I want to thank Chairman Quigley for presenting the Financial Services and General Government bill, the first appropriations bill we will consider for fiscal year 2022.
I also want to recognize my friend, Mr. Womack, in his first markup as ranking member. I thank him for his years of service on the Budget Committee and now his leadership on this subcommittee.
It takes a lot of hard work to put a bill together, and it is even more challenging when you are the first bill in the line-up, so I want the chair and the ranking member to know how much we all appreciate their sacrifice.
In many cases, the bill before us reflects priorities of Members on both sides of the aisle, such as support for small businesses, drug control programs, and counterterrorism and financial intelligence efforts.
However, I am concerned that there are several controversial items included relating to immigration policy, union activities, and school choice for low-income students in the District of Columbia.
It is also disappointing that the bill does not include long-standing pro-life provisions regarding the use of D.C. local funds and the Federal employees health benefits program.
In addition to these policy concerns, the overall funding level in the bill is simply too high, with many agencies receiving double-digit percentage increases.
After a year of staggering levels of spending and the pandemic now nearing an end, we should be looking for ways to address our growing national debt. Instead, this bill increases the size and reach of the Federal Government.
I appreciate the leadership of our chair, Ms. DeLauro, to begin the fiscal year 2022 appropriations process and move bills through the committee.
However, in order for our work to produce real results in the end, we need to work together to reach a bipartisan budget agreement and reject controversial policy changes.
In closing, I would like to thank all of the subcommittee members and the staff for their hard work on this bill.
I look forward to continuing discussions with my colleagues to improve this bill as the process moves forward.
Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
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