protect and serve our communities;
  • Prevent the transfer of Guantanamo Bay prisoners to the United States; and
  • Allow the Department of Transportation to recover and reallocate funds initially provided for the failed California High-Speed Rail project.


Ranking Member Granger's remarks in each full committee markup today are linked below:
Defense FY21 Full Committee Markup
Commerce, Justice, and Science FY21 Full Committee Markup
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development FY21 Full Committee Markup

116th Congress