Chairman Cartwright Statement to Rules Committee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Bill

2021-07-27 15:38

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Matt Cartwright (D-PA-08) today delivered the following remarks to the House Rules Committee in support of an appropriate rule for the House to consider H.R. 4505, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bill:

The FY22 Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill will help us build a more prosperous, safe, and competitive America for all of us.

The bill includes a net discretionary spending total of $81.3 billion.  This is an increase of just over $10 billion, or 14 percent, above fiscal year 2021. 

The bill provides strong increases for economic development assistance grants, the Minority Business Development Agency, and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program.

The bill further helps create jobs by expanding U.S. exports and fighting the unfair trade practices of other countries, including through sizable funding increases for the International Trade Administration and International Trade Commission.

We also provide solid funding levels for enhanced civil rights enforcement, counterterrorism initiatives, efforts to combat cyber criminals, enhanced environmental law enforcement, and efforts to fight gun violence.

Strong funding is provided for state and local law enforcement, including the COPS Hiring program and Byrne Justice Assistance Grant formula program.

At the same time, this bill takes very seriously our obligation not only to help fight crime, but also to ensure that our systems of policing and criminal justice work effectively for all Americans.    

To receive funding, jurisdictions will be required to have an array of laws in place (consistent with the approach taken in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act) to ensure that their police practices are just and humane.  The bill also provides funding for investigations into law enforcement patterns and practices, and improved police training. 

The bill also funds civilian review boards, a national police misconduct registry, a National Task Force on Law Enforcement Oversight, and community-based violence intervention initiatives, as well as strong funding for the First Step Act and Second Chance Act to help formerly incarcerated individuals transition back into society. 

The bill provides $70 million under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to help state and local law enforcement conduct educational outreach and training on hate crimes, and to investigate and prosecute them, as well as an additional $30 million for community organizations for efforts to prevent hate crimes.

We provide substantial increases for grants to address the opioid epidemic, as well as a massive increase for the Violence Against Women Act.

I am proud that this bill makes major investments in our ability to better understand and mitigate the very real and tangible impacts of climate change, including strong increases for the important climate work being conducted by NOAA, the National Science Foundation, and NASA’s Earth Science Division.  

The bill provides a 13.5 percent increase for the National Science Foundation, with strong increases for research and for efforts to broaden participation in STEM. 

The bill includes $25 billion for NASA, a strong increase of more than $1.7 billion.

Finally, this legislation provides a record high funding level of $600 million for the Legal Services Corporation to greatly expand legal services for low-income persons.

In closing, I want to say that I believe we should all be enormously proud of this bill.  This legislation will do a substantial amount of good for the American people, and I urge all Members to support it.  Thank you.

117th Congress