Chairman Hal Rogers Floor Statement on H.R. 4660, the Fiscal Year 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill

May 28, 2014

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers gave the following statement on the House floor today in support of H.R. 4660, the Fiscal Year 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill:

"Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 4660, the Fiscal Year 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill

"I’m very proud to be here today to speak on this important bill, which is the third Appropriations bill we’ve brought to the floor this year. We’re moving at a pace that should allow us to complete our Appropriations work for the 2015 fiscal year on time – and I promise that my Committee will do everything it can to make that a reality.

"As Chairman Wolf said, H.R. 4660 provides $51.2 billion in funding for the Department of Justice, the Department of Commerce, NASA, the National Science Foundation, and related agencies. This very thorough piece of legislation – which was approved by the Committee on a bipartisan basis – makes clear our priorities of keeping our nation safe and growing our economy.

"To achieve these goals, we targeted our precious tax dollars toward those programs with proven results and economic benefit.

"We increased funding for the Department of Justice by $383 million over last year. Within this total, we targeted FBI funding toward counterterrorism programs, and programs that fight cyber-intrusion, gangs, and human trafficking.

"We also work to fight drug trafficking by providing the DEA with $2.4 billion. This includes $367 million to combat prescription drug abuse, which has quickly become our nation’s number-one drug threat.

"The funding in this bill will also help to protect communities across the nation from the risks of devastating natural disasters.  We rejected the President’s proposed cuts to the National Weather Service, and have made sure that adequate funding is provided for hurricane forecasting and tsunami warning grants. We’ve also made investments in the future of weather forecasting technology.

"In addition to our efforts to keep this nation safe, we have also funded programs that will help our nation prosper.

"Within the NSF and the Department of Commerce, we’ve invested in programs that foster innovation and boost our economic competitiveness. This includes funding for programs that conduct research on manufacturing, cyber security, neuroscience, and STEM education, as well as $5 million in grant funding to encourage the repatriation of overseas jobs.

"But – as my Committee will do with every bill we bring to the floor this year – we have ensured that this funding is responsible, is reasonable, and will make the most out of every single taxpayer dollar spent. By scouring out waste and trimming unnecessary or lower-priority spending, we have produced a bill that comes in nearly $400 million below last year.

"I’d like to note that we did this in spite of the President’s request, which had $800 million in false savings and offsets, and underfunded a variety of critical programs. This bill rejects those gimmicks, and makes sure that these programs have received funding levels that allow them to do their important work.

"To make sure this good work does not fall to the wayside, we’ve included several oversight provisions that will ensure our tax dollars are being spent responsibly.

"In addition, this bill includes several provisions that will assure the life, liberty, and property of the American people – such as prohibiting the transfer or release of Guantanamo detainees into the U.S., protecting our Second Amendment rights, and preserving the sanctity of life.

"Mr. Speaker, before I close, I’d like to thank the Commerce, Justice, Science subcommittee, the staff and Ranking Member Mr. Fattah, for all their hard work on this bill.

"I would particularly like to recognize the Chairman of the CJS Subcommittee, and the author of this fine piece of legislation. Over his twenty-plus years of service in the House, Chairman Frank Wolf has been a stalwart, passionate legislator, and a dedicated, conscientious appropriator. His expert work on the Appropriations Committee can be summed up in this legislation we have before us today. I know that when he’s gone, his absence will be deeply felt.

So, thank you, Chairman Wolf, for all you’ve done for this bill, the Appropriations Committee, the House of Representatives, Virginia, and the United States of America. We will miss you.

"With that, I would like to urge my colleagues to support H.R. 4660 today.

"Thank you. I yield back."