Appropriations (June 2009)

Balancing competing concerns, ensuring adequate resources

Chairing any Appropriations subcommittee is both a great honor and weighty responsibility. The Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee, which I chair, is responsible for overseeing and funding more than 45 federal agencies with a combined annual budget in excess of $24 billion.

The fight for freedom on major policy fronts

Americans love choices. From the clothes we wear to the food we eat, we have an insatiable appetite for making decisions based on individual preferences. As the congressional appropriations season heats up, expect Republicans to not only vigorously oppose the amount of taxpayer money spent (or better put, borrowed from China) but also to fight against Democrat proposals that will limit Americans’ freedom to make individual choices.

Meeting Americans’ nutrition needs

When the Agriculture-FDA Appropriations subcommittee approved its fiscal 2010 spending bill Thursday, we made a critical commitment to begin meeting our government’s obligation to its citizens: consumers who want safe drugs and food, farmers who rely on fair, functioning markets, children who need healthy food to meet their full potential, and rural communities that need new opportunities to thrive.

Democrats’ course for fiscal 2010: spending more than we can afford

Our nation is in a serious fiscal crisis. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs. More have had their hours or pay scaled back. Our markets are struggling, our investments have lost value, and our financial status in the world has dimmed.

Process hurt by blanket denunciation of earmarks — and by obstructionism

As the people’s elected representatives in Congress, one of our most basic responsibilities is to provide the funding needed to keep the federal government up and running. Each year, the House and Senate Appropriations committees go about the business of providing the resources to address critical priorities such as: America’s military, caring for our veterans, vital infrastructure needs, protecting the homeland, healthcare, education and environmental protection, to name just a few.

Invest in America’s energy priorities

Investing in our nation’s energy needs is one of the best ways to transform our economy, create new jobs, and strengthen our national security. With the annual appropriations season nearing, it’s important to remember that our investments must be part of a larger, long-term strategy to address our nation’s excessive dependence on foreign oil. While there are big challenges facing our country, there is some good news when it comes to our energy future.