BILL SUMMARY: Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Bill


Legislation maintains critical investments to ensure America stays at the forefront of cutting-edge research and innovation, keep communities safe, and deliver critical investments to boost economic growth; rejects dozens of extreme riders


***Bill text, explanatory statement, & more available HERE*** 


Washington, D.C. – The Fiscal Year 2024 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Act provides a total of $68.537 billion in discretionary funding.


The bill invests in a wide range of critical programs that affect the lives of all Americans. The bill provides $37.52 billion for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to keep Americans safe in their communities, uphold the rule of law, and invest in lifesaving DOJ grant programs. The Department of Commerce receives $10.8 billion to promote and support American businesses and exports, spur economic development nationwide, maintain current-generation and build next-generation weather satellites that let Americans know about severe weather, create cybersecurity standards, promote economic development nationwide, enable sustainable management of ocean resources, conduct periodic censuses, and more. To continue promoting American competitiveness through scientific discovery, the bill provides $9.06 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF). The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is funded at $24.875 billion to explore the solar system, understand climate change, promote innovation and sustainability in aeronautics, and protect our planet.


“The bipartisan fiscal year 2024 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill will help keep our communities and nation secure, further United States leadership in science and innovation, and assist in the growth and prosperity of American businesses. As Chair of the CJS Subcommittee, I have worked to ensure this bill gives our communities the tools they need to build a safe and prosperous future,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee. “These resources focus on critically important needs like combatting violent crime and gun violence, supporting survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and tackling the nation’s substance use disorder epidemic. In addition to physical security, the 2024 CJS Appropriations bill addresses economic security across our country. This bill makes critical investments that will directly foster economic growth, create good jobs, accelerate exports of American products, enhance safety through accurate weather prediction, and promote innovation throughout the economy. This legislation also prioritizes many other important policies necessary for America’s future success, including investments in climate resilience, environmental restoration, and space exploration. I look forward to this bill being signed into law.”


“This bill protects key funding to keep America at the forefront of innovation and to keep our communities safe,” said Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “With the investments we deliver, Democrats can keep building on the historic progress we are making to connect communities everywhere in America to high-speed internet. This bill will strengthen our supply chains, and it will help us maintain our global leadership in science and innovation by protecting critical investments in research and development—from advanced manufacturing, AI, clean energy, and more. We continue to support important law enforcement agencies and initiatives to keep our families safe. Important to me, we strengthen efforts to prevent violence against women and support survivors—and, for the first time ever, provide dedicated funding for the Access to Sexual Assault Nurse Exams program I helped establish so that survivors can get the care they need. We protect critical investments to support salmon restoration and maintain our fisheries, and we rejected extreme far-right poison pill policies.”


Key Points & Highlights


CHIPS and Science Act: The bill provides $10.6 billion for science and technology programs to implement the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act to help drive U.S. economic competitiveness. The bill invests in scientific research to allow the United States to keep pace with the Chinese government and other competitors in fields that power our economy, like artificial intelligence, quantum computing, microelectronics, clean energy, and advanced communications.


Climate Research: Despite House Republicans’ attempts to eliminate climate research at the National Science Foundation and other agencies, the bill maintains investments to better understand the world around us. In particular, the bill provides $224 million for climate research at NOAA and $2.2 billion for NASA Earth Science, both amounts are equal to the fiscal year 2023 enacted level. The agreement also rejects a bevy of new, extreme anti-environmental riders proposed by House Republicans, including those related to environmental justice and offshore wind.


NOAA Weather Satellites: The bill includes $1.4 billion for construction of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) weather satellites, which are critical to accurate weather prediction needed to protect life and property. This is $86 million above fiscal year 2023. The bill provides resources to maintain the current generation of weather and climate satellites and invests in next-generation satellites. One-third of U.S. GDP is affected by climate and weather—affecting farmers trying to protect livestock and crops, cities relying on energy from wind turbines and solar panels, and air travelers simply trying to get home safely and on time. In 2023, the United States incurred 28 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion, far more than the previous record of 22 in 2020.


Department of Commerce: The bill provides $10.8 billion for the Department of Commerce. This includes programs reauthorized or newly created by the CHIPS and Science Act, including: $41 million for the Economic Development Administration (EDA) Regional Technology and Innovation Hub Program; $175 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Program to improve the competitiveness of domestic manufacturers and strengthen domestic supply chains; and $37 million for the Manufacturing USA program. The bill also provides up to $10 million for NIST to establish a U.S. Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute. Additionally, the bill provides $25 million for EDA’s Good Jobs Challenge initiative and $5 million for EDA’s Assistance to Indigenous Communities Program—a new grant program focused exclusively on the economic development needs of Tribal governments and indigenous communities. The bill also includes a provision to allow the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to access additional funding to implement broadband programs under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, assisting grantees in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the territories. These programs are critical to connecting every American to high-speed, affordable broadband, and they include the Digital Equity Act Programs, the Middle Mile Program, and the Tribal Connectivity Program.


Addressing Violence Against Women: The bill contains $713 million, the highest funding level ever, for grants provided by the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).  This represents an increase of $13 million above fiscal year 2023 for these lifesaving programs. Funding is provided for multiple competitive and formula grant programs that support training for police officers and prosecutors, state domestic violence and sexual assault coalitions, rape prevention programs, lethality assessment and homicide reduction initiatives, domestic violence hotlines, women’s shelters, transitional housing, and rural support services. 

Continued funding is provided for several OVW programs authorized in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization Act of 2022, including a restorative justice program and the Abby Honold Act. In addition, $10 million is provided for a new grant program, established by Senator Murray, to increase access to sexual assault nurse exams, which will support grants for regional Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) training, salaries for SANEs and Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (SAFEs), and technical assistance and resources to increase access to SANEs and SAFEs. The bill also includes $10 million to incentivize states to adopt laws that protect the rights of sexual assault survivors.

Additionally, the bill provides $51.5 million to support the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative, which is administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. This program supports multi-disciplinary community response teams tasked with developing and implementing comprehensive reform regarding sexual assault, including reducing the backlog of rape kits at law enforcement agencies.


Supporting Crime Victims: The Crime Victims Fund (CVF) provides critical support through direct assistance and programs offered by victim service providers to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, human trafficking, and other violent crimes. The bill releases $1.35 billion from the CVF, providing $153 million above the President’s budget request. Of this amount, $67.65 million is designated for efforts to assist Tribal victims.


Strengthening Police-Community Relations: The bill provides $214.5 million for State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office grant programs related to police-community relations. Dedicated funding of $25 million is provided for the COPS Community Policing Development program, as well as $20 million for the newly authorized Law Enforcement Officer De-escalation Act. The bill also provides $10 million to train law enforcement on appropriately responding to situations when individuals are mentally ill or disabled, and it provides $50 million for the Community Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative. 


Supporting State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Law Enforcement: The Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (JAG) program is funded at $924 million. $345 million is released from Byrne JAG core funding to states and territories. The COPS Hiring Program is funded at $256 million. This funding will place over 2,000 more police officers on the streets of our communities. Funding is also included for programs that support officer mental health and wellness ($10 million), the purchase of body-worn cameras ($32 million) and bulletproof vests ($30 million), and rural law enforcement needs ($7 million).


Responding to Substance Use Disorder in Our Communities: The bill provides our communities and first responders with a total of $579.5 million in dedicated grant program funding to respond to substance use disorder, including opioids, and to crack down on drug trafficking. The bulk of this funding is for Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) grants, which receive $420 million to fund specialized court docket programs like drug, mental health, and veteran treatment courts and substance abuse treatment programs administered by state and local correctional facilities. The bill also funds the COPS anti-heroin task force program at $35 million and the COPS anti-methamphetamine task force program at $16 million.


Federal Law Enforcement: The salaries and expenses accounts of the law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies of the DOJ’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and U.S. Attorneys total $19.1 billion. The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is funded at $8.4 billion. Giving law enforcement the tools they need to focus on combatting violent crime and gun violence, enhancing cyber security, disrupting international narcotics trafficking networks, and administering a fair and equitable justice system is critical to keeping our communities safe and our nation secure. 


Economic Development: The bill provides $468 million for community economic development through the Economic Development Administration (EDA). This includes $100 million for Public Works grants, $25 million for the Good Jobs Challenge Program, $50 million for the Regional Innovation Program, and $79.5 million to support communities dealing with power plant closures. It also includes $41 million for the Regional Technology and Innovation Hub Program, which was authorized for the first time in the CHIPS and Science Act, and $5 million for a new Assistance to Indigenous Communities program to address the needs of indigenous communities that have historically suffered from a lack of investment in core economic development needs. EDA awards infrastructure and planning grants to all 50 States. The bill also provides $68.25 million for the Minority Business Development Agency to help minority-owned businesses grow and succeed and to implement the new programs authorized in the Minority Business Development Agency Act, which was passed as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.


Trade: The bill provides $623 million for the International Trade Administration (ITA). Over the past three years, ITA has facilitated $174 billion in U.S. exports and foreign investment, supporting over 625,000 American jobs. It provides up to $3.5 million for ITA to implement the “Visit America Act,” which was signed into law last year, to support the domestic travel and tourism industry. The bill also provides $191 million for the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), which will support the BIS’s aggressive enforcement of Russian and Belarussian export controls and other BIS efforts to counter Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. It will also support stringent export control measures on high-end technologies with end users in the People’s Republic of China.


National Institute of Standards and Technology: The bill invests a total of $1.46 billion for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Funding for NIST measurement labs and research is $1.1 billion to spur research advances in cutting-edge fields like carbon dioxide removal, artificial intelligence, quantum information science, and cybersecurity. The bill also provides up to $10 million for NIST to establish a U.S. Artificial Intelligence Safety Institute and to implement NIST’s responsibilities under the landmark Artificial Intelligence Executive Order released last year. NIST will develop standards, tools, and tests to help ensure AI systems operate safely. The bill also includes $175 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program that improves the competitiveness of domestic manufacturers and strengthens domestic supply chains. For every dollar of federal investment, MEP generates $26.20 in new sales growth for manufacturers and $34.50 in new investment. This translates into $4.9 billion in new sales annually.


National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA): To continue American Leadership in space, the bill provides $24.9 billion for NASA. The bill includes significant resources to enable the goal of returning Americans to the Moon, providing $7.67 billion for Exploration, an increase of nearly $200 million above fiscal year 2023. The bill supports progress on the Artemis Campaign Development, including funding for NASA to meet all contractual obligations for both Human Landing Systems in fiscal year 2024.

Within NASA Science, the Near-Earth Object Surveyor mission to find potentially dangerous asteroids and comets receives $210 million, consistent with the President’s budget request and $120 million above fiscal year 2023. The bill also provides $1.53 billion for Astrophysics, a $20 million increase above fiscal year 2023 to fully support the James Webb Space Telescope. Further, the bill includes $805 million for Heliophysics, which is $54 million above the President’s budget request level.

Aeronautics is supported at $935 million to ensure continued U.S. leadership in aviation and to invest in sustainable aviation technologies. Key NASA Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Engagement total $143 million. This includes Space Grant ($58 million), the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Technology ($26 million), the Minority University Research and Education Project ($45.5 million).


Legal Services Corporation (LSC): The bill provides $560 million for LSC—fully protecting funding provided in fiscal year 2023. The bill also includes a provision to permit LSC recipients to operate with boards of directors that have as few as 33 percent attorneys without requiring appointment by bar associations, greatly improving recipients’ ability to have fiscal experts and community representatives on their governing bodies. LSC is the largest funder of civil legal aid in the country, and its grantees serve millions of low-income Americans every year, helping them with family law, domestic violence, housing, fraud, and other legal problems.


Defeating Poison Pill Riders: Democrats defeated more than 50 extreme partisan riders, which ranged from restricting women’s access to reproductive health to impeding scientific climate crisis research to infringing on Americans’ civil rights.