DeLauro Statement on Republican Rescission Package
WASHINGTON, DC (June 7. 2018) — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee responsible for funding the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, today spoke from the House floor in opposition to the Republicans’ rescission package. Below are her remarks as prepared for delivery:
I rise in strong opposition to this Republican rescission package.
President Trump and Congressional Republicans are trying to take deconstructing government to a new level. They are proposing to take $15 billion in federal funds away from the citizenry and investments in our economy—budgeted for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, medical innovation, advanced manufacturing, infrastructure projects, and the list goes on. Why? They are doing so to pay for a tiny fraction of their $1.5 trillion tax cut for the rich. This is just another example of their irresponsible governance.
What is on the chopping block? With this rescission package, the Majority would cut the balances in the Children’s Health Insurance Program by $7 billion, and simply send them back to the Treasury. They would cut funding, when we should be reinvesting in critical services for children and families.
They would cut funding that helps workers who have lost their jobs due to trade access health insurance.
They would cut funding for AmeriCorps and prevent more people from serving vulnerable populations in their communities.
They would cut funding for critical health care infrastructure projects. A few months ago, we used these funds to replace the BioSafety Level 4 laboratory at the CDC. This lab is necessary for handling the most highly pathogenic organisms, such as Ebola, other hemorrhagic fevers, and smallpox. This is a critical piece of public health infrastructure—why do Republicans want to cut its source of funding?
They would cut funding for programs that rural America depends on: rural housing program and rural water programs. For example, it would rescind $15 million from the Value Added Producer Grant Program, a vital lifeline for small businesses in rural America.
Well, I want to remind Americans that the President and his House allies are betraying the promise they made to the American people.
In March, we agreed to historic and urgently needed funding for our families. The Omnibus funding bill for 2018 made important investments in health, education, and job programs. It made critical investments that boost the middle class.
It was not easy. We worked hard to come to an overwhelming bipartisan agreement that benefits the people of this country. Now, months later, the Trump Administration and House Republicans are violating the spirit of that agreement. It is not a serious way to govern.
This money is for our children, not for the President Trump to claw back to placate fervent conservatives who are maintain their drumbeat on Twitter and TV.
These funds are important to the work of the Labor-HHS-Education subcommittee. In past, we have used offsets to support critical investments in biomedical research, Head Start, newborn-screenings, vaccines, lead-poisoning prevention, and much more that is critical.
And what do Republicans get for breaking their word, going back on their promises and taking from children? According to the Congressional Budget Office, the actual impact of this rescission package would amount to $1 billion over 10 years. That is less than 1 percent of Republicans’ $1.5 trillion tax scam for the rich. In fact, it is one one-hundredth of a percent.
If Republicans are so worried about spending, why not rescind money from the tax giveaway to corporations that are using it to buy back stocks, not raise wages? Well, they appear to be beholden to the lobbyists and insiders who have profited so exorbitantly from that gift. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 83 percent of the tax scam benefits will go to the top 1 percent. And those big boosts to paychecks? They have not materialized. Look at Walmart. They spent $20 billion on stock buybacks for their shareholders. Yet, according to the Roosevelt Institute, had Walmart instead dedicated that money to workers, they could have raised wages to more than $16 an hour. They did not.
Budgets, spending, appropriations, and rescissions reflect our values. And, it is clearer than ever that President Trump, Speaker Ryan and the Republicans in Congress value corporations and the wealthy, not people who work for a living and the vulnerable. They rig the rules for the rich, and rob from the poor to pay for it.
Congress must reject President Trump’s proposal and put forth policies that work for the middle class and families and for America’s most vulnerable, not balance the budget on their backs. The American people would be far better served if Congressional Republicans joined with Democrats to fund critical investments in education, health care and infrastructure and protect our retirement programs.
When teachers are protesting across the country for fair pay, Republicans want to go backwards. When Americans are stuck in jobs that do not pay enough to live on, Republicans want to go backwards. When 40 percent of households cannot afford the basics of a modern, middle class lifestyle, Republicans want to go backwards.
It is unconscionable. The American people deserve better.