Thank you, Madam Chair.
I want to thank Chairwoman Delauro and Ranking Member Cole for their work on the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education bill that the Committee is considering today.
The bill continues to fund important programs that improve public health, and it sustains research into diseases such as cancer and Alzheimers disease. Funds are also included to defend the nation against biological threats.
Investments in education are essential for our country to remain competitive with the rest of the world, and I appreciate the funding this bill provides for this purpose.
I also want to thank Chairwoman Delauro and Chairwoman Lowey for including long‑standing language that protects life.
However, there are several provisions that raise concern, and unfortunately, these will make it impossible for me to support the bill in its current form.
The House passed a $3 trillion emergency package to address the coronavirus a little over a month ago, yet an additional $24 billion dollars in new emergency spending is tacked onto this bill.
Once again, this was done without any consultation with House Republicans. I believe we must have bipartisan conversations if we are going to address this pandemic in a serious way.
Also, although the bill maintains important protections that prevent taxpayer dollars from being used for abortions, it contains many other provisions that I cannot support.
For example, the bill forces a return to the policies of the previous administration for the Title X Family Planning Program. It requires that grantees provide information about abortion to every woman they serve when they find out that they are pregnant.
The bill also ties the hands of the Administration by stopping regulations that protect deeply held religious beliefs.
The bill includes new poison pill riders in the area of labor policy, such as blocking implementation of Joint Employer regulations and rulings.
I sincerely believe that we must work together on appropriations bills that meet agreed upon spending levels and avoid controversial legislative language. This is the only way to get bills through the House and the Senate and signed into law.
Thank you, Madam Chair, I yield back.
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