Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill Approved By Subcommittee

Apr 12, 2011
Press Release

Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill Approved By Subcommittee
Contains “unsustainable” increases in spending
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations subcommittee today approved its annual bill to fund the various federal agencies within its jurisdiction. The proposed legislation totals $64.4 billion – a $6.8 billion or a 12% increase over last year.
House Appropriations Ranking Republican Rep. Jerry Lewis praised the bill’s focus on providing funding for important national programs but underscored the need to prioritize programs to keep spending within responsible and prudent levels.
“This proposal’s double digit increase in overall spending is excessive and unsustainable,” Lewis said, “During this time of economic struggle and record deficits, we must make tough choices to focus our limited actual resources on the most important national priorities, while restraining spending in other areas.”
Subcommittee Ranking Republican Rep. Frank Wolf also expressed concern with the proposal’s cost, saying that the overly-generous allocation meant that Congress would be able to avoid making tough but necessary decisions to maintain fiscal discipline.
“This level of spending is unsustainable in light of our growing deficits and debt,” Wolf said. “I believe that we could have met the most urgent needs by prioritizing within a lower allocation.”
Both Lewis and Wolf expressed support for funding for programs of national importance in the bill - including the FBI, the National Science Foundation, and the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP). The SCAAP program was slated for elimination under the President’s budget request, but is funded at $300 million - or $100 million below last year’s level – in the subcommittee proposal. Wolf indicated that there will likely be attempts to increase this funding as the bill makes its way through the legislative process.
Another item of note is the proposal’s lack of requested funding for closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The subcommittee bill also includes language to restrict the transfer or release of detainees into the United States.

112th Congress