June 2, 2015
House Committee on Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers today gave the following statement on the House floor in support of H.R. 2578, the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill:
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 2578, the FY 2016 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill.
"This legislation contains $51.4 billion for effective, proven programs within the Departments of Justice and Commerce, as well as NASA and the National Science Foundation. Within this total, funding is targeted at programs that are vital to our economic development, public safety, and national security.
"These important programs, overall, receive a boost of $1.3 billion over last year, allowing us to make critical investments in law enforcement, counter terrorism and cyber security, and science and research activities.
"For example, the legislation increases funding for the Department of Justice by $852 million above last year’s levels, enhancing the way we protect and secure communities across the nation. This increase will provide the FBI with greater resources to fight terrorism and cybercrime. It will also allow the DEA to amplify activities, including $372 million to combat prescription drug abuse. And funding is targeted to high-priority national grants, with increases for Violence Against Women programs and the Byrne JAG program.
"The bill also creates a new Community Trust Initiative that will help improve the safety of communities across the nation, and work to facilitate a supportive relationship between these local communities and the police. This includes funding for body camera pilots and research, training, justice reform efforts, and upgraded statistics collection.
"The bill also directs funding toward key programs that will help secure America’s role as the leader in scientific innovation, grow our economy, and promote job creation.
"For instance, NASA receives a $519 million increase above last year, keeping us on the forefront of the space frontier. And the National Science Foundation receives a $50 million increase, directing funds to programs that will spur U.S. economic competitiveness. And to help protect communities from devastating natural disasters, we provided $5.2 billion for NOAA to help boost weather warning and forecasting efforts.
"As with any appropriations bill, the Committee had to make some tough choices to live within a tight budget allocation. But I believe that this bill does so in a very responsible way – eliminating unnecessary or unneeded programs, and reducing funding for other, lower-priority programs. This sort of smart budgeting will help improve the way our government operates and show that we can live within our means.
"I want to congratulate Chairman Culberson for his successful first go as Chairman of the Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee. He, Ranking Member Fattah, and their subcommittee have drafted a good bill that I’m proud to have before the House today. As always, I want to thank the staff for their tireless work in drafting and bringing this bill to the floor.
"Mr. Speaker, this is the fourth Appropriations bill we have brought to the floor so far this year, and I’m glad we are progressing at a great pace on these very important bills.
"I urge my colleagues in the House to continue this forward momentum, and vote in favor of this very important and very well-done Commerce, Justice, Science funding bill."