Chairman Cole Hearing Remarks on H.R. 4394 and H.R. 4364

As prepared for delivery:

Good afternoon.

At the beginning of the 118th Congress, House Republicans committed to restoring regular order to the annual appropriations process. In recent years, a consensus-driven work product has been replaced by a failed status quo. The American people deserve better than the constant cycle of colossal multi-bill omnibus packages pushed right before a funding deadline. The dysfunction is further permeated by a lack of committee process, limited amendments, and inability of members to debate and revise legislation.

Such a limited appropriations process is unbecoming of the House of Representatives. It has resulted in wasteful spending and prevented members from offering their own ideas for inclusion.

The People’s House is confronting that challenge. For fiscal year 2024, House Republicans have committed to bringing all twelve appropriations bills to the House floor on an individual basis. This is a more inclusive process, one that ensures that members and their constituents will have their voices heard.

Of course, as we have seen, this process can be difficult. It is not easy to do the hard work of legislating this way, and it is not always fast. But it is the right thing to do, both for the House as an institution and for our constituents back home.

In keeping with this commitment, today the Rules Committee is taking up two measures. The first I’ll discuss is H.R. 4394, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2024.

H.R. 4394 is a strong bill that achieves the goals set for the 2024 appropriations process. It funds the Department of Energy and the Army Corps of Engineers for the coming year and provides an appropriate funding level for their respective activities. It prioritizes national security, ensuring we will have the funds necessary to modernize our nuclear deterrent. It also covers construction, operation, and maintenance of our nation’s ports and inland waterways, which are critical to economic growth. Finally, the bill rescinds wasteful spending contained in the Democrats’ partisan spending spree from the 117th Congress, ensuring those funds can be repurposed where they are needed most.

Our second measure is H.R. 4364, the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2024. This bill provides a measured funding level for legislative branch activities for the coming year. It keeps Congress open and working for the American people, with resources especially focused on effective constituent service. It prioritizes funding for the Capitol Police, ensuring they can recruit, train, and retain officers to continue to protect the Capitol complex, and provides appropriate funding levels for critical infrastructure projects around the Capitol.

In all, both of these measures are strong bills that meet the priorities set out for the 2024 appropriations process. I’m pleased we are moving forward with them today. 


Oct 3, 2023