Republican Calls for Delay in Naming New House Appropriations Chair

‘The real problem is that the underlying process to produce the bills is fundamentally flawed,’ Rep. Robert Aderholt wrote.

A top Republican appropriator has called for a delay in picking who will succeed Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) as House Appropriations chair.

In a letter to colleagues, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), who is the chairman of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Subcommittee, lamented the budget process, criticizing the most recent government funding packages that Congress passed last month, as opposed to passing the 12 appropriations bills individually.

“The real problem is that the underlying process to produce the bills is fundamentally flawed,” he wrote.

“This Congress has proven reforms to our appropriations process are needed and cannot be delayed any longer,” he added. “Our well-intentioned goals of passing appropriations bills through regular order and on schedule, while also preventing divisive provisions from finding their way into the bills, have thus far failed.”

Before the long-term bills to fund the government for the 2024 fiscal year were passed, the government was funded at 2023 fiscal year levels through what are called continuing resolutions, thereby avoiding government shutdowns.

“A change in the Appropriations Committee leadership, however, presents a perfect opportunity to change the process,” wrote Mr. Aderholt, who has been in Congress since 1997.

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“The bottom line? We cannot continue to go down the same path and expect a different outcome,” he continued. “The Appropriations process must change. It starts with transparency and trust.”

“Instead of hastily selecting a new Appropriations chair, I believe that now is the time to focus on correcting the process and developing our theory of government on how we will manage our responsibilities,” added Mr. Aderholt. “Our conference must work together to define a clear direction forward before choosing a chairman to lead us there.”

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), the chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee, is running to succeed Ms. Granger. He has been on the House Appropriations Committee since January 2009.

In a March statement announcing his candidacy, Mr. Cole seemed to address some of Mr. Aderholt’s concerns.

“You should not make appropriations deals without including appropriators. I have seen this happen and unfortunately, every time, it has led to a disaster,” he wrote.

Mr. Cole also stressed the need for fiscal responsibility.

“You cannot solve the U.S. deficit problem exclusively in the Appropriations Committee, as discretionary spending only amounts to roughly 28 percent of U.S. expenditures. If we are going to produce a balanced budget, which I strongly believe we should be striving to do, we should be having serious discussions on how to fund and reform our entitlement programs, which makes up approximately 60 percent of all spending,” he added.

“I am a budget hawk. I believe in stretching our budget’s dollars as far as we can, but I also recognize there are critical needs and challenges that must be funded if our great nation is going to be protected, preserved, and improved,” Mr. Cole continued. “However, as chairman, I will ensure that, in doing this, we are not wasting and abusing.”

The House GOP Steering Committee and Conference, which determines committee assignments, will ultimately decide who will succeed Ms. Granger.

“When my colleagues made me the first Republican woman to chair the appropriations committee, my goal was to pass conservative bills out of the Committee, get them to the floor, and get them signed into law,” Ms. Granger wrote in a March 22 letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), informing him of her stepping down as committee chair.

“Despite Republicans having a very slim majority, today marks the completion in the House of the second spending agreement this month that prioritizes our nation’s security and represents the first overall cut to non-defense, non-veterans spending, in almost a decade,” she continued.

Ms. Granger, who has represented Texas’ 12th Congressional District since 1997, is not running for re-election.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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