WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), Lead Republican for the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the Full Committee Organizational Meeting.
Thank you, Madam Chair. I would like to begin by congratulating you for taking over the gavel of the Appropriations Committee as we begin our first official meeting of the 117th Congress.
I wish we were all in the same room today to hear the sound of that gavel, but I know you will continue to look for ways for us to meet in person.
Madam Chair, I want to say a few words about you personally. You have served with distinction on Appropriations for many years, and you have already shown you are going to hit the ground running.
In one of our first conversations after you became Chair, you asked for my support to have a bipartisan briefing on the security concerns raised by the attack on the Capitol on January 6th. Of course, I supported that effort, and I know we will continue to review these issues more formally in our subcommittees.
I look forward to working with you and all of our colleagues as we tackle this issue and the many challenges ahead.
Before I talk about the next year, I want to reflect a little on the year we just lived through. It was certainly unlike any other. But, even during this very difficult period, the Congress and this Committee stepped up and took the lead.
Over just a few short months, we worked to get four supplemental appropriations bills signed into law to combat the coronavirus. All of these passed with strong bipartisan support.
In December, we were able to finish all 12 appropriations bills and provide additional aid to address the coronavirus even though many people predicted we could not get our work done.
The way we move forward over the next few weeks and months will set the tone for how we will work together this Congress.
I believe we produce the best policies when all ideas are heard. And, when we voice our opinions, I hope Members will try to find common ground and leave out policies that Members on our side of the aisle consider controversial.
I hope the Chair will move all the bills through Committee, and Members can express their views and debate the issues.
It is also important that appropriations bills are considered on the floor in a way that allows all Members of the House to be heard and offer their amendments.
Before I close, I have some additional announcements I would like to make.
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