Chair DeLauro Statement at Full Committee Markup of Fiscal Year 2023 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Funding Bill

2022-06-28 14:19

WASHINGTON —Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the Committee's markup of the fiscal year 2023 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies bill:

I thank the Chair, the Ranking Member, and Members of the Subcommittee for the good work on this bill.

The bill before us strengthens our commitment to building safer communities and promoting economic development for all Americans all over the Nation. Through the 2022 funding package, we replaced decades of disinvestment in those who need it the most with strong funding in our working- and middle-class families and in their safety. 

This Subcommittee has worked very hard, holding hearings on everything from the Department of Justice’s defense of our civil rights and its efforts to fight crime, to the changing needs of the Commerce Department and the National Science Foundation as they support American competitiveness.

No one should fear for their safety or that of their children and their families as they go about their lives. But too many do. The bill before us keeps Americans and our communities safe with significant funding for Federal, State, and local law enforcement. This includes nearly $717 million for Byrne Justice Assistance grants and over $540 million for the COPS programs. We also strengthen accountability and ensure oversight of police practices, including by funding more effective police training efforts. We also strengthen support for Federal law enforcement as they counter domestic terrorism and fight violent crime, cyber threats, and civil rights violations.

We also greatly expand gun violence prevention efforts. The gun violence epidemic takes people from us every single day. People are scared, and they need change. To expand efforts to reduce violent gun crime, the bill provides funding for the enforcement efforts of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. We are funding gun violence reduction grants to keep our communities safe, including STOP School Violence Act grants and the Community Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative to prevent gang and gun violence. We are providing funding to strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check system for gun purchases, and to help states implement extreme risk protection orders.

We are also working to end the opioid epidemic, including by countering the trafficking of opioids and other drugs, and for treatment, overdose-reversal drugs, and justice and mental health collaboration programs.

We focus on protecting women experiencing sexual assault and domestic violence with Violence Against Women Act prevention and prosecution programs and with efforts to reduce the backlog of unprocessed rape kits.

And we are empowering distressed communities with $510 million for the Economic Development Administration as it works to improve our Nation’s infrastructure, boost economically recovering communities, and launch innovative community development efforts. And we are supporting small and medium-sized manufacturers and businesses with the business growth opportunities they need as we strengthen our economy for decades to come.

And finally, this bill starts to confront the climate crisis and looks to advance scientific developments for the future. With strong funding for NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Science Foundation, we are strengthening climate resilience and research efforts. And we support the Environment and Natural Resources Division at the Department of Justice as it combats the climate crisis and advances environmental justice.

This is a good bill which works to keep our communities safe while working to help Americans all over the country gain greater opportunity.

With that, I again thank the Chairman and the Ranking Member. I want to thank the CJS subcommittee staff for their work. On the majority side: thank you Bob Bonner, and your team: Jeff Ashford, TJ Lowdermilk, Shannon McCully, Jamie Wise, and Nora Faye.

And on the minority side, I want to thank Stephanie Gadbois, Kristin Clarkson, and Darren Benjamin. Again, thanks to the Chairman and Ranking Member. I urge support for this important bill.

117th Congress