|Norm Dicks' Statement on House Democratic Allocations Based on the Budget Control Act|
Wednesday, April 25th, 2012
Press Contact: Ryan Nickel (202) 225-3481
WASHINGTON- House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rep. Norm Dicks gave the following statement on his amendment to the House Republican's subcommittee allocations:
“Mr. Chairman, I rise to offer an amendment to the proposed 302(b) allocations. As I stated in my earlier comments, I am extremely disappointed that the Majority walked away from the bipartisan agreement reached to establish discretionary spending caps and instead opted to create a new number, never agreed to by either the administration or the Senate.
“It was my sincere hope that the parties would be having a spirited debate about priorities within the allocation set out for Fiscal Year 2013, not about the allocation itself.
“Because I feel so strongly that the Minority should be given an opportunity to show how they would make these important spending decisions, I wish to amend the subcommittee allocations under what should be the 302 (a) funding total agreed to in the Budget Control Act.
“The $1.047 total for this year still requires that difficult choices be made. I think it is my responsibility to demonstrate how the Minority would make these funding decisions for the coming year and how important we think some of the investments are in several key areas.
“Primarily, funding for the Labor, Health and Human Services bill is woefully inadequate. The Majority makes a critical error in proposing an allocation that is nearly $8 billion under the President’s request and $6.3 billion below last year’s enacted level.
“Programs funded in the Labor, HHS bill are vitally important to providing Americans the resources they need in these difficult times: offering critical child-care assistance for low-income working parents, improving elementary and secondary education, helping students afford a college education, advancing medical research, and assisting workers get the job training they need when unemployment is high. According to the most recent data, the number of Americans living in poverty has risen to its highest level in 52 years. At this time, we simply must make this bill and these programs a priority.
“The allocation for the Interior bill is nearly $1.7 billion below the request, and nearly $1.2 billion below last year’s bill. As far as I know, the need for safe and clean drinking water projects in each of our states did not decline over the past year. Now is certainly not the time to be underfunding this bill, either.
“Mr. Chairman, I could go on but instead I will simply urge my colleagues to vote on the proposed allocations under what should be the top line under the Budget Control Act. The $1.047 level was in itself a compromise, and these allocations represent the careful prioritization we should be discussing today.”
Summary table of the House Democratic allocations:
* Appropriations for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is carried by the Agriculture Subcommittee in the House and on the Financial Services Subcommittee in the Senate.