Committee on Appropriations

Hal Rogers

House Passes Legislation to Address the Southwest Border Crisis

2014/08/01

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers today applauded House passage of legislation to provide funding to address the current immigration crisis on the Southwestern border.The bill, H.R. 5230, contains a total of $694 million for border security, enforcement of immigration and customs laws, humanitarian assistance, and illegal immigration prevention. This funding is targeted to meet the immediate needs surrounding the current border crisis, and will be sufficient to cover the estimated costs of these activities for the rest of the 2014 fiscal year. The legislation is fully offset through cuts and rescissions of existing funds within federal agencies, and will result in no new or additional federal spending.

Chairman Rogers issued the following statement on the bill:

“Thousands of illegal immigrants have flooded our borders and overwhelmed our current facilities and personnel. This includes a staggering number of children – arriving with no family – who are being smuggled across our borders by criminal organizations, subject to violence and abuse. We need to put safeguards in place to prevent them from taking this dangerous journey, as well as provide the resources needed to take care of them and process them appropriately.

“The President must take the lead on this by mitigating this crisis, turning back the tide of illegal immigrants, and fully enforcing our laws. In the meantime, however, this bill will help our law enforcement personnel and federal agencies deal with this dire situation in the short term by providing $659 million in funding for border security, humanitarian assistance, and prevention to meet the most urgent needs. This funding is fully offset, and will not add a penny to our deficit.

“This is a good bill that will help address our immediate crisis, while putting into place much needed policy changes to strengthen our borders and stem the rising tide of illegal immigration. I applaud its passage today.”

For a bill summary, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=389562

For the bill text, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/07.29.14_FY_2014_Supplemental_Appropriations_Bill.pdf

 

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Chairman Hal Rogers Floor Statement on H.R. 5230, the FY 2014 Border Supplemental Legislation

2014/08/01

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers spoke on the House floor today in support of H.R. 5230, a bill providing supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2014 to address the immigration crisis at the Southwestern border.

The text of his prepared statement follows:

"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to continue the debate on H.R. 5230, with further amendments added by the Rule the House just adopted. The need to pass this bill before Congress leaves for the August break is just as critical today as it was yesterday.  

"This bill provides funding to meet immediate border security and humanitarian needs in response to the recent deluge of illegal immigrants crossing our Southern border.

"In terms of funding, this bill is essentially the same as the legislation the House considered yesterday. It emphasizes securing our borders, providing humanitarian assistance for unaccompanied children in U.S. custody, and preventing further influxes of illegal immigration – both by funding vital programs and by implementing important policy provisions.

"This is also a fiscally responsible bill – all funding is offset, so it won’t add a penny to our deficit, and it’s limited to just the 2014 fiscal year.

"However, the bill differs from the version yesterday by adding an additional $35 million for the National Guard to allow states – including Texas – to be reimbursed for National Guard activities related to border security and the current influx of illegal immigrants. This brings the new total of the bill to $694 million, and again, it is all fully offset.

"In addition, the bill includes new tweaks to various policy provisions, which will help to further tighten our borders and provide solutions to help solve our immigration challenges for the future.

"Mr. Speaker, we have a crisis on our hands, and we cannot simply get up and walk away. It is our moral responsibility to protect our homeland, and to properly care for process the thousands of unaccompanied children who put their hands in the lives of criminals to cross our borders.

"We cannot turn our backs on this. We must pass this bill today. I urge my colleagues support. Thank you, and I yield back."

 

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Chairman Hal Rogers' Statement Before Rules Committee on Amendment to H.R. 5230

2014/08/01

Chairman Hal Rogers spoke before the Rules Committee today to present an amendment to H.R. 5230, a bill making supplemental appropriations to address the crisis on the Southwest border.

The text of the statement as prepared follows:

"Ladies and gentlemen of the Rules Committee, I am here before you this morning to submit an amendment to H.R. 5230, to urge the Rules Committee to incorporate this amendment into the bill, and to provide a rule that allows the legislation to quickly proceed to final passage.

"Every day, thousands of immigrants – including children accompanied only by the criminals paid to smuggle them – cross into our nation illegally, and this crisis has come to a head. It would be irresponsible and unstatesmanlike to head home for the month without passing a bill to address this serious problem.

"This legislation provides funding to secure our borders and enforce our laws; to process and shelter unaccompanied children; and to curb the tide of illegal immigration. It maintains a tight rein on spending, offsetting every dollar spent so that this bill won’t drive up our deficit.

"It also includes policy provisions to help us deal with this influx of immigrants and to help prevent this from continuing into the future.

"However, with the amendment submitted today, the bill will now provide a total of $694 million to address this dire situation.

"This is an additional $35 million compared to the underlying legislation, reflecting an increase in funding and transfer authority to reimburse states – including Texas – for National Guard activities related to border security and the current influx of illegal immigrants. This additional $35 million is also fully offset.

"This is a humanitarian crisis, and it is a failure of our border – and we must respond to this now. This bill responsibly and adequately does so, and I hope that my colleagues will support it today. Again, I ask the Rules committee to incorporate this amendment, and provide a rule so that the House can pass this bill as swiftly as possible. Thank you."

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Chairman Hal Rogers Floor Statement on H.R. 5230, the FY 2014 Border Supplemental Legislation

2014/07/31

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers spoke on the House floor today in support of H.R. 5230, a bill providing supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2014 to address the immigration crisis at the Southwestern border.

The text of his prepared statement follows:

"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present H.R. 5230, which provides immediate, short-term funding to address the Southwest border crisis.

"In total, this bill provides $659 million to meet urgent border security and humanitarian needs for this fiscal year ending on September 30.

"Thousands of illegal immigrants – including unaccompanied children – have flooded our borders and overwhelmed our current facilities and personnel. This includes a staggering number of children – arriving with no family – who are being smuggled across our borders by criminal organizations, subject to violence and abuse.

"We need to put safeguards in place to prevent them from taking this dangerous journey, as well as provide the resources needed to take care of them and process them appropriately.

"The President must take the lead on this by mitigating this crisis, turning back the tide of illegal immigrants, and fully enforcing our laws. This problem has without a doubt been exacerbated by the Administration’s policies on immigration, and it is up to the Administration to find a way to fix that problem.

"In the meantime, however, it’s plain that something must be done to ensure that our law enforcement personnel and federal agencies have the resources needed to deal with this dire situation in the short term.

"The $659 million in funding in this bill focuses on three areas – border security, humanitarian assistance, and prevention – to meet the most pressing needs.

"Of this total, $462 million is provided to increase security and enforce our laws, boosting personnel and increasing detention space to the largest capacity in history.

"Part of this funding will help accelerate judicial proceedings by increasing the number of temporary judges and outfitting all immigration courtrooms across the nation with teleconferencing equipment.

"And we have doubled existing funding for the National Guard to bolster their presence along our border as they assist Customs and Border Protection with surveillance, investigations, and humanitarian effort

"The bill also provides $197 million to take care of unaccompanied children, ensuring they have proper housing, meals, and temporary care while they are in U.S. custody.

"Third, to stave off the continued influx of illegal immigration, the bill redirects existing State Department funding to ensure that countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador must quickly accept and repatriate those returning from the U.S.

"This bill draws a hard line on spending – scrubbing the President’s request to focus on the most immediate needs. It does not include funding for longer-term needs or unnecessary programs, like cash subsidies for coffee farmers. Any additional funding for this crisis can and should be addressed under the regular appropriations process.

"In addition, to make sure that this bill doesn’t add a penny to our deficit, every dollar spent is fully offset by making non-controversial rescissions of unused, excess, prior-year funds.

"Lastly, the bill includes several policy provisions recommended by the “Speaker’s Working Group on the Border Crisis,” led by the Chairwoman of the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, Rep. Kay Granger.

"This includes a change to a 2008 law to ensure that all unaccompanied minors arriving in this country are treated the same as Mexicans and Canadians for the purpose of removal.

"It also strengthens the law prohibiting immigration status to criminals convicted of serious drug crimes, and prohibits the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture from restricting CBP apprehension activities on federal land.

"And it expresses Congressional intent that detained aliens awaiting processing should not be housed on military installations. 

"This is a good bill that will address the most immediate needs while putting into place much needed policy changes that should help stop the flow of unaccompanied children who are being put at risk during their long, dangerous journeys. 

"It is our congressional duty to quickly pass this bill in short order, and I ask that all Members support it today. Thank you, and I yield back."

 

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Chairman Rogers' Statement before Rules Committee on H.R. 5230, the FY 2014 Border Supplemental Bill

2014/07/30

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers gave a statement on H.R. 5230, a supplemental appropriations bill for fiscal year 2014 before the Rules Committee today. H.R. 5230 provides funding to address the current immigration crisis at the Southwest border.

Chairman Rogers' statement follows:

"Chairman Sessions, Ranking Member Slaughter, and members of the Rules Committee, I am here before you today to present H.R. 5230, the bill providing immediate, short-term funding to address the Southwest border crisis.

"It is very clear that our law enforcement personnel and federal agencies require additional resources to respond to this dire situation.

"To that end, this bill contains $659 million to boost border security, provide humanitarian care for unaccompanied children, and to help stem the tide of illegal immigration.

"This funding level will allow these agencies – that have been overextended as a result of the massive influx of immigrants – to sustain and increase operations, strengthen the borders, and process these unaccompanied children in an expedited manner.

"This includes $405 million for the Department of Homeland Security to beef up border operations, increase detention space, and fund additional deportation and enforcement personnel.

"$22 million is included to accelerate judicial proceedings for immigrants.

"The bill provides $35 million for National Guard border efforts to assist the Border Patrol with surveillance, intelligence, and humanitarian activities.

"$197 million is provided to the Department of Health and Human Services for humanitarian assistance for unaccompanied minors to provide them with food and shelter and other critical needs while they await processing.

"And, lastly, $40 million in previously appropriated funding for Central American countries is redirected toward the repatriation and reintegration of their returning citizens.

"This is a responsible, narrowly focused bill that keeps a tight rein on taxpayer dollars. In fact, every dollar of this funding is offset by rescissions of unused, prior-year funding.

"Any future funding needs can and should be addressed as part of the regular appropriations process as we move forward.

"In terms of policy changes, the bill includes several items that will help begin to solve our border challenges for the future, including: a change to the “Trafficking Victims Protection and Reauthorization Act of 2008,” to require that all unaccompanied minors are treated the same as Mexicans for the purpose of removals; a lifting of current restrictions regarding CBP apprehension activities on federal land; a change to the Immigration and Nationality Act to strengthen the law prohibiting criminals with serious drug-related convictions from applying for asylum; and a provision expressing the “Sense of Congress” that the Secretary of Defense should not house unauthorized aliens at military installations unless certain specific conditions are met.

"Chairwoman Granger, who did a fantastic job leading the Task Force on this issue, can go into greater detail on these non-funding items.

"I would like to request an appropriate rule that will allow for swift consideration of this bill on the House floor, to allow this matter to be considered this week.

"Moving this package forward is critical for our security and for the children on the Southwest Border, and I hope that both the House and the Senate will approve it quickly, before the August recess. Thank you."

 

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Appropriations Committee Introduces Legislation to Address the Southwest Border Crisis

2014/07/29

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers today introduced legislation to provide funding to address the current immigration crisis on the Southwestern border.

The bill, H.R. 5230, contains a total of $659 million for border security, enforcement of immigration and customs laws, humanitarian assistance, and illegal immigration prevention. This funding is targeted to meet the immediate needs surrounding the current border crisis, and will be sufficient to cover the estimated costs of these activities for the rest of the 2014 fiscal year. The legislation is fully offset through cuts and rescissions of existing funds within federal agencies, and will result in no new or additional federal spending.

House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers issued the following statement on the introduction of the bill:

“The situation on our southern border is dire, and additional resources are needed to respond to the crisis at hand. The bill introduced today will help address the urgent needs of our law enforcement personnel and federal agencies to strengthen our border, enforce our laws, care for and process the thousands of unaccompanied children and immigrant families already in the United States, and help stem the illegal immigration tide for the future – all while keeping a tight rein on taxpayer dollars.

“This border problem has been exacerbated by the President’s current immigration policies, and it will be up to the White House to take the lead in reversing the flow of illegal immigrants into our country. The funding included in the bill today will provide the tools necessary for our agency personnel to ensure immediate needs are met, but the Administration must implement changes to their border policies and fully enforce existing immigration law if we are to adequately address this crisis.

“In the meantime, Congress has a duty to pass this bill quickly to provide immediate assistance for thousands of unaccompanied children, to strengthen our borders, and to bolster the enforcement of our laws. This is a good bill, and I urge its swift passage in both the House and Senate before Congress adjourns for the August recess. Any future funding needs can and should be addressed as part of the regular 2015 fiscal year Appropriations process, and be subject to the budget caps put into place by the Ryan-Murray budget agreement.”

Funding and Provisions Included in H.R. 5230:

Protecting our Southwest Border and Enforcing our Laws -

  • $405 million for the Department of Homeland Security to boost border security and law enforcement activities. This includes:
    • $334 million for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to boost enforcement of immigration and customs laws in response to the rise in unaccompanied alien children and families. This funding will support increased and upgraded detention space, transportation costs, overtime costs, expedited migrant processing, and additional deportation and enforcement personnel.
    • $71 million for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operations, including increased processing, detention, and transportation activities.
    • Authority for Southwest border states to reallocate existing state and local grant funds for costs related to combating illegal immigration and humanitarian efforts for unaccompanied alien children and families.
  • $22 million to accelerate judicial proceedings for immigrants. This includes funding to hire additional, temporary immigration judges, and funding to complete the outfitting of every Department of Justice immigration courtroom nationwide with video teleconferencing equipment in order to utilize all existing court resources. This will help increase the capacity of our immigration courts to process cases, reduce the backlog, and shorten the time between apprehension and issuance of removal orders.
  • $35 million for National Guard border efforts – essentially doubling the funding for the Guard presence on the border. This will bolster National Guard efforts to assist the Border Patrol with surveillance, intelligence, and humanitarian activities.

Providing Humanitarian Assistance –

  • $197 million for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide temporary housing and humanitarian assistance to unaccompanied minors. This funding is sufficient to care for children in U.S. custody already. This funding will cover the cost of short-term care while the children await processing and adjudication. This includes facility rental and maintenance, bed space, meals, medical care and treatment, vaccinations, education services, staffing, security, and therapy costs for children who have experienced trauma or abuse during transit.

Preventing Future Crisis

  • $40 million in repatriation assistance to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The funds will support processing and reintegration efforts in these countries to help them swiftly accept those individuals and families returning from the United States. This funding is redirected from within existing foreign aid for Central American countries so that these repatriation activities are immediately prioritized.

Offsets –

The funding in the legislation is fully offset through cuts and rescissions of existing funds within various federal agencies. Many of these offset accounts have been previously used for savings as part of past Appropriations bills. The savings include:

  • $22 million in excess funding from the Department of Justice “Asset Forfeiture Fund.”
  • $35 million from excess funding from the Department of Defense “Working Capital Fund.” 
  • $405 million from unobligated, prior-year, non-emergency funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
  • $197 million in rescissions from unexpended, unused, prior-year balances within the State Department’s Economic Support Fund.

Policy Provisions –

The legislation includes several policy provisions recommended by the “Speaker’s Working Group on the Border Crisis,” led by Rep. Kay Granger. These provisions include:

  • A change to the “Trafficking Victims Protection and Reauthorization Act of 2008,” to require that all unaccompanied minors are treated the same as Mexicans for the purpose of removals. This would require unaccompanied children who do not wish to be voluntarily returned to their home country to remain in HHS custody while they await an expedited immigration court hearing that must occur not more than seven days after they are screened by child welfare officials.
  • A prohibition on the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture from denying or restricting CBP activities on federal land under their respective jurisdictions within 100 miles of the US-Mexico border.
  • A change to the Immigration and Nationality Act to strengthen the law prohibiting criminals with serious drug-related convictions from applying for asylum. 
  • A provision expressing the “Sense of Congress” that the Secretary of Defense should not house unauthorized aliens at military installations unless certain specific conditions are met.

For the text of the legislation, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/07.29.14_FY_2014_Supplemental_Appropriations_Bill.pdf

 

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House Approves Fiscal Year 2015 Financial Services Appropriations Bill

2014/07/16

The House today approved the fiscal year 2015 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill (H.R. 5016) on a vote of 228-195. The bill provides annual funding for the Treasury Department, the Judiciary, the Small Business Administration, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and several other agencies.

The bill totals $21.3 billion in funding for these agencies, which is $566 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $2.3 billion below the President’s request for these programs. The legislation prioritizes programs critical to enforcing laws, maintaining an effective judiciary system, and helping small businesses, while targeting lower-priority or poor-performing programs – such as the Internal Revenue Service – for reductions.

“This legislation reflects common-sense decisions to prioritize programs and services that are effective, efficient, and responsible with taxpayer dollars, and I’m pleased that it received House approval today,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “This bill will help ensure wise investments and good stewardship of each and every tax dollar, while focusing appropriate funding cuts on lower-priority or poor-performing agencies – such as the scandal-plagued and inefficient Internal Revenue Service.”

“The subcommittee jurisdiction covers a diverse group of agencies and activities, including financial regulators, tax collection, the White House, federal courts, the District of Columbia, the General Services Administration, and the Small Business Administration,” Subcommittee Chairman Ander Crenshaw said. “With an allocation of $566 million less than fiscal year 2014, we have provided critical funding to support small businesses and law enforcement while reducing funding for activities that are not essential to the operations of the federal government or that have a history of wasting taxpayer resources. The bill also takes important steps to make the Administration, the Internal Revenue Service in particular, more transparent and accountable to the taxpayer,” he continued.

For a list of House adopted amendments to the bill, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/07.16.14_FY_2015_Financial_Services_Bill_-_Floor_Adopted_Amendments.pdf

For the text of the bill, please visit: https://beta.congress.gov/113/bills/hr5016/BILLS-113hr5016rh.pdf

 For the bill report, please visit: https://beta.congress.gov/113/crpt/hrpt508/CRPT-113hrpt508.pdf

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Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2015 Interior and Environment Bill

2014/07/15

The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2015 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill on a vote of 29-19. The legislation includes funding for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Forest Service, the Indian Health Service, and various independent and related agencies.

In total, the bill includes $30.2 billion in base funding, an increase of $162 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and a reduction of $409 million below the President’s request. This includes a one-time payment of $442 million for “Payments in Lieu of Taxes” (PILT) – which provides funds to local communities with large areas of federal land to help offset losses in property taxes – and $4.1 billion to prevent and combat devastating wildland fires. In addition, the legislation also includes policy provisions to stop unnecessary, job-killing regulations by federal agencies such as the EPA.

“This bill will ensure the proper management of the nation’s vast natural resources, invest in programs for the well-being of our local communities, and help prevent and fight the wildland fires that cause millions of dollars in damages every year, all while keeping a close eye on the spending of each and every tax dollar,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “In addition, this legislation contains important provisions to rein in the harmful regulatory overreach of federal bureaucracies that will unnecessarily cause job loss and that will weaken our recovering economy.”

Interior Subcommittee Chairman Ken Calvert also commented on the bill.

“The Interior and Environment bill provides the agencies within its jurisdiction with the resources necessary to carry out their mission in times that are fiscally challenging,” said Chairman Calvert. “This bill also protects Americans from the onslaught of job-killing regulations coming from the EPA, and makes difficult decisions to carefully balance national priorities. I am pleased that our Subcommittee continues to place an emphasis on producing energy on federal lands, providing robust funding for our wildland fire accounts, and addressing a variety of health, education, and safety needs within Indian Country.”

The following amendments to the bill were adopted by the full committee today:

Rep. Calvert – The manager’s amendment makes technical and non-controversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Wolf – The amendment adds bill language designating February 22, George Washington’s actual birthday, as a national holiday. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote. 

Rep. Graves – The amendment prohibits EPA from finalizing a rule to allow the Agency to collect fines and penalties via administratively garnishing wages. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Kaptur – The amendment adds language to the report to urge the National Park Service to advance interpretive efforts on the start of the "westward expansion" through the Northwest Territory. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote. 

Reps. Aderholt/Visclosky –The amendment adds bill language requiring that all iron and steel used in drinking water infrastructure projects be sourced within the United States. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Amodei – The amendment adds report language clarifying the process for products to be designated as “made in America.” The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

For the text of the bill, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-113hr-fc-ap-fy2015-ap00-interior.pdf

For the bill report, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hrpt-113-hr-fy2015-interior.pdf

 

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Chairman Rogers Floor Statement in Support of FY 2015 Financial Services Funding Bill

2014/07/14

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers gave the following statement on the House floor today in support of H.R. 5016, the Fiscal Year 2015 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill:

"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to support H.R. 5016, the fiscal year 2015 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill.

"This bill provides $21.3 billion to fund many important programs and services that help our government function and our economy grow.

"For example, this bill includes $862 million for the Small Business Administration to assist our small businesses – which are the backbone of our economy – to prosper. It also includes $6.7 billion for our federal courts to ensure the faithful execution of our laws and the timely processing of federal cases.

"But this bill also demonstrates a commitment to keeping poor-performing or misbehaving agencies and programs in check.

"It cuts funding for the IRS by $341 million from last year – nearly 12% below the President’s request. This funding level will allow the agency to perform its core duties, but will require IRS management to streamline and make the very best use of its allocated dollars.

"We have also included language that will help ensure that each and every dollar spent by the IRS is spent legally, responsibly, and appropriately.

"For instance, the bill prohibits funding for the production of inappropriate videos and conferences, and for employee bonuses or awards unless their performance is considered.

"The bill also prohibits funding for the IRS to implement Obamacare’s individual health care mandate on the American people. In light of the chaotic and dysfunctional rollout of the Affordable Care Act, I do not see how in good conscience we can possibly allow the IRS to fine American citizens when many are just trying to comply with this flawed law.

"Due to the past inappropriate actions by the IRS, we also have prohibited funding for certain activities to prevent a repeat of these abuses, including: targeting individuals based on their political beliefs; determining the tax-exempt status of organizations under section 501(c)(4); and several other provisions that will help preserve the First Amendment Rights of all Americans.

"This bill is designed to make sure the government works for the people – not against the people or our laws.

"Bill-wide, we have included stringent oversight, accountability, and transparency measures to make sure each and every agency toes the line. This includes prohibitions on funding for the Executive Office of the President to prepare signing statements and Executive Orders that contradict existing law, and a provision that will bring the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of Financial Research under the annual appropriations process – ensuring that these agencies will remain accountable to the taxpayer.

"These actions fulfill our congressional duty to the American people: to act as faithful shepherds of federal tax dollars, to force these agencies to respect our laws and our budgets, and to encourage a more streamlined, efficient federal government.

"I would like to thank Chairman Crenshaw and Ranking Member Serrano for their dedicated work on this bill. Together with the rest of the subcommittee and staff, you have brought a good bill before the House today.

"This legislation reflects common-sense decisions to prioritize programs and services that are effective, efficient, and responsible with taxpayer dollars. I urge my colleagues to support it.

"Thank you, and I yield back."

 

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Chairman Crenshaw Floor Statement in Support of FY 2015 Financial Services Funding Bill

2014/07/14

House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services Chairman Ander Crenshaw gave the following statement on the House floor today in support of H.R. 5016, the Fiscal Year 2015 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill:

"Mr. Chairman, I yield myself as much time as I may consume.  I am pleased to present to the House the fiscal year 2015 Financial Services and General Government bill.  This Subcommittee has jurisdiction over a diverse group of agencies and activities including financial regulators, tax collection, the White House, the Federal courts, DC, GSA and the Small Business Administration.  This Subcommittee was created in 2007 and the fiscal year 2008 Financial Services bill was the only time that the House considered this bill under an open amendment process.  The agencies under this Subcommittee’s jurisdiction play an important role in the functioning of our government and I believe every Member should have the ability to offer germane amendments that impact the funding provided in the bill.

:The bill we are considering today provides $21.3 billion in discretionary funding which is $566 million or 2.6 percent less than fiscal year 2014 and $2.3 billion or 9.6 percent below the request.  The Subcommittee’s allocation is a reduction, but one that is necessary to live within the discretionary budget cap provided in the Ryan-Murray agreement.  The allocation is sufficient to fund priority programs while reducing funding for activities that are not essential to the operations of the Federal government or that have a history of wasting taxpayer resources. 

"One of the main priorities of the bill is funding for law enforcement activities.  The bill provides increased funding over the fiscal year 2014 level for several law enforcement activities.  The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program receives a $6.5 million increase.  The Drug Free Communities program gets a $3 million increase, and Treasury’s Terrorism and Financial Intelligence activities, which develop and enforce sanctions programs, receive an $18 million increase.  In addition, ample funding is provided for the operations of the Federal and DC courts, as well as for the supervision of offenders and defendants living in our communities. 

"Another priority for the bill is supporting small businesses and assisting in private sector job creation.  The bill provides $195 million for SBA’s business loan programs to support $18.5 billion in 7(a) lending and $7.5 billion in 504 lending.  The bill also provides increases over the current year for Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers and Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund program.  In addition, the bill requires certain regulatory agencies to report to the Committee on their efforts to eliminate duplicative, outdated and burdensome regulations.

"In order to live within our allocation, we had to reduce funding in some areas.  We eliminate 9 programs, such as the Christopher Columbus Foundation and the Election Assistance Commission, that are no longer necessary or are not critical to the operations of the Federal government. We reduce funding for more than a dozen agencies and programs that can operate with a little less, like the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Federal Communications Commission.

"For GSA, we reduce the funding in the Federal Buildings Fund by $240 million and continue to require them to regularly report on their spending and the state of their building portfolio.  The bill provides GSA with enough funds to operate their current building inventory and provides funding for 3 land port of entry construction projects.  We also continue to push GSA to reduce surplus and vacant space by designating funding specifically for consolidation projects and property disposal projects, and require GSA to prove that the projects funded in these programs will save funding in the long run.

"In order to increase transparency and accountability of agencies created by Dodd-Frank, the bill makes the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of Financial Research subject to the appropriations process and requires reports on their activities.  Dodd-Frank created these agencies and purposefully put their funding outside of an annual review by the Congress.  This bill corrects that flaw.

"The bill freezes funding for the White House and the OMB.  It also includes a requirement that the OMB submit the President’s budget request on time – or face a withholding of approximately seven months of their budget until the President’s request is sent. In addition, the bill contains a prohibition on funding for the White House to prepare signing statements and Executive Orders that contradict existing law.

"Finally, I would like to discuss the IRS.  The Committee remains outraged by their activities including the inappropriate singling out of certain tax-exempt groups based on their political beliefs, wasteful spending on conferences and videos, and providing bonuses to staff without evaluating their conduct or tax compliance. While last year’s bill includes some important spending and targeting reforms, we think more needs to be done to rebuild the confidence of the American people and cannot agree to the requested increase in funding. The bill provides the IRS with $10.95 billion, which is $341 million below the current level and $1.5 billion below the request. This funds the IRS below their fiscal year 2008 level. In addition, the Committee includes language which:

  • Prohibits funds for employee bonuses and awards for IRS employees that do not consider the conduct and tax compliance of such employee,
  • Prohibits funds for targeting groups for regulatory scrutiny based on their ideological beliefs or for exercising their First Amendment rights,
  • Prohibits funds for inappropriate conferences and videos,
  • Requires a report on the amount of official time used by IRS employees for union activities,
  • Prohibits the White House from ordering the IRS to determine the tax-exempt status of an organization, and
  • Requires extensive reporting on IRS spending.

"Language is also included prohibiting funds for Treasury to implement the proposed or a revised regulation regarding the standards and definitions used to determine the tax exempt status under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. I believe that the Administration should wait until the investigations into the inappropriate singling out of certain tax-exempt groups based on their political beliefs are completed before proposing to make any regulatory changes regarding section 501(c)(4).  It is troubling that the IRS expects Americans to keep their tax records for seven years, but it isn’t capable of retaining emails from a few years ago.

"I also continue to be concerned with the IRS' role in implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the individual mandate, in particular. At a time when the IRS has demonstrated little ability to either self-police or self-correct, the IRS has even more authority over Americans' health coverage. I find this expansion of IRS authority to be unacceptable and, therefore, the bill prohibits funding to implement the individual mandate and prohibits transfers from the Department of Health and Human Services to fund the IRS' implementation of the Affordable Care Act. 

"I want to thank all of the Subcommittee Members for their input into the bill and their participation in our 10 hearings this year – 2 of which were with the IRS Commissioner.  I also want to thank Chairman Rogers for his assistance in moving the bill. 

"To conclude, I would like to thank Ranking Member Jose Serrano.  I appreciate Mr. Serrano’s approach to the Committee’s work and his desire to get back to regular order.  His input has improved the bill.  I know that he believes there should be additional funds in the bill and I look forward to working closely with him and all Members of the Subcommittee as the bill moves forward." 

(As prepared for delivery)

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Contact Information

H-307 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-2771
Fax 202-225-7771
appropriations.house.gov


Membership

Robert Aderholt

ALABAMA's 4th DISTRICT

Mark Amodei

NEVADA's 2nd DISTRICT

Ken Calvert

CALIFORNIA's 42nd DISTRICT

John Carter

TEXAS' 31st DISTRICT

Tom Cole

OKLAHOMA's 4th DISTRICT

Ander Crenshaw

FLORIDA's 4th DISTRICT

John Culberson

TEXAS' 7th DISTRICT

Charlie Dent

PENNSYLVANIA's 15th DISTRICT

Mario Diaz-Balart

FLORIDA's 25th DISTRICT

Chuck Fleischmann

TENNESSEE's 3rd DISTRICT

Jeff Fortenberry

NEBRASKA's 1st DISTRICT

Rodney Frelinghuysen

NEW JERSEY's 11th DISTRICT

Kay Granger

TEXAS' 12th DISTRICT

Tom Graves

GEORGIA's 14th DISTRICT

Andy Harris

MARYLAND's 1st DISTRICT

Jaime Herrera Beutler

WASHINGTON's 3rd DISTRICT

David Joyce

OHIO's 14th DISTRICT

Jack Kingston

GEORGIA's 1st DISTRICT

Tom Latham

IOWA's 3rd DISTRICT

Alan Nunnelee

MISSISSIPPI's 1st DISTRICT

Martha Roby

ALABAMA's 2nd DISTRICT

Hal Rogers

KENTUCKY's 5th DISTRICT

Tom Rooney

FLORIDA's 17th DISTRICT

Mike Simpson

IDAHO's 2nd DISTRICT

Chris Stewart

UTAH's 2nd DISTRICT

David Valadao

CALIFORNIA's 21st DISTRICT

Frank Wolf

VIRGINIA's 10th DISTRICT

Steve Womack

ARKANSAS' 3rd DISTRICT

Kevin Yoder

KANSAS' 3rd DISTRICT