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Lewis: CJS bill “does nothing to rein in spending or address the nation’s energy crisis”


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, Jun 12, 2008 -

Lewis: CJS bill “does nothing to rein in spending or address the nation’s energy crisis”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Science, and Justice today approved its annual funding bill for Fiscal Year 2009. The legislation includes a total of $56.85 billion in spending, which is an increase of $5 billion over FY 2008 and $3.17 over the President’s request.

The legislation includes a substantial increase in funding for science education and research programs. The NASA funding in the bill totals $17.77 billion – or $459 billion over last year and $155 million above the President’s request. The National Science Foundation is also a big winner with an increase of $789 million over last year for a total of $6.85 billion.

“In this time of $4 gas when we are desperately in need of new, practical solutions to our nation’s energy crisis, science research and education programs are critically important,” House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis said.

“However, I am concerned about the rapid growth in government spending in this bill – which is far outpacing the growth of our economy. We need to remember that our future also depends on making responsible fiscal decisions which spend taxpayer dollars wisely and prudently,” Lewis continued.

The bill also contains $2.1 billion above the President’s request to state and local law enforcement accounts for programs that help address domestic violence, gangs, methamphetamines, and child exploitation. This includes $550 million for the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program that provides state and local governments with funding for law enforcement, prosecution, corrections, and crime prevention programs.

In addition, the bill contains a $450 million increase for the FBI for counterterrorism programs, and $87 million for a law enforcement initiative for the Southwest Border requested by the President.

“While the programs funded in this bill are important, this legislation does nothing to rein in federal spending or address the nation’s energy crisis. Tough budgetary choices must be made - trying to please everyone by fully funding every program is something we simply cannot afford to do.” Lewis said. “And, I remain hopeful that this bill will be considered in a traditional, regular order process – including an open rule on the House floor – in the very near future.”

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