Pelosi Floor Remarks in Opposition to Republican Minibus Appropriations Bill


Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi delivered remarks on the Floor of the House of Representatives to voice her opposition to H.R. 5895, Energy and Water, Legislative Branch, and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act. Below are the Leader’s remarks:

Leader Pelosi. I thank you, Mr. Chair. I thank you. I acknowledge the work of the appropriators. Left to their own devices, they usually can – as an appropriator myself, I have great respect for the work that they do. But I have serious concerns about the bill that is on the Floor before us today.

Mr. Chair, as you know, a budget should be a statement of our national values. What is important to us as a nation should be how we allocate our budget, and its manifestations in terms of Appropriation bills should not be doing harm.

This is really a bill, a partisan spending bill, that tramples over some of our American values, gutting smart investments in our economy, hurting Americans’ health and endangering families.

Republicans are pushing for a minibus appropriations bills that fails to protect the interests of the American people. Many of us have been attracted to the political process as moms, as parents, to do – for it affects public policy – to promote the well-being of our children in ways that are beyond our own control. We can give them all the love, attention, care but we cannot guarantee the quality of air that they breathe, the cleanliness of the water that they drink and the world in which they live in terms of the environment.

And so I have very serious concerns about the danger posed in the energy and water portion of this bill. It cuts vital clean energy initiatives, even as gas prices surge because of the President’s reckless policies.

It attacks job-creating investments and transformational energy technologies and slashes funding for critical nuclear nonproliferation priorities.

In terms of the children that I spoke of earlier, this GOP bill also includes unacceptable poison pill riders that permit deadly firearms to be carried on public land. Assaults the clean water our children drink, encourages pollution of our oceans, and pushes our nation’s already endangered species toward extinction.

This bad bill is the first step in the Republicans’ plan to choke off funding. And this is really the critical part of it for me. Choke off funding for vital Democratic priorities for America’s families. Later in the appropriations process, it paves the way for their plan to starve key investments in health, education, and good-paying jobs for communities across the country.

Mr. Chairman, the Republicans are wasting everyone’s time when we should be focused on meeting the urgent needs of the American people. The majority has spent this entire Congress stacking the deck for special interests as they do in these poison pills in this bill while undermining the interest of families.

Democrats are focusing what matters in the lives of American people. We’re committed to giving the American people A Better Deal, Better Jobs, Better Pay, Better Future and for our children, not to promote air pollution, which is what this bill would do, but to eliminate it. I urge my colleagues to join in voting no on this bill for our economy.

You know what the sad part of it is, it’s so close to doing a better job for the American people. These poison pills take it in a bad direction. The process into which it was put forth is harmful to other priorities that I know we share in a bipartisan way across the aisle.

Hopefully we can work more closely as we go forward in a bipartisan way. That is the tradition of the Appropriations Committee.

With that I yield back the balance of my time.

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