FY2020 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill Approved for Senate Consideration
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate Committee on Appropriations today approved the FY2020 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Act, which makes investments to support law enforcement, economic prosperity, scientific research, space exploration, and other national priorities.
The $70.833 billion measure is $6.715 billion above the FY2019 enacted level and funds the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, and related agencies. In addition to funding the 2020 Decennial Census, the Senate CJS bill invests in federal law enforcement agencies, state and local law enforcement grants, space exploration, basic science research, economic development programs, trade enforcement, ocean observations, and weather forecasting. It was approved 31-0.
“This bipartisan legislation supports critical priorities, as it provides funding to ensure our nation remains a world leader in space exploration and scientific research, while also funding programs that protect national security interests and boost economic development,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). “I am grateful to Senator Moran and Senator Shaheen for their effort to successfully move this robust bill.”
“This bill is fiscally responsible and prioritizes important federal programs that support economic development, law enforcement, and scientific innovation,” said U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), chairman of the Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee. “I’m especially pleased that this bill accelerates the goal of returning American astronauts to the moon and cements America’s leadership in space exploration. Ranking Member Shaheen and I have worked in a bipartisan manner to craft a strong bill that enables numerous agencies within our jurisdiction to accomplish their missions, keep communities safe, and address the needs of our nation.”
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
The bill includes $15.2 billion for the Department of Commerce, an increase of $3.79 billion above the FY2019 enacted level. In addition to fully funding the 2020 Decennial Census, the Committee continues its strong support for economic development, strengthening trade enforcement, improving fisheries management, protecting intellectual property rights, and advancing severe weather forecasting.
International Trade Administration (ITA) – $521 million for ITA, $26 million above the FY2019 enacted level, to further ITA’s trade enforcement activities, including establishing a dedicated anti-circumvention and duty evasion enforcement unit; adequately resource the Global Markets business unit, ensuring that no foreign or domestic offices will be closed; and further efforts to support and expand trade opportunities for U.S. businesses.
Economic Development Administration (EDA) – $319.5 million for EDA, an increase of $15.5 million above the FY2019 enacted level. This includes $119.5 million for its Public Works program, which supports brick-and-mortar projects in communities across the nation. Funding for EDA also includes $31 million for the Regional Innovation Program, an increase of $7.5 million above the FY2019 enacted amount, to promote and strengthen regional innovation to spur job creation through private-public partnerships.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) – $3.451 billion for USPTO to protect the ideas and inventions of our nation’s entrepreneurs in an effort to advance and innovate in all sectors of the economy.
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – $1.04 billion for NIST, $53 million above the FY2019 enacted level, to strengthen the U.S. cybersecurity posture through cutting-edge research and development, expand opportunities in the areas of advanced manufacturing, and continue promotion of the highest-quality standards to maintain fairness in the global marketplace. Funding for NIST includes a $5.5 million increase for the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, which is a private-public partnership present in all 50 states dedicated to serving small- and medium-sized manufacturers.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – $5.337 billion for NOAA to continue core operations including: ocean monitoring; fisheries management; coastal grants to states; aquaculture research; and severe weather forecasting. Full funding is also provided for NOAA’s flagship weather satellites, which are critical for accurate weather warnings to save lives and protect property.
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) – $42.4 million for NTIA, an increase of $2.9 million above the FY2019 enacted amount. Funds are included to enhance the National Broadband Map, to help provide better broadband access for underserved communities which will allow wider national participation and economic growth, and allow NTIA to perform cutting-edge telecommunications research and engineering.
Bureau of the Census – $7.558 billion for the Bureau of the Census, $3.7 billion above the FY2019 enacted level. In order for the Bureau to execute an accurate and efficient 2020 Census next year, the Committee provides $6.696 billion for the decennial census. This amount includes the $2.5 billion that was agreed to as part of the recent 2019 Bipartisan Budget Agreement.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
The bill funds the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) at $32.446 billion, $1.51 billion above the FY2019 enacted level. Salaries and expenses for most federal law enforcement agencies are increased by three percent. The constantly changing landscape of criminal activity at home and abroad tests DOJ’s ability to deal with emerging threats, and this bill directs federal law enforcement agencies to work cooperatively to safeguard taxpayer dollars while preserving public safety.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – $9.953 billion for the FBI salaries and expenses and construction, a $376 million increase above the FY2019 enacted level. This funding will enable the FBI to continue protecting and defending against terrorist, criminal, and foreign intelligence threats, both at home and abroad. The bill provides $91.6 million for the Innocent Images National Initiative to target and investigate sexual predators on the Internet, and increases funding for cybersecurity activities to neutralize, mitigate, and disrupt illegal computer-supported operations.
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – $2.783 billion for the DEA, $95 million above the FY2019 enacted level, supporting DEA’s mission of enforcing the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States, including efforts to combat heroin, methamphetamine, opioid and prescription drug abuse.
United States Marshals Service (USMS) – $3.3 billion for the USMS, which includes $1.9 billion for federal prisoner detention expenses. This funding supports the USMS’s diverse mission including apprehending Federal fugitives, executing Adam Walsh Act enforcement requirements, such as apprehending convicted sex offenders who fail to register as fugitives; executing responsibilities under International Megan’s Law, including alerting foreign governments when registered sex offenders travel abroad; and protecting our Federal Judiciary.
U.S. Attorneys – $2.278 billion for U.S. Attorneys and the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices, which is a $66 million increase above the FY2019 enacted amount. This funding will further support US Attorney’s prosecutions, including those combatting violent crime, cybercrime and intrusions, and human trafficking cases. This funding includes $48.34 million, equal to the President’s budget request, to continue the focus on Adam Walsh Act investigations and prosecutions related to the sexual exploitation of children. This funding also includes $60.5 million to continue efforts to combat cybercrime and intrusions.
Law Enforcement Grant Programs – $2.7 billion for state and local law enforcement and crime prevention grant programs, which includes grants for state and local law enforcement, the Office on Violence Against Women, and juvenile justice programs. The bill provides $545 million for Byrne JAG; approximately $214 million for initiatives to address sexual assault kit and other DNA evidence backlogs; $517 million to combat the various opioid, meth, and substance abuse crises ravaging our communities, including $136 million in support for Drug Courts, Mental Health Courts, and Veterans Treatment Courts; $90 million for Second Chance Act grants to reduce recidivism for adults released from jail by offering substance abuse treatment, employment assistance, and other rehabilitation services; $35 million for COPS Office Anti-Heroin Task Forces grants; $12 million for COPS Office Anti-Methamphetamine Task Forces grants; $500 million for grants authorized under the Violence Against Women Act; and $315 million for Juvenile Justice grants.
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) – $20 million for PSN, a high priority of DOJ which focuses on assisting local communities to combat violent crime.
STOP School Violence Act – The STOP School Violence Act, is fully funded at its authorized level of $100 million.
Crime Victims Fund (CVF) – The bill provides $3.177 billion to victims and for victim services in FY2020. Additionally, $10 million is reserved for the DOJ Office of the Inspector General to audit grants funded through this distribution, and five percent of the total distribution is set aside to improve services for tribal victims of crime.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – $22.75 billion for NASA, $1.25 billion above the FY2019 enacted level, reflecting the need to fund infrastructure for human spaceflight to support for the accelerated plan to return to the moon by 2024 while supporting NASA’s science, technology development, aeronautics, and education activities. Using the same account funding structure as in previous years, this includes:
- $6.2 billion for Exploration, $1.2 billion above the FY2019 enacted level, to advance NASA’s human exploration program by providing $2.586 billion for the Space Launch System (SLS), $1.4 billion for the Orion crewed spacecraft to continue development of NASA’s next deep-space crewed capsule, $500 million for the proposed Lunar “Gateway,” and $744 million in funding for crewed lunar landers.
- $6.9 billion for Science, equal to the FY2019 enacted amount, including $1.9 billion for Earth science, $2.6 billion for Planetary science, $1.2 billion for astrophysics, $423 million for the Webb telescope, and $735 million for Heliophysics.
- $784 million for Aeronautics, which is $59 million above the FY2019 enacted level. The funding will allow for ongoing low sonic boom experimental plane development, as well as supporting research in unmanned aircraft safety and airspace integration, and advanced aircraft composite and materials research.
- $112 million is provided for the NASA’s STEM Engagement education programs, which were proposed to be eliminated in the budget request. Within STEM Engagement, Space Grant is funded at $47 million, NASA’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is funded at $22 million, the Minority University Research and Education Project is funded at $33 million, and STEM Education and Accountability projects is funded at $10 million.
- $1.076 billion is provided for Space Technology, $149 million above the FY2019 enacted level. Funding is included to advance projects in early stages of development that are expected to eventually demonstrate capabilities needed for future space exploration.
National Science Foundation (NSF) – $8.317 billion for NSF, $242 million above the FY2019 enacted level. Funding is provided for basic research across scientific disciplines to support the development of effective STEM programs.
- The bill provides $249 million above the FY2019 level for research and $27 million above FY2019 level for education activities. These funds will allow NSF to provide more grants to highly competitive research projects and help provide opportunities to prepare the next generation of STEM leaders.
- $190 million is provided for EPSCoR, an increase of $14 million above the FY2019 enacted level.
Legal Services Corporation (LSC) – $425.5 million for LSC, an increase of $10.5 million above the FY2019 enacted level. LSC uses a competitive grant process to provide civil legal aid in high-need areas across the United States.
International Trade Commission (ITC) – $99 million for ITC, $4.4 million above the FY2019 enacted level. ITC is an independent agency responsible for providing Congress and the President with impartial advice on U.S. international trade policy.
Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) – $69 million for USTR, an increase of $1 million above the FY2019 enacted level, and includes up to $15 million derived from the Trade Enforcement Trust Fund authorized by the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015. As the federal government’s lead negotiator for trade agreements, this funding will maintain the strong bargaining position of USTR, and provides the necessary resources to support the section 301 exclusion process that allows U.S. businesses to obtain relief from tariffs.
Oversight and Accountability – The measure includes provisions to ensure accountability and oversight of funds within this bill, including:
- Requiring the appropriate Inspectors General to conduct random audits of grant funding to combat waste, fraud, and abuse.
- Establishing an early warning system on cost overruns and requiring agencies to notify the Committee when costs grow more than 10 percent.
- Prohibiting grants and contracts to tax frauds.
- Requiring agencies to report conference spending to their Inspector General.
- Requiring all departments and agencies to link all contracts that provide award fees to successful acquisition outcomes, and prohibiting the use of funds to pay for award or incentive fees for contractors with below satisfactory performance.
- Requiring each agency to report on all efforts made to address the duplication identified by the annual Government Accountability Office duplication reports, along with identifying substantive challenges and legal barriers that could help the agencies further reduce duplication.
Next Article Previous Article