Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
July 19, 2022
Contact Info: 
Raymond Rodriguez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in support of H.R. 8294, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Rural Development, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2023. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery and a link to the video:
 
Click here for a link to the video.

“Mr. Speaker, there is no more essential job we have each year than to fund the government, keep it operating, and invest in the priorities of the American people. That’s what we are doing today with this package of appropriation bills. I want to thank Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro and the Members and staff of the Appropriations Committee for their hard work on this package.

“Once again, our Majority is passing appropriation bills in a timely manner. Sadly, the Senate has yet to bring any appropriation bills to the Senate Floor. Today’s package funds about a quarter of total expected discretionary spending for next year. It reflects the budget requests from the Biden Administration and, in some cases, funds programs at levels above those requests. It also includes Community Project Funding for investments in our communities that will help improve public safety, encourage economic growth, and fight poverty. Bringing back Community Project Funding was an essential tool in helping to restore Congress’ power of the purse and make sure that more funding decisions are being made by the Members, who know their districts best.

“There is much to celebrate in this package – many important and worthwhile investments in the American people, in our communities, in economic opportunity, and in so many areas – and I won’t go into all of them now. But let me highlight just a few of the important victories in this bill, particularly for the constituents and communities I represent in Maryland’s Fifth District.

“First, this bill moves us a major step closer to realizing a new, badly needed consolidated F.B.I. Headquarters, a critical national security project that many of us have worked on for more than a decade. This legislation will ensure that we can build a fully consolidated F.B.I. Headquarters that meets the needs of the Bureau – with a substantial payment of $500 million toward that project. It limits the G.S.A to committing any of these funds only to one of two sites in Maryland or one in Virginia. This project, first requested by the F.B.I. in 2009, is now ready for final site selection – so this building, which has been delayed at a cost of giving the Bureau the tools and facilities necessary to fulfill its mission, can now be advanced in the timeframe I have understood from the Administration, which is before the end of this Fiscal Year. In May of last year, the four Senators from Maryland and Virginia wrote to President Biden and urged his Administration to move forward expeditiously with this project. We all want to see that happen.

“Furthermore, this package would provide civilian federal employees with a 4.6% cost-of-living adjustment – at parity with the raise being provided to military personnel – and makes Dreamers eligible to serve as federal employees. It increases the V.A.’s health care system’s budget by nearly $22 billion over last year, which will help provide high-quality care to 7.3 million veterans in our country. It provides the Army Corps of Engineers with $3.5 million to further oyster recovery in the Chesapeake Bay.

“In addition to these priorities for Maryland’s Fifth District, there are other critical investments for which I have advocated for a long time. These include $400 million in election security grants through the Election Assistance Commission, which was created under my Help America Vote Act legislation in 2002. It also funds a program I’ve championed to encourage college students to become nonpartisan poll workers in their communities. I was also glad to see the inclusion of $100 million for the Technology Modernization Fund, which was launched under bipartisan legislation I led with Leader McCarthy. This will help agencies upgrade technology systems so that they can serve Americans more efficiently and securely. Additionally, this package makes a strong investment in combatting hunger by providing WIC funds to serve more than 6 million people and $28.6 billion toward child-nutrition programs. It will also ensure that S.N.A.P does not run out of money in 2023 and can continue helping those with the lowest incomes put food on the table.

“Mr. Speaker, this is a very solid and robust funding package, and it is – as I said – a first step in our effort to continue funding government and delivering the priorities of the American people on time. I urge the Senate to match our pace in the appropriations process so that we can continue governing responsibly ‘For The People.’”