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Committee Republicans Call for Return to Bipartisan Budget Process

February 9, 2021

Today, every Republican member of the House Committee on Natural Resources joined a letter to Chairman Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) requesting he organize the committee immediately and hold a markup on the committee’s reconciliation instruction to increase the deficit by more than $1 billion. In part, the members wrote:

“At the beginning of this Congress, we were encouraged by the prospect of restoring bipartisanship to the Natural Resources Committee and working on our shared goals for the benefit of the American people. Therefore, we are deeply disappointed and concerned that barely a month into this Congress, Democrats on the committee have abandoned all pretenses of bipartisanship by delaying our organizational meeting and refusing to hold a markup on the committee’s $1.005 billion reconciliation instruction. It is important to note that in 2018, you and 100 of your Democratic colleagues accused Republicans of supporting a ‘rushed and ill-conceived reconciliation process’ that ‘occurred behind closed doors bypassing full and fair debate in Congress.’ Ironically, the process that you are now undertaking is significantly more rushed, opaque, and unprecedented than the reconciliation process used by Republicans in 2017…

“These wholly unprecedented actions will erode the authority of the Natural Resources Committee by relinquishing our jurisdiction to committees with no subject matter expertise. Forgoing a markup gives the Budget and Rules Committees ultimate control over our committee’s instruction and would allow them to enact any policy they choose, without having any understanding of its implications. According to the Congressional Research Service, whenever a reconciliation bill became law that directed this committee to report legislation, the committee always fulfilled its duty to hold a markup. Passing any legislation, let alone a bill that will increase the already ballooning deficit by more than $1 billion, without holding so much as one hearing is irresponsible, negligent, and a complete abdication of our responsibility as lawmakers selected to serve on this important committee. 

“Republicans on the committee are organized, prepared, and ready to get to work for the American people. Instead of negotiating this package behind closed doors and out of sight from the public, Democrats should welcome an open dialogue and debate by immediately organizing our committee and holding a markup on this time-sensitive legislation. Therefore, we are calling on you to immediately schedule a markup in the Natural Resources Committee for no later than February 16, 2021, to ensure that we bring much-needed transparency and accountability to the reconciliation process.”   

Read the full letter here.

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