Rogers Remarks at FY24 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Bill Markup

Jul 14, 2023

The Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies will come to order.
Today, the Subcommittee will mark up the Fiscal Year 2024 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bill.
The fiscal situation facing the Nation requires some very significant and difficult spending reductions. The need for reductions was reflected in the Budget Resolution that passed the House, and in the 302b allocation we were given.
Accordingly, this Subcommittee produced a strong bill that right-sizes agencies and programs. We did this by scaling back many unsustainable spending levels to Fiscal Year 2022 levels – or lower. Despite the limited allocation, we are prioritizing the fight against fentanyl and efforts to counter China – including innovation and manufacturing initiatives, space exploration, and scientific research.
I am pleased to describe some of the highlights of the bill for you today. But first, I want to mention the Ranking Member, the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Mr. Cartwright.
He has been a good partner throughout our intensive hearing schedule, and a positive and cooperative force in providing vigorous oversight of the agencies under our jurisdiction.
I want to acknowledge the rest of the Subcommittee Members as well. Your participation has been excellent. It has been a pleasure to work with each of you.
Finally, I would also like to thank Chairwoman Granger, who has been an outstanding leader throughout the appropriations process this year, and Ranking Member DeLauro, for her contributions to the work of this Committee.
The Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bill provides net new spending of $58.383 billion for programs under the jurisdiction of the Subcommittee, which is $23.765 billion below the Fiscal Year 2023 enacted level.
The bill also provides:

  •  A non-defense discretionary total of $52.383 billion, which is $23.527 billion below the Fiscal Year 2023 enacted level and $31.964 billion below the Fiscal Year 2024 President’s Budget Request; and
  • A defense discretionary total of $6.293 billion, which is $238 million below the Fiscal Year 2023 enacted level and $678 million below the Fiscal Year 2024 President’s Budget Request.  

This bill prioritizes the Drug Enforcement Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and National Science Foundation, while freezing, reducing, or eliminating funding for non-essential activities.
The United States must maintain a competitive advantage over China. This bill reverses the Justice Department’s unwise decision to end its China Initiative, and it takes other important steps to counter China, including by fully funding the Administration’s request for Deep Space Exploration, bolstering the Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships at the National Science Foundation, and increasing resources to counter China’s efforts to steal U.S. technology and research.
Many agencies with important missions are subject to reductions in this bill because Congress must act immediately to reverse the out-of-control growth of the federal government. For these agencies, particularly at the Department of Commerce, the Committee’s support continues, but at fiscally responsible levels.
Finally, the bill utilizes the power of the purse to address the weaponization of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and bring an end to the overreach of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Americans’ faith in the Department of Justice seems to be at an all-time low. Many believe the FBI and ATF sometimes employ unnecessarily aggressive tactics, and don’t hold themselves to the same standards by which they hold the subjects of their investigations.
This bill mandates reforms that will help refocus the Justice Department on its core missions, such as defending the U.S. against terrorism and espionage, getting deadly fentanyl off our streets, and combatting child exploitation.
Americans need the Justice Department to eliminate bias from within its ranks and stay above the political fray.
Finally, I would like to recognize the Subcommittee staff, including our clerk Stephanie Gadbois, Alley Adcock, Elizabeth Barczak, Chris Esparza, Ben Turpen, and Elizabeth Markus, for their hard work in preparing the bill before us today.
I would also like to recognize the clerk for the Minority staff, Bob Bonner, as well as Faye Cobb, Nora Faye, and Shannon McCully, for their efforts on behalf of this Subcommittee.
I will now yield to Ranking Member Cartwright for his remarks; then I will yield to Ranking Member, Ms. DeLauro if she would like to make remarks.
I now recognize the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee, Mr. Cartwright, for his opening remarks.