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Barbara L.
Democrat CA 13

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  • Space Launch Liability Indemnification Extension Act

    by Representative Barbara Lee

    Posted on 2014-01-15

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    LEE of California. Madam Speaker, first let me thank our ranking member, Nita Lowey, for yielding, and also I want to thank her for her tremendous leadership on this committee. And also I want to thank Chairman Rogers. Both of these great individuals really have worked together day and night to bring this bill forward on a bipartisan basis, and I have to salute and thank you both for that because I know it was very, very difficult. But we did it. And also to the staff, I, too, want to salute and thank the staff, including my staff, for their tremendous work in trying to balance all of the priorities so that we can have a bill that all of us can support.

    While I voted against the budget resolution, I am encouraged that this bill will restore a majority--not all, but a majority--of the harmful sequester and bring some relief to struggling communities and families who are living, quite frankly, on the edge.

    As a member of the Budget and the Appropriations Committees, I am encouraged that passing this bill will get us out of this cycle of governing by crisis.

    This bill makes important investments in early childhood education, environmental protection, HIV-AIDS, and law enforcement. It increases our support for the United Nations and humanitarian relief efforts in Syria. And even with these increases, funding for these critical programs, if you ask me, still remains much too low. Yet this bill provides $5 billion more than what the Pentagon asked for, while failing [[Page H445]] to extend the emergency unemployment insurance for the 1.3 million individuals who lost, on December 28, their unemployment. This is just wrong.

    Finally, as a member of the Labor-HHS Subcommittee, I really think it is shameful that our subcommittee failed to receive a proportionate increase in our total allocation. Mind you, Labor-HHS is the largest subcommittee after Defense and supports programs that impact nearly every household, every community in every congressional district. But this bill is a step forward in our appropriations process. Hopefully, we can come together and fully repeal the sequester and restore order in our budget and appropriations work in fiscal 2015.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.

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