Chairman Cartwright Statement at Full Committee Markup of Fiscal Year 2022 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Funding Bill

2021-07-15 15:32

Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Chairman of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Appropriations Committee's markup of the fiscal year 2022 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies bill:

Thank you very much, Chair DeLauro, for your leadership of this Committee, especially during this very busy week, and thank you to Ranking Member Granger as well. 

I also want to again thank my colleague, Mr. Aderholt, for all his hard work and collaboration on this bill.

The Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill we have put forward for fiscal year 2022 will help us build a more prosperous, safe, and competitive America for all of us.

I know that Ranking Member Aderholt and I do not agree on everything, but I am heartened by the number of matters where we were able to collaborate and work together, and I appreciate his cooperation and partnership in helping to produce this bill.  His input is certainly reflected throughout this bill.

The CJS appropriations bill for fiscal year 2022 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, in order to fund the wide array of Federal programs and activities that fall under this subcommittee’s jurisdiction. 

From economic development and support for manufacturers, to weather forecasting, climate research and resilience efforts, to space exploration and scientific research, to fighting crime, protecting civil rights, and improving policing and the criminal justice system---the CJS appropriations bill impacts every American and is a force for good in so many ways.

I’d like to touch upon some of the many highlights of this very important bill.

First, this bill helps preserve and create jobs in distressed areas throughout the country, by providing strong funding increases for a number of related programs and agencies.

This includes economic development assistance grants, the Minority Business Development Agency, and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, which assists small and medium-sized U.S. manufacturers.

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 Federal law enforcement, including funding for enhanced civil rights enforcement, counterterrorism initiatives, efforts to combat cyber criminals, enhanced environmental law enforcement, and efforts to fight gun violence, among other initiatives.

Strong funding is also 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.   The bill places strong conditions on the awarding of law enforcement grant funds, especially under the COPS and Byrne JAG programs. 

Before receiving these funds, jurisdictions will be required to have an array of laws in place to ensure that their police practices are just and humane as they serve and protect everyone in their communities.  The bill also provides $100 million in new grant funding for investigations into law enforcement patterns and practices, as well as $42 million for improved police training. 

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

These are only a few examples of the ways in which this bill will help institute real reform of our systems of policing and criminal justice.

The bill helps fight the growing problem of hate crimes in our society by providing $70 million under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. This will help state and local law enforcement conduct educational outreach and training on hate crimes, and to investigate and prosecute them.  An additional $30 million is also provided for community organizations for efforts to prevent hate crimes.

We provide substantial resources in this bill to address the opioid epidemic plaguing our society.  Strong increases are provided for grant programs under the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, including for drug courts and veterans’ treatment courts.

The bill also includes a huge increase for programs under the Violence Against Women Act, including more than double the fiscal year 2021 amount for Sexual Assault Victims Services.  A strong funding increase is also provided for grants to help reduce the appalling backlog of unprocessed rape kits.

The bill provides full funding for the ongoing work of the National Weather Service to help accurately predict extreme heat and other forms of severe weather.

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 further helps strengthen American technological and scientific competitiveness by providing a 13.5 percent increase for the National Science Foundation.  This includes increases for both scientific research and for efforts to broaden participation in STEM education and STEM careers among underrepresented populations. 

This subcommittee’s commitment to American leadership in space science, space exploration, and aeronautics research continues in this bill, which includes $25 billion for NASA, a substantial increase of more than $1.7 billion above fiscal year 2021.

Finally, this legislation provides a record high funding level of $600 million for the Legal Services Corporation, in order to help 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 of this Committee to support it.  Thank you.

117th Congress