Chairwoman DeLauro Opening Remarks for House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Public Witness Hearing
(As prepared for delivery)
A video of the hearing can be found here.
Welcome to the Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations Subcommittee for our annual Public Witness Day.
Let me begin by expressing my sincere gratitude and appreciation to all of our witnesses—both the witnesses in attendance today and the ones who are submitting written testimony for the record.
Thank you for your hard work on behalf of millions of Americans who benefit from programs funded through our bill.
This afternoon we will hear from 24 witnesses covering all aspects of this subcommittee’s jurisdiction.
As we will hear today, the programs in the Labor-HHS-Education bill fund lifesaving biomedical research. They equip our nation to deal with public health emergencies. They level the playing field for low-income children looking to learn. They help Americans get the skills they need to find a job in a tough economy.
Unfortunately, the president is proposing to cut them by a total of $12.7 billion dollars. Let me assure everyone here today—that is not going to happen. We will continue to invest in these important programs.
These programs directly impact the lives of Americans across our country, especially children, families, and seniors.
As we draft a new bill for fiscal year 2020, it is important to hear from the public about their top priorities—in fact, I would say today’s hearing is one of the most important things we do.
I will note that we meet today without a budget deal for fiscal years 2020 and 2021.
Without an eventual deal, non-defense discretionary funding would be cut by $55 billion next year. In addition, defense spending would be reduced by $71 billion. So, it is in everyone’s interest to come together, as we have since 2013, to undo the harm sequestration can bring to programs we all care about.
There are many important programs under our subcommittee’s jurisdiction that you are advocating for this afternoon. But, we must have adequate non-defense discretionary funding to meeting these priorities.
I very much look forward to today’s testimony.
Now, I would like to recognize my good friend from Oklahoma, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee, for any remarks he cares to make.