Chair DeLauro Statement at Subcommittee Markup of Fiscal Year 2023 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Funding Bill
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee's markup of its fiscal year 2023 bill:
Thank you, Chairman Cartwright, Ranking Member Aderholt, and Members of the subcommittee for your work on this bill. And I also want to thank the staff for all of your efforts to get us this bill this evening.
As our Nation continues to recover from the devastation of the pandemic, rising inflation, and the impacts of crime, it is our responsibility to build safer communities and to help bolster economic development within them. This bill – building on the achievements in the 2022 government funding package – continues to reverse the decades of underinvestment that have made too many Americans feel unsafe and have pushed working families aside for far too long.
I am especially proud of this bill because the programs and policies within it keep Americans safe. People across the country are worried about their children and families as they go to school, work, or the grocery store. They should not have to be.
We are providing resources for the state and local law enforcement agencies who need our support and respect as they keep our communities safe. The bill includes significant funding increases for Byrne Justice Assistance grants and COPS Hiring grants. We are also providing strong funding for Federal law enforcement to counter the biggest threats to our safety, including domestic terrorism, cyber threats, and civil rights violations. Simultaneously, we provide funding for more effective training for police, as well as for pattern and practice investigations and collaborative reform efforts, to not only provide our officers the resources they need, but also ensure effective and responsible oversight of policing.
The lack of safety many feel has only been made worse by the gun violence epidemic impacting nearly every corner of our nation and taking too many people from us every single day and night. Americans are rightfully afraid of these tragedies. Gun violence has now become the leading cause of death among children. This should anger every single one of us into action. This bill addresses the gun violence epidemic by providing full funding for the enforcement efforts of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check system for gun purchases. The bill also provides funding to help states implement extreme risk protection orders and provides strong increases for STOP School Violence Act grants and for the Community Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative to prevent gang and gun violence. At the same time, the bill helps ensure our police officers are better prepared to handle violent threats like active shooters.
And quite tragically, so much of the violence we are seeing is targeted against women. This bill addresses this with increases for Violence Against Women Act programs to support women experiencing sexual assault and domestic violence, strengthening our commitment to protecting those who need us the most.
Keeping Americans safe is only the beginning, which is why we must invest in the programs that help make our communities more prosperous and competitive. For that reason, funding under the Department of Commerce will help create good-paying American jobs through investments that empower distressed communities with economic development tools and strengthen small businesses and American manufacturers. Our economy will reach its full potential only when small and medium-sized manufacturers and businesses have access to the business growth opportunities they need and so deserve. I am proud that this bill provides strong increases to support them.
The wide-ranging impact of this bill also includes funding for programs that help us look toward the future, while confronting the climate crisis in force. We are protecting our planet with strong funding for climate resilience and research at NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Science Foundation. And in the process, we are also supporting the Justice Department’s efforts to help combat the climate crisis and advance environmental justice.
Our communities need to be and they need to feel safe. I am proud the investments in this bill protect our most vulnerable and their families so we can once and for all help them reach their fullest potential.
Again, I thank you Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member, urge my colleagues to support this legislation, and yield back.