Quigley statement at subcommittee markup of 2018 Financial Services & General Government Appropriations bill
Thank you Mr. Chairman,
I would like to first start by thanking staff on both sides for the long nights and weekends spent drafting this bill and preparing us for this markup.
Their efforts are what really keep the wheels turning around here and I know all the Members on my side share the same sentiment.
However, I must oppose the bill before us today.
With an overall funding level of $20.231 billion, which is $1.3 billion, or 6 percent below FY17, this bill does not adequately promote small business creation, consumer protection, or good governance.
Still, I always look for the positive areas and would like to mention a few within this bill, including a $66 million increase to Federal Defender Services, and the level funding for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, despite proposed cuts by the Trump administration.
However, this does not begin to negate all of the troubling cuts throughout the bill.
Within the IRS, funding for both the Tax Counseling for the Elderly and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program has been cut in half.
The Small Business Administration is slashed by $39 million, with most coming from reductions to entrepreneurial programs that assist millions of small business owners.
GSA has zero funds to start new construction and only $180 million for repairs and alterations, which is $1.3 billion below the requested amount. And I just have to say that when we had the GSA Administrator before the subcommittee this spring to talk about the FY 2018 budget, I recall members on both sides of the dais in that room expressing concern – rightfully so- about the staggering backlog of deferred maintenance projects. These are repairs that require immediate attention to address safety and security deficiencies. And while we are on the subject of security, this bill goes even further and rescinds the money provided in the FY17 Omnibus for the new FBI Headquarters.
The CDFI fund is cut by $58 million, or 28 percent, which means fewer resources to spur economic growth and revitalization in our most underserved and neglected communities.
In addition to these cuts, this bill contains a long list of partisan policy riders both new and old.
This includes riders to undermine the ACA, punish the IRS, limit women’s health choices, and interfere in the local affairs of DC on issues ranging from medical marijuana to local budget autonomy.
And this bill also carries a new title containing 88 pages of legislative text from the Financial CHOICE Act to repeal key provisions of Dodd-Frank and weaken the CFPB.
There is an appropriate time and place to debate these provisions – in the authorizing committees. In fact, the committee of jurisdiction, the Financial Services Committee introduced a bill, H.R. 10, earlier this month which passed the House on a partisan vote. That legislation should work its way through the process – this committee is not the proper legislative body for having this debate.
It is hard enough to pass appropriations bills without these divisive, controversial riders; especially since many of these have been litigated in this committee year after year and fail to make it into the final funding bill.
I continue to stand ready to work with my colleagues on the majority side to strengthen this bill and remove unproductive riders, but, unfortunately, I cannot support this bill as written.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.