As prepared for delivery:
Good afternoon. Today’s hearing takes another step toward fulfilling a key part of House Republicans’ Commitment to America. In years past, the appropriations process all too frequently began with a few multi-bill appropriations packages with amendment discussion constrained to take-it-or-leave-it en bloc packages and concluded with a massive twelve-bill omnibus appropriations package with no opportunity to amend prior to final passage.
Naturally, limiting the appropriations process in this way caused deep frustrations. Such a restricted process resulted in wasteful spending and prevented members from offering new ideas and advocating for their districts on the floor.
At the beginning of this Congress, House Republicans promised to change this state of affairs. We committed to bringing back a more accountable government and restoring the people’s voice in the legislative process. We also pledged to stop the out-of-control spending that was a hallmark of the 117th Congress.
Today’s bill – the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2024 – is the second standalone appropriations measure to come to the Rules Committee this year. With this hearing, we are taking the next step in the appropriations process for fiscal year 2024 and moving us toward fulfilling our Article I duty.
H.R. 4368 is a strong bill that achieves the goals set for the 2024 appropriations process. It reduces allocations in part by rescinding wasteful spending contained in the Democrats’ partisan proposals from the 117th Congress. It ensures that money is prioritized where it is most needed, and continues critical investments in agriculture research, rural broadband, and food and drug safety programs.
The legislation supports the vital work of our farmers, ranchers, and producers—and recognizes that America should not be ceding control of our farmland and food supply to adversaries like China. Importantly, it also includes key provisions to protect the lives of the unborn and blocks the Biden Administration’s attempts to push woke ideology on the Federal government and on the American people.
All in all, there is much to like in today’s bill. I look forward to our discussion today and to a productive and inclusive amendment process on the floor.