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Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill Lacks Needed Fiscal Restraint

, June 29, 2010

Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill Lacks Needed Fiscal Restraint
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science today approved legislation to fund federal agencies under its jurisdiction for the 2011 fiscal year.
 
House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis stated that draft legislation, which totals $60.5 billion, does not go far enough to reduce the massive spending increases the Democrat majority has pushed through over the past three years.
 
“I remain concerned about the levels of spending in the overall CJS Appropriations bill. The majority has put forth a bill that essentially represents the President’s request, as they did last year. I am disappointed that the majority has failed to heed the warnings about our massive deficits and debt, and have not produced the kind of cuts in this bill that we need to put us on a responsible budget path.”  Lewis said
 
CJS Subcommittee Ranking Member Frank Wolf also expressed unease with the spending in the bill.
 
“The size of the allocation has meant that we are able to avoid making tough but necessary decisions to maintain fiscal discipline.  This level of spending increase is unsustainable in light of our growing deficits and debt,” Wolf said.
 
In addition, Lewis noted this legislation was considered today without the guidance and constraints of a budget resolution, or even a total overall dollar limit for discretionary spending this year.
 
“The Democrat’s lack of a budget and discretionary spending limits – and their proposed ‘scheme and deem’ plan – eliminates nearly all the accountability, transparency, and recourse that a real budget resolution provides,” Lewis said, “The intent of this maneuver is not to inspire fiscal discipline, but to merely provide political cover to our friends in the majority.”
 
To address the concerns over spending levels and other items in the CJS bill, Republicans offered the following amendments today:
 
1.)    Ranking Member Lewis (R-CA) offered an amendment to cut the overall total of the bill by $2 billion and freeze the overall spending at last year’s adjusted level.
 
The amendment was defeated by subcommittee Democrats on a vote of 5-9.
 
Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Mollohan (D-WV), Rep. Kennedy (D-RI), Rep. Fattah (D-PA), Rep. Schiff (D-CA), Rep. Honda (D-CA), Rep. Ruppersberger (D-MD), Rep. Serrano (D-NY), Rep. Murphy (D-PA), and Chairman Obey (D-WI) all voted to oppose the amendment.
Subcommittee Ranking Member Wolf (R-VA), Rep. Culberson (R-TX), Rep. Aderholt (R-AL), Rep. Bonner (R-AL), and Ranking Member Lewis (R-CA) all voted in favor of the amendment.
 
2.)    Subcommittee Ranking Member Wolf (R-VA) offered an amendment to strike and replace language in the legislation that allows Guantanamo Detainees to be transferred into the United States for prosecution. The Wolf amendment is virtually identical to language that passed the House in the Defense Authorization Bill, and would place a blanket prohibition on all transfers or releases into the U.S. The amendment would also prohibit funds from being used to acquire a facility in the U.S. to detain or imprison Guantanamo detainees.
 
The amendment was accepted by the subcommittee on a voice vote.
 
3.)    Subcommittee Ranking Member Wolf (R-VA) offered an amendment strike language in the bill that allows the Legal Services Corporation to engage in class action lawsuits.
 
The amendment was defeated by subcommittee Democrats on a vote of 4-9.
 
Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Mollohan (D-WV), Rep. Kennedy (D-RI), Rep. Fattah (D-PA), Rep. Schiff (D-CA), Rep. Honda (D-CA), Rep. Ruppersberger (D-MD), Rep. Serrano (D-NY), Rep. Murphy (D-PA), and Chairman Obey (D-WI) all voted to oppose the amendment.
Subcommittee Ranking Member Wolf (R-VA), Rep. Culberson (R-TX), Rep. Aderholt (R-AL), and Rep. Bonner (R-AL) all voted in favor of the amendment.
 
4.)    Rep. Culberson (R-TX) offered an amendment to require a report from the Attorney General on the participation and costs of “Operation Streamline” – a border enforcement program that targets individuals that cross into the U.S. illegally. The amendment also asks the Department to report on potential costs of expanding the program to every judicial district along the U.S. – Mexico border.
 
The amendment was accepted by the subcommittee on a voice vote.
 
5.)    Rep. Bonner (R-AL) offered an amendment to require a NOAA report on damage to habitats resulting from the Gulf oil spill.
 
The amendment was accepted by the subcommittee on a voice vote.
 
6.)    Rep. Culberson (R-TX) offered an amendment to prohibit funds for space partnerships with China.
 
The amendment was defeated by subcommittee Democrats on a vote of 4-9.
 
Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Mollohan (D-WV), Rep. Kennedy (D-RI), Rep. Fattah (D-PA), Rep. Schiff (D-CA), Rep. Honda (D-CA), Rep. Ruppersberger (D-MD), Rep. Serrano (D-NY), Rep. Murphy (D-PA), and Chairman Obey (D-WI) all voted to oppose the amendment.
Subcommittee Ranking Member Wolf (R-VA), Rep. Culberson (R-TX), Rep. Aderholt (R-AL), and Rep. Bonner (R-AL) all voted in favor of the amendment.
 
7.)    Rep. Culberson (R-TX) offered an amendment to prohibit the administering of “Miranda Rights” to “enemy belligerents” in the custody of the Department of Defense or intelligence agency officials.
 
The amendment was defeated by subcommittee Democrats on a vote of 4-9.
 
Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Mollohan (D-WV), Rep. Kennedy (D-RI), Rep. Fattah (D-PA), Rep. Schiff (D-CA), Rep. Honda (D-CA), Rep. Ruppersberger (D-MD), Rep. Serrano (D-NY), Rep. Murphy (D-PA), and Chairman Obey (D-WI) all voted to oppose the amendment.
Subcommittee Ranking Member Wolf (R-VA), Rep. Culberson (R-TX), Rep. Aderholt (R-AL), and Rep. Bonner (R-AL) all voted in favor of the amendment.
 
8.)    Rep. Culberson (R-TX) offered an amendment to prohibit funds for the Department of Justice to participate in legal challenges to an immigration law in the state of Arizona.
 
The amendment was defeated by on a vote of 5-8, with one Democrat voting to support the amendment.
 
Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Mollohan (D-WV), Rep. Kennedy (D-RI), Rep. Fattah (D-PA), Rep. Schiff (D-CA), Rep. Honda (D-CA), Rep. Ruppersberger (D-MD), Rep. Serrano (D-NY), and Chairman Obey (D-WI) all voted to oppose the amendment.
Subcommittee Ranking Member Wolf (R-VA), Rep. Culberson (R-TX), Rep. Aderholt (R-AL), Rep. Bonner (R-AL), and Rep. Murphy (D-PA) all voted in favor of the amendment.

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