Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2020 Commerce-Justice-Science Funding Bill

May 16, 2019
Press Release
Legislation provides $9.78 billion increase in funding to promote civil rights, reduce gun violence, research and prepare for climate change, and other important priorities

WASHINGTON — The House Appropriations Committee today released the draft fiscal year 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies funding bill, which will be considered in subcommittee on Friday, May 17. The bill funds the Departments of Commerce and Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other related agencies.

The legislation contains $73.895 billion in discretionary budget authority, an increase of $9.78 billion above the fiscal year 2019 level. The bill provides a critical funding increase for the Census Bureau to conduct the 2020 Decennial Census. The bill additionally provides strong funding increases to help create jobs; fix the country’s infrastructure; support U.S. manufacturing; research and prepare for climate change; promote civil rights; reduce gun violence, other violent crime, and cybercrime; address the opioid crisis; and help keep schools safe. Furthermore, the bill provides strong funding increases for science research, science education, and legal services for underserved communities. 

“This year’s CJS funding bill rejects the inadequate and damaging proposals in the Trump Administration’s budget requests, and instead provides needed increases to the key programs in this bill,” said House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Chair José E. Serrano. “We include robust funding to address climate change and support scientific research. We include strong funding for the 2020 Census, which this Administration has jeopardized in an unprecedented way.  We invest in agencies and programs to address gun violence, and to promote criminal justice reform. This bill will create jobs, drive innovation, and address pressing public safety issues. This bill invests in our future, and shows how Democrats are addressing the challenges facing our nation.”

“This bill makes importance investments to keep America on the cutting edge of scientific advancement and to pursue climate research activities and coastal resilience to better protect our communities,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey. “It invests in state and local law enforcement activities to protect women from domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking, and it provides funding to protect students from violence in schools. Additionally, the bill prioritizes civil rights for all Americans and ensures proper funding for the 2020 Census so that political representation and federal spending are fair and accurate. At its core, this is a bill that will help us build a safer and a more just future.”

A summary of the draft fiscal year 2020 Commerce-Justice-Science bill is below. The text of the bill is here. The subcommittee markup will be webcast live and linked from https://appropriations.house.gov/events/markups.

Bill Summary:

Department of Commerce – The bill includes $16.43 billion for the Commerce Department, an increase of $5.02 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $3.96 billion above the Administration’s request. This includes funding for the following agencies.

  • Census Bureau – The bill provides $8.45 billion for the Census Bureau, including a strong increase to enable the Bureau to conduct a thorough and accurate 2020 Decennial Census that counts all persons, as required by the Constitution. This funding enables the Bureau to conduct its largest and most technologically advanced decennial census in its 230-year history. 
     
  • Economic Development Administration (EDA) – The legislation includes $540 million for the EDA, an increase of $236 million above the fiscal year 2019 level. These funds will help improve our nation’s infrastructure, boost economically recovering communities, and launch innovative community development efforts.
     
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – NIST is funded at $1.04 billion in the bill, including $154 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, an increase of $14 million above fiscal year 2019. $751 million is also included for core NIST research activities to help advance U.S. competitiveness, economic growth, and cybersecurity.
     
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – The legislation contains $5.48 billion for NOAA, which is $54.28 million above the fiscal year 2019 level and more than $1 billion above the Administration’s request. Funding will help address important priorities such as climate research, improvements in weather forecasting, the reduction of harmful algal blooms, and fisheries management.

Anti-Opioid Abuse – Opioid abuse is a national epidemic, killing more people than car crashes each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bill provides $501 million for grant programs to help stem this abuse, including for drug courts, treatment, prescription drug monitoring, overdose-reversal drugs, and at-risk youth programs.  The bill also increases Federal law enforcement resources to investigate and prosecute drug traffickers.

Gun Crimes and School Safety – The bill increases resources for programs that reduce violent and gun crime, including: full funding for the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System; more funds for U.S. Attorneys and the Marshals Service to address violent crime; $80 million in grants to States to improve their records used in background checks; $125 million as authorized by the STOP School Violence Act; $100 million for youth mentoring programs; and $20 million for police active shooter training.

Department of Justice (DOJ) – The bill funds DOJ at $32 billion, an increase of $1.07 billion above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. These investments will give Federal law enforcement more tools to thwart violent crime, fight drug and human traffickers, bring criminals to justice, and protect civil rights.  This includes funding for the following:

  • Justice Grant Programs – The bill includes a total of $3.4 billion for various state and local law enforcement assistance grant programs, including:
    • $582.5 million for Violence Against Women Act programs
    • $530.25 million for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants
    • $260 million for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program
    • $142 million for DNA Initiative Grants
    • $49 million for Reduce Sexual Assault Kits Backlog grants
    • $100 million for Anti-Human Trafficking grants
    • $375 million for Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act grants
    • $85 million for Missing and Exploited Children programs.
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – The bill includes $9.46 billion for FBI Salaries and Expenses – $263.8 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level.  The bill adds funding for critical FBI missions, including anti-cybercrime, counterintelligence, human trafficking investigations, and NICS gun background checks.
     
  • Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) – $672.97 million is provided, an increase of $109.56 million above fiscal year 2019. This increase will allow for the hiring of additional immigration judge teams to address the immigration case backlog.
     
  • Community Relations Service (CRS):  The bill includes $17 million for CRS, a $1.5 million increase above fiscal year 2019.
     
  • Bureau of Prisons (BOP) – BOP Salaries and Expenses is funded at $7.32 billion, $75 million above the fiscal year 2019 level.
     
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) –DEA Salaries and Expenses receives $2.36 billion – $89.9 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level.  This enables DEA to undertake more robust anti-opioid and other illegal drug enforcement efforts.  In addition, the bill provides $570 million for Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Forces, a $10 million increase over the current level, to target major drug trafficking organizations.
     
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) – The legislation contains $1.44 billion for the ATF, $122.32 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. This funding will provide additional resources to reduce violent gun crime.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – NASA is funded at $22.32 billion, $815 million above the 2019 enacted level. This funding includes:

  • $7.16 billion for NASA Science programs – $255.6 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. 
  • $123 million for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Engagement, $13 million above fiscal year 2019 and rejecting the Administration’s request to eliminate funding for these programs, which help inspire and train the country’s future STEM workforce.
  • $5.1 billion for Exploration – $79.1 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. This includes funding to continue the development of the Orion crew vehicle, Space Launch System, and related ground systems.

National Science Foundation (NSF) – The legislation funds NSF at $8.64 billion – $561.14 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level. Research and related activities are funded at $7.1 billion, $586.3 million above the current level. These funds will foster innovation and U.S. economic competitiveness, including funding for research on advanced manufacturing, physics, mathematics, cybersecurity, neuroscience, and STEM education. The bill also invests in important scientific infrastructure such as modernization of Antarctica facilities along with telescopes and research vessels.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:  $399.5 million is provided, an increase of $20 million above fiscal year 2019 and $43.7 million above the Administration’s request.

Legal Services Corporation:  The legislation provides $550 million for the Legal Services Corporation, an increase of $135 million above fiscal year 2019, to help increase the availability of legal assistance in underserved communities.

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116th Congress