WASHINGTON, DC, Tuesday, July 16, 2013 U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee today issued the following statement at a subcommittee markup of a Commerce Justice Science and Related Agencies funding bill.
"Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.
"I would like to thank you for your leadership on this bill.
"We have worked together on many issues throughout our years and I believe that this mark reflects our strong bi-partisan relationship.
"The recommendation before us is consistent with the subcommittee?s allocation of $52.3 billion.
"This allocation however; is based upon a 302(a) allocation of $1.058 trillion.
"While I believe that the subcommittee mark strikes a balance between the competing priorities of law enforcement, terrorism prevention, research, scientific advancement and U.S. competitiveness, I have concerns about the overall allocation.
"For that reason, and that reason alone, I will vote against the CJS bill at full committee.
"I believe that we have a good product and I appreciate the Chair's willingness to accommodate the interests of a majority of Senators in the draft before us.
"Madam Chair, you have described the thrust of the bill and I briefly want to emphasize a few points.
"The bill includes, as you mentioned, robust funding for the Department of Justice and law enforcement grant programs that are essential to state and local law enforcement efforts.
"Additionally, the bill continues to prioritize the protection of our children and communities through robust funding for the Adam Walsh Act, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
"The mark includes essential funding to track down, arrest and prosecute predators who prey on our nation?s children.
"With respect to the Department of Commerce, the bill provides important resources to support NOAA?s next generation of weather satellites, and ensures the National Weather Service can continue to provide timely warnings for dangerous weather outbreaks.
"The bill also supports long-standing economic development programs as well as manufacturing and innovation through partnerships and support for the private sector.
"I am pleased that the bill addresses some key concerns in the Gulf of Mexico and surrounding states, including the continued need for baseline data following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
"In addition, the mark supports improved management practices for red snapper, which are consistent with a growing population of fish.
"The subcommittee mark includes $18 billion for NASA.
"These funds will give NASA the ability to maintain key schedules for ongoing missions and activities, including development of a heavy lift launch vehicle, while funding ongoing activities of the International Space Station and other important research activities.
"I also want to commend the Chair for working with me to include language that provides greater accountability and budgetary transparency to the commercial crew program to ensure that taxpayers are getting the best value for their dollar.
"Again, Madam Chair, I want to thank you for working with me in drafting this bill.
"I believe that you have produced a bill that reflects the Senate's priorities and the needs of our nation."