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Appropriations Committee Releases the Fiscal Year 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science Bill


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Washington, Apr 29 -

The House Appropriations Committee today released the fiscal year 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The bill funds the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other related agencies.

The legislation contains $51.2 billion in total discretionary funding. This is a reduction of $398 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. Within the bill, funding for law enforcement, national security, public safety initiatives, and programs with economic benefit to the nation are prioritized, while lower-priority programs are reduced.

“This bill maintains investments in some of the most critical functions of government – protecting the life, liberty, and property of the American people,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “In addition to these important public safety efforts, this bill also helps to increase our economic security by funding programs that help bolster innovation and the competitiveness of our nation in the global marketplace.”

“This legislation reduces discretionary spending while continuing to preserve core priorities such as job creation, fighting crime, gangs, terrorism and human trafficking, bolstering cybersecurity, and boosting U.S. competitiveness through smart investments in science and space exploration," CJS Subcommittee Chairman Frank Wolf said. "The bill makes job creation a top priority by maintaining manufacturing and job repatriation initiatives, while focusing resources and oversight on trade enforcement against foreign competitors who are violating trade agreements. It also includes a significant focus on expanding the FBI’s cybersecurity efforts and on protecting U.S. networks from foreign espionage and cyber-attacks.” 

Bill Highlights:

Department of Justice (DOJ) – The bill funds DOJ at $27.8 billion, an increase of $383 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This funding will strengthen critical investigation, law enforcement, and prosecution activities to protect the safety and well-being of communities across the country.

  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – The bill includes $8.5 billion for the FBI – an increase of $125 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. Within this funding, priority is given to counterterrorism and programs that combat the growing threats of cyber-intrusion, gangs, and human trafficking.
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – The DEA is funded at $2.4 billion in the legislation, an increase of $41 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This includes $367 million for regulatory and enforcement efforts to combat prescription drug abuse, and $10 million (by transfer) to assist states and communities with the cleanup of hazardous materials at meth lab sites.
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) – The legislation contains $1.2 billion for the ATF, $21 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. The bill continues all provisions carried in previous years related to Second Amendment rights, and makes two of the provisions permanent law. Also included is a new provision prohibiting funding to implement the international Arms Trade Treaty until it is ratified and approved by the U.S. Senate.
  • U.S. Marshals Service – The Marshals Service is funded at $2.8 billion in the bill, an increase of $76 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This includes $1.6 billion for federal prisoner detention.
  • Federal Prison System – The Bureau of Prisons is funded at $7 billion, an increase of $121 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This funding will help expand staffing levels to ensure safe and adequate facilities to house the nation’s federal prisoner population, and will continue funding to open newly constructed prisons. The bill prohibits funding for construction, rehabilitation, or acquisition of a prison within the U.S. to house Guantanamo detainees.
  • Grant Programs – The bill includes a total of $2.1 billion for various grant programs, a reduction of $73 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. Within this amount, funds are targeted to the highest-priority national programs, including $425.5 million for Violence Against Women programs (which is $3 million above the President’s request), $376 million for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, $210 million for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (which the President proposed to eliminate), $45.4 million for Victims of Trafficking grants, and $67 million for missing and exploited children programs. 

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – NASA is funded at $17.9 billion in the bill, which is $250 million above the 2014 enacted level. This funding includes:

  • $4.2 billion for Exploration – $54 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This includes funding to keep NASA on schedule for upcoming Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Space Launch System flight program milestones, and to continue progress in the commercial crew program.
  • $5.2 billion for NASA Science programs – $42 million above the 2014 enacted level. This includes funding above the President’s request for planetary science to ensure the continuation of critical research and development programs.
  • $666 million for Aeronautics – $100 million above the 2014 enacted level. This funding will help to improve airspace safety, and increase the competitiveness of the American aviation industry in the global marketplace.

Department of Commerce – The bill includes $8.35 billion for the Commerce Department, which is an increase of $171 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and a decrease of $395 million below the President’s request for these programs. This includes funding for the following agencies:

  • Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) – The bill provides $3.46 billion for the PTO, which is equal to the estimated amount of fees to be collected by the PTO during fiscal year 2015, and is $434 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. The bill also includes a provision that allows the PTO to use any fees in excess of the estimated collected amount, subject to Congressional approval. 
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – NIST is funded at $856 million in the bill, which is $5.8 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $44.2 million below the President’s request. Within this total, important core research activities are funded at $671 million to help advance U.S. competitiveness, innovation, and economic growth, and improve cyber security. The bill also includes $130 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, which provides training and technical assistance to U.S. manufacturers in order to boost growth in this important sector of our economy.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – The legislation contains $5.3 billion for NOAA, virtually equal to the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. Within this total, National Weather Service operations and systems are funded above the President’s request, denying proposed cuts to hurricane forecasting and tsunami warning grants. The bill includes full funding for the Joint Polar Satellite System weather satellite program and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite to help maintain and improve weather forecasting to warn communities about potentially devastating natural disasters.

  • Census Bureau – The Census Bureau is funded at $1.1 billion in the bill, $173 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $94 million below the request. The additional funding is needed for research and planning activities as we approach the next decennial census. 

  • Economic Development Administration (EDA) – The bill includes $247.5 million in funding for the EDA – virtually equal to the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This includes $5 million in grant funding to help encourage the repatriation of overseas jobs back to the U.S.

National Science Foundation (NSF) – The legislation funds NSF at $7.4 billion, an increase of $237 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This funding is targeted to programs that foster innovation and U.S. economic competitiveness, including funding for research on advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, neuroscience and STEM education.

Savings – The bill eliminates several existing programs for a savings of over $250 million, and $469 million in unused prior-year funding is rescinded. In addition, administrative and overhead costs are reduced, including a reduction of $25 million below the request for DOJ management costs.

Other Provisions – The bill includes several policy provisions, such as:

  • A prohibition on the transfer or release of Guantanamo detainees into the U.S.;
  • Continuation of various existing provisions related to firearms;
  • A prohibition on NASA and the Office of Science and Technology Policy engaging in bilateral activities with China unless authorized or certified via procedures established in the bill;
  • A continuation of all existing policies related to the sanctity of life; and
  • A prohibition on contracting to train agency employees to engage in publicity and propaganda activities.

For the subcommittee draft text of the legislation, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/BILLS-113HR-SC-AP-FY2015-CJS-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf

 

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