What it Means to be an Appropriator – Julia Letlow

It is the honor of a lifetime to be your Congresswoman and represent the people of the Fifth District in the U.S. House of Representatives. It is a responsibility that I do not take lightly, and I wake up every morning determined to deliver results for our citizens and communities. My role in shaping policy will now shift a bit as I join the House Committee on Appropriations.

The Appropriations Committee is one of the most powerful on Capitol Hill and directly determines how the federal government will spend your tax dollars and fund our nation’s critical priorities. Quite literally, it holds the country’s purse strings. The founders believed that it should be the people’s representatives, not the President, who make those important decisions, and the House Appropriations Committee is where that work begins.

On the Appropriations Committee, we serve as the fiscal watchdogs, where we will demand transparency and accountability over spending. Every year, cabinet secretaries and agency heads come before this committee to ask for new funding and account for the money they received in the previous year. I fully intend to use my position to work towards restraining the growth of government, ensuring we are making smart, strategic investments in America’s future, and are ultimately responsible stewards of your tax dollars.

Our Republican Appropriators, led by Ranking Member Kay Granger of Texas, have led the charge for our conservative values in Congress. They have protected the Hyde Amendment and ensured that abortions can’t be paid for with taxpayer dollars, kept the funding in place set aside by the previous administration for border security, and prioritized our military at this time of international unrest. I’m incredibly proud to be joining their ranks, and I look forward to standing with them in defense of our principles.

My colleagues in the Louisiana delegation are tireless advocates for our state’s priorities in Congress, working to bring solutions to the most pressing problems facing our citizens. But we haven’t had a seat at the table in House Appropriations since Congressman Rodney Alexander left office nearly a decade ago. Now, Louisiana will be there not just during the larger debates over the federal budget, but also in a much stronger position when it comes to those critical moments, like the ones we’ve experienced in the past few years when our state required additional assistance from Congress due to natural disasters. Our taxpayers send billions to Washington every year. I pledge to be the fighter who will bring those dollars back home. I’m committed to finding every opportunity to lower your taxes and being a responsible steward of the funding our government receives.

My top priorities on the Appropriations Committee are the same ones I’ve had since Day One – Agriculture and Education.

Our hardworking farmers and ranchers are the backbone of the Fifth District. We grow some of the world’s finest row crops in our 24 parishes and account for nearly half of Louisiana’s agricultural sales. As a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee that focuses on agriculture and rural development, I will have oversight over how much funding the USDA receives for specific programs and key initiatives such as the targeted expansion of rural broadband to unserved areas.

As a former classroom educator, I know that education is the key to Louisiana’s future. I’ve seen firsthand how education can take an individual from poverty to prosperity. On the Appropriations Committee, I’ll fight to prioritize our K-12 schools, community and technical colleges, and our four-year institutions and protect funding for charter schools and school choice.

In the coming weeks, our team and I look forward to starting the vital work of the Appropriations Committee. I’m deeply honored and humbled to be appointed to this critical role. I’m ready to help lead the charge for our conservative values and deliver results for the people of Louisiana and the Fifth District.

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