Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03), incoming Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, today released the following statement on the passage of House Republicans' rules package for the 118th Congress:
"House Republicans' secret deals at the expense of Veterans, the middle class, and working families are on full display with the creation of this rules package. During Floor debate of the omnibus--and many other times over the past two years--House Republicans painted legislation that actually helps families and communities as "backroom deals' agreed to in the middle of the night. Despite Republican calls for transparency, no one knows what side agreements and handshake deals made before Friday's midnight Speaker vote are riding with the rules package they just passed. They are, unsurprisingly, already breaking their own rules. Speaker Kevin McCarthy cannot honestly claim we have had 72 hours to review this bill text when the full text of a secret 3-page addendum has yet to be released.
"Speaker McCarthy reportedly promised to cap spending at 2022 levels in exchange for Speaker votes. While some supporters of this plan claim it will not impact defense spending--only funding for critical services like Veteran's health care, child care, small businesses, and law enforcement that they seem to consider unimportant--we cannot be sure since only a select few have seen the agreement. Here is a reminder of what some of my colleagues said when we tried to pass the 2023 House Defense appropriations bill, with funding at $33 billion above the 2022 level:
The official House Appropriations Committee Republican Minority Views report reads: "Unfortunately, given the heightened global threats and increased cost of materials used heavily by the military, the topline funding level proposed in this bill is inadequate to meet our urgent national defense requirements. With inflation at historic levels, this bill effectively cuts funding for our national defense
This is a risk we cannot afford.'
House Appropriations Chairwoman-elect Kay Granger said: "As expected, these allocations do not adequately fund our military. With increasing threats from China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, under-funding our national defense is completely misguided.'
Representative Ken Calvert, the former Ranking Member of the Defense subcommittee, also opposed the spending level because he felt it was too low: "Most importantly, I want to reiterate my opposition to the topline amount proposed by both the administration and this bill Failing to increase the topline will directly result in a loss of combat capability and readiness. Without additional funding, we cannot procure additional fifth-generation fighters, more ships for our naval fleet, or more training that our warfighters need to be ready in any conflict I will continue to oppose a bill that does not adequately resource our warfighting needs.'
"I hope this chaos ends and that the new House leadership decides to help the middle class, working families, and small businesses instead of catering to the wealthy and well-connected."