Thursday, June 05, 2014
Contact: Vince Morris w/ Appropriations: (202) 224-1010
Mikulski Press Office: (202) 228-1122
COMMERCE, JUSTICE, SCIENCE, AND RELATED AGENCIES
FISCAL YEAR 2015 APPROPRIATIONS BILL
Full Committee Mark: June 5, 2014
Washington, DC - The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee today approved fiscal year 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies funding legislation that totals $51.2 billion in proposed discretionary budget authority, a decrease of $398 million below the fiscal year 2014 level and an increase of $1 billion above the President’s request level.
U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement:
“The CJS bill meets three compelling priorities: keeping America safe; creating jobs through innovation, and promoting and protecting American businesses. This bill is first and foremost a public safety bill. It funds Federal, State, and local law enforcement to protect us from criminals, scammers, terrorists, predators, and hackers. It also funds weather prediction and warnings so we can get out of the way when severe weather threatens lives and property.
“CJS also puts money in the Federal checkbook for high-impact research and technology development to create new products and new jobs for the future. More than half of U.S. economic growth can be attributed to innovation. And this bill supports selling America and American products overseas, because once we create new innovation-based companies and products, we support those businesses by helping them export more American products, and we protect them by enforcing trade laws, safeguarding computer networks, and defending intellectual property.”
The Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies bill invests in a wide range of critical programs that affect the lives of all Americans. The bill provides $28 billion for the Department of Justice to keep America safe from criminals and terrorists as well as to provide grants and assistance to State and local law enforcement that puts police officers on the beat, equips them with bulletproof vests, tests backlogged DNA evidence, protects schools and colleges campuses, and assists victims of violent crime and sexual assault.
The bill makes investments in public safety, economic growth, innovation, job creation, and trade promotion with $8.6 billion for the Department of Commerce to warn Americans about severe weather, promote American businesses and exports, create cybersecurity standards to protect dot-mil, dot-gov, and dot-com, protect American ideas, provide economic development, and enable sustainable development of ocean resources.
Science agencies supported by the bill include the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). These agencies fund research that not only wins Nobel prizes, but also makes our lives better – from finding ways to increase severe weather warning times to coming up with the next technological breakthroughs that will lead to entirely new industries. Innovation leads to economic growth and prosperity as discoveries become new products and new technologies that create jobs.
Highlights of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Bill
Keeping America Safe
The CJS spending bill provides total resources of $28 billion for the Department of Justice to fight crime and terrorism, and protect communities and families, split between State, local, and tribal law enforcement grants and Federal law enforcement responsibilities. This amount is $260 million more than the fiscal year 2014 level and $23 million more than the President’s budget request.
State, Local, and Tribal Law Enforcement. The CJS bill is the major Federal funding source for our State, local, and tribal partners who fight violent crime, combat violence against women and children, and support victims of crime. State and local law enforcement need the assistance provided by Federal resources to continue to keep our communities safe, vibrant, and strong. The bill provides $2.3 billion to help State and local law enforcement with the tools they need to fight violent crime, gangs, and terrorism. This amount is $10 million more than the President’s budget request and $11 million less than the fiscal year 2014 level and includes funding for key grant programs such as $376 million for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, $181 million for COPS hiring grants, $430 million for Violence Against Women Act programs, and $258 million for juvenile justice and mentoring grants.
This level of funding will help State, local, and tribal law enforcement to place roughly 1,400 cops on the beat; provide women with support services to leave violent abusers; put away rapists, child abusers, and sex predators; break up child pornography and prostitution rings; build the capacity of crime laboratories to process DNA evidence and thousands of untested sexual assault kits for use as evidence in trials; break the school to prison pipeline; and help root out and prosecute the most violent gang members.
The Department of Justice estimates that 400,000 sexual assault kits are sitting untested in police evidence lockers. To help communities address this backlog, the bill includes $41 million for a new community-based sexual assault response reform initiative. The initiative will provide a thorough approach that includes kit testing, investigation and prosecution of sexual assault crimes, training for law enforcement officers, and victim services. The goal of the program is not only to test backlogged kits, but also to develop approaches that improve the law enforcement response to sexual assault and services to victims.
Federal Law Enforcement. Gangs and illegal drug use are on the rise with 30,000 gangs operating in America, the highest number in 14 years, and with heroin use rising 79 percent between 2007 and 2012. The bill provides nearly $26 billion to fund the critical core national security, law enforcement, investigation, and prosecution missions of the Justice Department to protect the safety and security of our communities, and to help ensure that criminal perpetrators are brought to justice. This amount is $13 million more than the request and $271 million more than the fiscal year 2014 enacted level.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – The bill provides $8.3 billion for FBI salaries and expenses, $13 million above the request and $45 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level, to investigate terrorism, violent crime, economic fraud, crimes against children, and cybercrime.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – The bill provides total resources of $2.0 billion for the DEA, which is the same as the President’s request and the fiscal year 2014 enacted level, to target and dismantle criminal narcotics activities, and regulate and combat prescription drug abuse.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) – The bill provides the requested level of $1.2 billion for the ATF, which is $22 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level, to enforce Federal firearms and explosives laws.
U.S. Marshals Service – The bill provides $1.2 billion for U.S. Marshals Service, which is the same as the President’s request and the fiscal year 2014 enacted level, to apprehend dangerous fugitives, protect the Federal judiciary, and transport prisoners for court proceedings.
U.S. Attorneys – The bill provides $1.9 billion for the U.S. Attorneys, which is $6 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $5 million below the President’s request, to prosecute cases in international and domestic terrorism, mortgage fraud and financial crime, human trafficking, child exploitation, and firearms and violent crime.
Federal Prison System – The bill provides the requested level of $6.8 billion for the salaries and expenses of the Bureau of Prisons, the same as the request and an increase of $35 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This funding will maintain staffing levels at existing prisons to ensure safe and adequate facilities to house the inmate population, continue the activation of newly constructed or acquired prison facilities, and expand reentry programs for eligible inmates to successfully transition back into the community.
Gun Violence. This bill fights gun violence with $1.1 billion in resources to help keep our homes, schools, and neighborhoods safe. This is the same as the requested level and $35 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. The bill provides $142 million to the FBI, an increase of $13 million, to run instant background checks so legal buyers can exercise their Second Amendment rights while keeping guns out of the hands of known criminals. It will give ATF an additional $22 million for a total of $798 million for criminal enforcement, investigations, and inspections tools to enforce gun laws, trace firearms found at crime scenes, and keep illegal guns away from traffickers and criminals. The bill also provides $58.5 million for all states to improve the quality of criminal and mental health records so interstate background checks are more effective and $15 million to train local police on how to respond to active shooter situations so police and bystanders can get out safely when the unthinkable happens. The program for comprehensive school safety is funded at $75 million through DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs which will allow communities to conduct school safety assessments and fill gaps in school safety plans.
Weather. In 2013, the United States suffered seven major weather and climate disasters that are estimated to cost more than $1 billion dollars each. One-third of U.S. GDP is affected by climate and weather, including everything from farmers trying to protect livestock and crops, to cities relying on energy from wind turbines and solar panels, to air travelers trying to get home safely and on time despite storms. That is why this bill puts $3.2 billion in the Federal checkbook to make American weather prediction and operations the gold standard, an increase of $117 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level.
This funding directly supports our Federal weather infrastructure with the full request of $2.18 billion, an increase of $93 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level, to keep our flagship weather satellites on budget and on schedule. Our forecasting offices will be staffed and ready with $1.1 billion in weather service operations and infrastructure, which is
$20 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This funding will help modernize weather warning communications, strengthen tsunami warnings, and support next generation radar technology.
A world class weather service depends on other ocean and atmospheric observations, data, and research to understand our planet and predict the weather with greater precision. That’s why this bill supports a healthy and balanced National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration funded at $5.4 billion, which is $105 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $69 million below the President’s request level.
Cybersecurity. Roughly half of American adults have had their personal information exposed by hackers in the last 12 months. Chinese military operatives stand indicted for stealing nuclear, steel, and solar industry trade secrets. Cybercrime does not just happen inside of a computer and impacts of an attack can be devastating off-line. This bill ensures that the Department of Justice can continue to respond to attacks, and catch and prosecute the criminals behind the keyboard by funding cybersecurity for the Department of Justice at $722 million, the same as fiscal year 2014. The bill helps NIST build partnerships that will protect critical infrastructure like the power grid, so dot-com can protect itself and so, working together, the government and the private sector get cyber technology into the hands of those who can use it through the $15 million National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. NSF is funding merit-reviewed, next generation cyber research like new techniques for building networks that are secure from the start with $159 million for cybersecurity R&D.
Creating Jobs Through Innovation
More than half of U.S. economic growth can be attributed to innovation that began with basic research. New ideas become new products and new companies. The unexpected consequences of a new idea can be transformational. For example, two Stanford graduate students’ NSF grant to optimize search engines changed the Internet and the way people search, e-mail, and use the cloud resulted in the creation of Google. Not every NSF grant has the potential to be another Google, but basic research will remain the key element of high growth, high value companies.
That’s why the bill focuses on increasing research at key science agencies.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is funded at $900 million, which is $50 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and the same as the request. This funding enables a set of initiatives that will catalyze innovations, develop measurements, and provide technical resources to promote the global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers and aspiring start-ups. NIST’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) and Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia (AMTech) will help manufacturers accelerate development and adoption of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies for making new, globally competitive products.
The bill provides the full request of $7.2 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF), an increase of $83 million over fiscal year 2014. The increase will provide 140 more competitive grants supporting 2,000 more technicians, teachers, scientists, and students in fiscal year 2015.
No agency represents the Nation’s scientific prowess like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The dream of space inspires schoolchildren to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. NASA scientists and their private sector and university partners are peering into the big bang and the origins of the universe, drilling into rocks on Mars, researching cures for salmonella on the International Space Station, building the vehicles that will let humans explore beyond low earth orbit, preparing to analyze samples from the Sun, and looking back to Earth to understand and protect our planet. The $17.9 billion in the bill for NASA will preserve a NASA portfolio balanced among science, aeronautics, technology, and human space flight investments. Moreover, it will keep NASA in the forefront of innovation, inspiring private companies to build new crew transportation, and fueling a new satellite servicing industry that can revive, refuel, and rejuvenate defunct communications satellites. The amount provided for NASA is $439 million above the President’s request and $254 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level.
Promote and Protect American Businesses
The bill builds American prosperity by protecting American intellectual property, investing in economic development, promoting international trade, and protecting American companies from unfair trade practices.
· Protecting American Ideas. According to the Department of Commerce, the top Intellectual Property (IP)-intensive industries in the U.S. support at least 40 million jobs and contribute more than $5 trillion to U.S. gross domestic product. The bill fully funds the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), with $3.48 billion to protect inventors so they can reap the profits from their ideas. This level is the same as the request and $434 million above fiscal year 2014.
· Building Businesses – The bill provides $235 million for the Economic Development Administration (EDA), including $20 million for the Regional Innovation Program. This level of funding will allow EDA to award more than 400 grants to help communities plan regional strategies for long-term growth, leveraging $2 billion in private investment and generating thousands of jobs in small and American-owned businesses.
Promoting International Trade and Protecting American Companies – U.S. exports support more than 11 million American jobs. The International Trade Administration (ITA) is funded at $480 million, $10 million more than the fiscal year 2014 enacted level, to help U.S. farmers, manufacturers, and service providers sell their products overseas. ITA has trade promotion offices in 77 countries and more than 100 American cities. The bill also supports the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center to aggressively tackle unfair trade practices hurting American businesses.
Preventing Waste, Fraud, and Abuse
All of the agencies funded under the bill are called on to be better stewards of taxpayer dollars. The bill:
Provides robust funding for Inspectors General (IGs), the taxpayers’ watchdogs, and directs agencies to implement IG and GAO report recommendations;
Sustains or reduces reception and representation funds at the fiscal year 2014 level, which was a cut of 25 percent below fiscal year 2010 levels, so agencies reduce costs of executive meetings, receptions, and conferences, or buy fewer promotional items like t-shirts, hats, and mugs;
Prohibits lavish banquets and conferences by requiring agencies to report conference spending to the IGs;
Requires the IGs to do random audits of grant funding to find and stop waste and fraud;
Establishes an early warning system on cost overruns and techno-boondoggles, which requires agencies to notify the Committee when costs of projects grow by more than 10 percent;
Caps costs for major acquisition projects, including weather satellites and space telescopes;
Prohibits grants and contracts from being awarded to tax cheats and felons;
Bans Federal funding for official portraits; and
Improves oversight of funding for official travel and advertising expenses.
Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies