A picture of Representative Nita M. Lowey
Nita L.
Democrat NY 17

About Rep. Nita
  • Space Launch Liability Indemnification Extension Act

    by Representative Nita M. Lowey

    Posted on 2014-01-15

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    LOWEY. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

    Congress' misguided rush towards austerity has hurt our economy, slashing critical investments that create jobs and make us more competitive. Discretionary spending, which represents only one-third of the budget, has borne a disproportionate share of cuts. The December budget agreement and this bill set us on a path to fulfilling our basic responsibility of annual spending bills.

    {time} 1445 Chairman Rogers, I commend your leadership. It has been a delight working with you, and I too look forward to a holiday season where we won't be in constant contact. Thank you. It has been a pleasure.

    This bill makes key investments that will bolster job creation and economic growth. We should not have Federal furloughs again this year. Education, Head Start, new pre-K initiatives will help working families and restore teaching slots, and infrastructure investments will support construction jobs and safety upgrades.

    Other vital priorities fell short. It is incredibly disappointing this package doesn't restore unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed.

    In addition, I was very pleased that we received $1 billion more than last year for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, but it is still funded below the 2012 level, forcing scientists to shelve promising research.

    By not authorizing a change to the quota for IMF, the International Monetary Fund, we neglect the United States' vital role in the global economy. It is an important tool to promote international financial stability and support U.S. jobs, exports and markets.

    This is not the bill that I would have written, but it is the result of a negotiation that required significant compromise and protected the appropriations process from political warfare by dropping most of the new contentious riders.

    Finally, I would like to praise the tireless work of David Pomerantz and all of the appropriations staff on both sides of the aisle. This bill was a huge undertaking, possible only with the hard work of such dedicated staff, including one of our longtime professionals who will soon be leaving the committee.

    On behalf of the entire Appropriations Committee, I thank David Reich for his 30 years of service to the House and 17 years of exceptional contributions to the full Appropriations Committee, the Labor-H and other subcommittees.

    Thank you, and we wish you Godspeed. Good luck.

    Now, at this time, before I close, I also want to recognize Trudi Terry, the Chief Clerk of Debates. As I understand it, unfortunately, she will be retiring and go on to other things, and we thank you for your service to the House.

    Now, in conclusion, I wish we had completed this process last October, when this fiscal year actually started, but better late than never.

    The President's budget will likely arrive late, given Congress' tardiness in completing our work for fiscal year 2014, but I do hope that the bipartisan spirit with which the omnibus agreement has been reached will be preserved in the cycle to come. I will support this omnibus and work in the coming year to address its shortcomings.

    Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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