Chairman Cartwright Statement at Full Committee Markup of Fiscal Year 2023 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Funding Bill
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 2023 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies bill:
“Thank you very much, Chair DeLauro, for your leadership and hard work, especially during these very busy weeks as we work to move all 12 appropriations bills, and thank you to Ranking Member Granger as well.
“I also want to thank my colleague, Mr. Aderholt, for all his hard work and collaboration on this bill.
“Although we didn’t agree on everything, I’m glad there were so many matters where we were able to work productively together, and I appreciate your cooperation and partnership in helping to produce this legislation. As I mentioned at Subcommittee, your insight and input are reflected throughout the bill.
“The Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations we put forward for fiscal year 2023 will help build a safer, more just, bolder, more prosperous, and more competitive America.
“It includes a discretionary spending total of $85.7 billion. This is an increase of $7.6 billion, or 9.7% above the fiscal year 2022 level, in order to fund the wide array of critical programs and activities that fall under the subcommittee’s jurisdiction.
“A top priority in this bill is public safety and efforts to fight crime at the local level. The bill emphasizes assistance to local law enforcement, with strong funding increases for COPS Hiring and for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, as well as community projects that aim to support public safety in over 200 communities across the country.
“With gun safety and gun violence solutions on everyone’s mind, the bill provides increases for ATF enforcement and funding for much-needed improvements to the background check system, as well as funding for community violence intervention and prevention efforts, and grants to help implement extreme risk protection orders.
“The bill goes on to provide a funding increase for grants under the STOP School Violence Act to increase school safety.
“Also boosted by this bill is funding for programs under the Violence Against Women Act, as well as resources to reduce the appalling backlog of unprocessed rape kits. An increase is provided for Victims of Child Abuse Act grants as well.
“And, of course, we provide solid funding for Federal law enforcement, including funding for efforts to combat violent crime and cyber criminals, as well as prosecutorial resources to bring to justice those who committed crimes at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The bill also includes additional funding to reinforce our institutions of democracy and protect the right to vote for everyone with that right under the law, as well as to investigate and prosecute domestic terrorism.
“We address the troubling problem of hate crimes in our society by providing $117.5 million for prevention and prosecution grants, more than five times the amount provided in fiscal year 2022.
“The bill continues funding for the First Step Act and provides increased funding for federal prison staffing to enhance officer and inmate safety.
“We also provide substantial resources in this bill to address the opioid epidemic still plaguing our society. Increases are included for grants under the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and for drug courts and veterans’ treatment courts.
“And, in the interest of fundamental fairness, this legislation provides a record high funding level of $675 million for the Legal Services Corporation – in order to expand legal services for low-income persons.
“The legislation further funds numerous initiatives that will advance civil rights and racial justice throughout our country, including funding for improved training for law enforcement officers, as well as funding increases for the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Civil Rights Commission.
“Just as critical is our work to preserve and create jobs in distressed areas, and this bill provides strong funding increases for the Economic Development Administration, the Minority Business Development Agency, and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program.
“By providing healthy increases for the International Trade Administration and International Trade Commission, the bill also helps create jobs by expanding U.S. exports and fighting the unfair trading practices of other countries.
This CJS bill provides full funding for the ongoing work of the National Weather Service to predict extreme heat and other forms of severe weather.
“The bill also makes investments in our ability to understand and mitigate the tangible impacts of climate change – by providing strong funding increases for climate work being conducted by NOAA, the National Science Foundation, and NASA’s Earth Science Division.
“The bill strengthens American technological and scientific competitiveness by providing important funding increases for NSF and National Institute of Standards and Technology. Increased funding for STEM Engagement efforts across the bill’s science agencies will help further cultivate American scientific talent.
“Finally, this subcommittee’s commitment to American leadership in space science, space exploration, and aeronautics research is very apparent, as the bill provides $25.4 billion for NASA, an increase of more than $1.4 billion above fiscal year 2022.
“In closing, there is a lot to be proud of and a lot to support in this diverse and important bill. The legislation before us today will make American stronger and better in a number of ways, and I urge all Members to support it.”