Appropriations Committee Releases Fiscal Year 2021 Commerce-Justice-Science Funding Bill

July 7, 2020
Press Release
Legislation provides strong funding increases to promote civil rights, reform police practices, promote economic development, research and prepare for climate change, and other important priorities.

WASHINGTON — The House Appropriations Committee today released the draft fiscal year 2021 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies funding bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. 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 $71.473 billion in discretionary budget authority, a reduction of $1.7 billion below the FY 2020 enacted level, reflecting the completion of the 2020 Decennial Census.

The bill provides strong funding increases to help ensure civil rights and reform police practices throughout the country.  The bill also provides funding increases to help create jobs, fix the country’s infrastructure, support U.S. manufacturing, research and prepare for climate change, reduce gun violence, address the opioid crisis, and help keep schools safe. Furthermore, the bill provides funding increases for science research, science education, and legal services for underserved communities. 

“This year’s CJS funding bill starts the urgent and necessary process of change by focusing on police accountability, civil rights, and justice for all.  The bill boosts spending to address police misconduct, enforce civil rights, and promote racial justice, all while protecting and expanding funding for critical programs in a wide range of areas,” said House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Chair José E. Serrano. “This bill creates real, significant, and lasting change in policing accountability by creating several new grant programs proposed in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to drive law enforcement reform and accountability practices, by rolling back limitations put in place by the Trump Administration, by increasing funding for the DOJ Civil Rights Division and for FBI investigations of law enforcement patterns and practices, and by putting limitations on Federal grant funds to incentivize reform at the state and local level.  It also invests in key agencies that support economic development, like the Minority Business Development Agency and the Economic Development Administration.  I look forward to moving this legislation through the process and seeing the positive impact it will have in the Bronx and other communities.”

“As we confront the twin crises of coronavirus and systemic racism, the American people are demanding action to build safer and stronger communities for all people,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey. “The fiscal year 2021 CJS appropriations bill recognizes and acts on the urgent need for meaningful police reform, racial justice, and the defense of civil rights for every American. Strong funding in this bill will support law enforcement reform at the state and local level while catalyzing economic development in disadvantaged communities that is fundamental to a more just and equitable society.”

A summary of the draft fiscal year 2021 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 $9.54 billion for the Commerce Department, a decrease of $5.68 billion below the FY 2020 enacted level and $1.2 billion above the President’s budget request. This includes funding for the following agencies.

  • Census Bureau – The bill provides $1.68 billion for the Census Bureau, reflecting the operational rampdown of the 2020 Decennial Census and restoring funding to the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), which measures the effectiveness and use of Federal, state, and local programs.
     
  • Economic Development Administration (EDA) – The legislation includes $356 million for the EDA, an increase of $23 million above the FY 2020 level. These funds will help improve our nation’s infrastructure, boost economically recovering communities, and launch innovative community development efforts.
     
  • Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA):  The legislation includes $52 million for MBDA, an increase of $10 million above the FY 2020 enacted level, to help create jobs and expand business growth opportunities among minority-owned U.S. companies.
     
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – NIST is funded at $1.04 billion in the bill, including $153 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, an increase of $7 million above the FY 2020 enacted level. $789 million is also included for core NIST research activities, an increase of $35 million above the FY 2020 enacted level, to help advance U.S. competitiveness, economic growth, cybersecurity and other important efforts.
     
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – The legislation contains $5.45 billion for NOAA, which is $101.9 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $829.2 million above the request. Funding will help address important priorities such as climate research, improvements in weather forecasting, the reduction of harmful algal blooms, fisheries management, and STEM education.

Department of Justice (DOJ) – The bill funds DOJ at $33.2 billion, an increase of $972.5 million above the FY 2020 discretionary enacted level. These investments will strengthen protection for civil rights while sustaining Federal law enforcement efforts to thwart violent crime, fight human traffickers, and bring serious criminals to justice.  This includes funding for the following:

  • Policing Reform and Racial Justice – Takes concrete actions and provides resources for meaningful change, including:
    • $400 million for grants to carry out police reform initiatives, including:
      • $100 million for pattern and practice investigations
      • $250 million to implement statutes providing for independent investigation of law enforcement
      • $25 million for community-based organizations aimed at improving law enforcement
      • $25 million for pilot programs and the implementation of effective standards and programs aimed at improving management and addressing misconduct by law enforcement officers
    • $77.5 million for Police-Community Relations Grant programs
    • $50 million within Byrne JAG for training for state and local law enforcement on racial profiling, implicit bias, de-escalation, use of force, the duty to intervene when witnessing another officer using excessive force, and procedural justice
    • $27.2 million within Byrne JAG to help state and local law enforcement improve reporting on the use of force, comply with consent decrees and other reform measures, and create local task forces on public safety innovation
    • $25 million for Federal investigation and prosecution support to address misconduct and systemic change in police organizations, and negates limits on such efforts begun by former Attorney General Sessions
    • $8 million for Hate Crime Prevention and Prosecution Grants
    • $5 million for a new National Task Force on Law Enforcement Oversight
    • $4 million for Civilian Review Boards
    • Requires state and local law enforcement agencies to begin or complete the process of obtaining accreditation from a certified law enforcement accreditation organization, as a precondition for receiving any fiscal year 2021 Justice Department funds.
    • Requires state and local governments, as a precondition for receiving any fiscal year 2021 COPS or Byrne JAG funds, to comply with nine conditions aimed at improving police practices; eliminating racial profiling and implicit bias; eliminating excessive force and chokeholds; eliminating “no-knock” warrants in drug cases; eliminating contractual arrangements that prevent investigations of law enforcement misconduct; and eliminating sexual contact between police and persons in their custody.
    • Requires at least 25 percent of a recipient’s Byrne JAG formula funds to be spent in specified ways aimed at improving police practices.
  • Other Justice Grant Programs – The bill additionally includes further responsible and effective investments in state and local justice, including:
    • $525 million for Violence Against Women Act programs
    • $251.5 million for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program
    • $142 million for DNA Initiative Grants
    • $49 million for Grants to Reduce the Sexual Assault Kit Backlog
    • $140 million for STOP School Violence Act programs
    • $95 million for Victims of Trafficking grants
    • $100 million for Second Chance Act programs
    • $94.5 million for Missing and Exploited Children programs
  • Anti-Opioid Abuse – $412 million for grant programs authorized under the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, an increase of $34 million above the FY 2020 enacted level, to help stem this abuse, including for drug courts, treatment, prescription drug monitoring, and overdose-reversal drugs.  The bill maintains Federal law enforcement resources to investigate and prosecute drug traffickers.
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – $9.7 billion for salaries and expenses, an increase of $235.4 million above the FY 2020 enacted level. The bill maintains critical FBI missions, including funding to continue to address cybercrime and cyberthreats, foreign intelligence, human trafficking, and NICS gun background checks.  It also funds enhanced civil rights enforcement.
     
  • Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) – $730 million is provided, an increase of $61 million above the FY 2020 enacted level. This increase will allow for the continued hiring of immigration judges and support staff to address the immigration case backlog.
     
  • Community Relations Service (CRS) – $20.3 million for CRS, an increase of $4.3 million above the FY 2020 enacted level.
     
  • Bureau of Prisons (BOP) – $7.7 billion for salaries and expenses, an increase of $300 million above the FY 2020 enacted level.  This includes not less than $165 million to continue progress in implementing the First Step Act, an increase of $90 million above the FY 2020 enacted level.
     
  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) – The legislation contains $1.55 billion for ATF, an increase of $150 million above the FY 2020 enacted level. This funding will provide additional resources, including for expansion of the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN), to reduce violent gun crime.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – $22.63 billion, equal to the FY 2020 enacted level. This funding includes continued investments in human space exploration efforts, as well as other investments, including the following:

  • $819 million for Aeronautics research, an increase of $35 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and equal to the President’s budget request, to continue efforts to improve passenger safety, fuel efficiency, and noise reduction, and to make air travel more environmentally sustainable.
  • $126 million for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Engagement, an increase of $6 million above the FY 2020 enacted level, to inspire young people to pursue future careers in science and engineering, and rejecting the Administration’s request to eliminate funding for these programs.

 

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) –$8.55 billion, an increase of $270 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $806.9 million above the request.  These funds will foster innovation and U.S. economic competitiveness, including funding for research on artificial intelligence, quantum information science, advanced manufacturing, physics, mathematics, cybersecurity, neuroscience, and STEM education.   The bill also invests in important scientific infrastructure such as modernization of Antarctica facilities, as well as telescopes and research vessels.   Within this total:
    • Research and Related Activities are funded at $6.97 billion, an increase of $229.9 million above the FY 2020 enacted level; and
    • Education and Human Resources are funded at $970 million, an increase of $30 million above the FY 2020 enacted level.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – $408.7 million, an increase of $19.2 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $46.2 million above the Administration’s request.

Legal Services Corporation:  The legislation provides $465 million for the Legal Services Corporation, an increase of $25 million above the FY 2020 enacted level, to help increase the availability of legal assistance in underserved communities.

Policy Provisions –

  • Eliminates section 201 of the Administration’s request, a longstanding provision that would have allowed up to $50,000 for additional Attorney General reception and representation expenses.
  • Eliminates section 205 of the Administration’s request, a longstanding provision that would have allowed up to 5 percent of any appropriation to the Justice Department to be transferred between appropriations, with limits. 
  • Adds new restriction prohibiting funds in this Act from supporting Attorney General travel outside the National Capital Region.
  • Adds new language prohibiting funding for law enforcement for crowd control, unless such law enforcement wears clearly visible identification showing their agency affiliation.
  • Prohibits funding for more than five political appointees at the Census Bureau.

 

###

116th Congress