The full House Appropriations committee met to consider the fiscal year 2022 appropriations bills for the subcommittees on Interior and Environment and State and Foreign Operations. Committee Republicans were unable to support the bills due to the total spending level and controversial policy provisions that are in the bills.
Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX), the lead Republican on the Appropriations Committee, said of the measures, “As we come to the end of the second week of markups, I am disappointed with the lack of progress we’ve made. Unfortunately, many of the issues Republicans raised both in subcommittee and full committee were not addressed.
“The amendments we offered today would have preserved long-standing protections for the unborn, supported energy independence, and demanded accountability from the World Health Organization for their role in covering up the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, our colleagues chose politics over progress, keeping in some of the most troubling and extreme policy positions ever taken in these bills.
“We have a lot of work to do, with not much time to do it. I hope we can resolve our differences in a timely manner – it’s our duty and responsibility to develop appropriations bills with bipartisan support that can get signed into law.”
Interior and Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Dave Joyce (R- OH) added, “Unfortunately, while I am supportive of many of the bipartisan components of this bill, I am unable to support it in its current form. This legislation eliminates long-standing bipartisan provisions, adds new, controversial policy riders that would curtail U.S. energy and mineral independence, and proposes a $7 billion increase in discretionary spending with many agencies receiving double-digit percentage increases…all while lacking an overarching budget plan. I cannot in good conscience support this bill when our national debt has surpassed $28 trillion, inflation has hit a 13-year high, and Americans are facing gas prices 43% higher than this time last year. I urge my colleagues on this Committee to continue working together to find common ground, address these controversial policy riders and reach a bipartisan agreement on spending.”
State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee Ranking Member Hal Rogers (R-KY) added, “Our international strength was largely built on strategic partnerships, compassionate humanitarian aid and iron-clad support for our allied nations, like Israel. While the State and Foreign Operations funding bill maintains many of our critical commitments abroad, it includes far too many extreme partisan measures that jeopardize bipartisan support. My greatest concern is the unprecedented removal of the most important condition to any federal appropriations bill, that no funds can be used to pay for abortion. In this bill, it’s a direct hit to the sanctity of life around the world.
“At a time when American families continue to struggle to make ends meet, and foreign aid is under great scrutiny, proposing such egregious and politically motivated misuses of taxpayer funding adds insult to injury.”
Backing their commitment to conservative policies, Republican Members offered amendments to:
- Fund the request for offshore conventional energy development;
- Prevent the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Fish and Wildlife Service from straining the already-underfunded Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for border mitigation work;
- Restore two longstanding, bipartisan Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agriculture provisions that exempt farmers and livestock producers from burdensome greenhouse gas permitting and reporting requirements;
- Remove a harmful rider that weakens America’s domestic mineral security;
- Prevent the Administration from locking up public lands from energy development and other uses;
- Promote pro-life policies by ensuring that foreign aid is not used for abortion; strengthening protections against coercive abortion; and prohibiting funds to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA);
- Stop funds from being directed to the Green Climate Fund;
- Require that Congress be notified of the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to other foreign governments; and
- Insist on reforms at the World Health Organization that promote transparency and accountability.