Granger Remarks on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development FY21 Full Committee Markup
I want to start by thanking Chairman Price and Ranking Member Diaz-Balart for their hard work on this Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development bill.
The programs funded in this bill reach into all of our communities - creating more economic opportunity and improving the quality of life for the American people.
This bill continues key transportation infrastructure and safety programs, including highway, transit, and port funding.
The funding provided for airport infrastructure and air traffic modernization will be critical for the aviation industry as it recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
I want to thank Chairman Price for working with Ranking Member Diaz-Balart to include many of the priorities of Members on our side of the aisle.
Unfortunately, there are some provisions in this bill that will prevent me from supporting it.
This bill is not consistent with the 2-year budget deal that was signed into law just one year ago.
This bill includes an additional $1.6 billion above fiscal year 2020 because a portion of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs bill has been declared an “emergency” simply to make room for more spending in this and other bills.
The budget agreement last summer was built on an understanding that there would not be controversial policy riders. This bill violates the spirit of that agreement.
Language is included that prevents the Department of Transportation from reallocating funds from the failed California High-Speed Rail project, as well as language that would strip regulatory authorities from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Finally, this bill includes $75 billion in new emergency spending, including components of the infrastructure bill that was pushed through the House without Republican involvement.
I did not support that bill because it was a departure from years of bipartisan work on transportation and infrastructure priorities, and I cannot support this additional spending until there is a serious discussion with Members on our side of the aisle.
The best way to advance housing and transportation opportunities for all of our constituents and get funds distributed in a timely manner is to work together.
The programs in this bill are too important to be delayed by partisan politics.
I hope we can address these problems as this bill moves through the appropriations process.
Thank you, Madam Chair, I yield back.