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house Bill H.R. 2578

$56 Billion in Funding for NASA, the DOJ, and the Dept. of Commerce

Argument in favor

Providing an additional $563 million in funding from the year before is significant, but not excessive. Focusing much of that increase on the DOJ and NASA is wise, and increasing funding at all with federal deficits the way they are is generous enough.

Anyliez's Opinion
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06/03/2015
The future of space exploration and commercial enterprise hinges on NASA being a strong partner to the startup space industry. They deserve as much funding to learn about the place we live in as possible
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Roger's Opinion
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06/04/2015
I vote yes but the entire DEA agency budget should be transferred over to add to NASA budget. Also the bill should include a federal excise tax on all Marijuana sales that would be a set percentage with all of that percentage going directly to NASA. Let's have the space cadets fund the astronauts so someday those space cadets get to do an MJ vaporizer bong with a view fomr an orbiting space colony.
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Alex's Opinion
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06/16/2016
It's about time we enact some common sense gun regulation, and attaching it to this spending bill is a sure fire way to do it.
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Argument opposed

Increasing funding from year-to-year doesn’t mean that the new funding level is sufficient. Funding these programs at the level the President requested would come closer to adequately facilitating commerce and research, and enforcing federal laws.

Adam's Opinion
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06/04/2015
Why does Nasa have to be lumped in with DOJ, FBI, and DEA? I vote yes to Nasa but no to adding funding for the others. Nasa is the only one of these under funded right now.
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ThomasParker's Opinion
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06/03/2015
We must begin to greatly reduce the size, scope, and spending levels of the federal government. Every dollar of ours the government doesn't spend is one we can spend for ourselves. This overspending is counterproductive to our future and stifling our present economy.
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Ken's Opinion
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06/16/2016
This a back door move to give money where it is not needed using NASA as a front for other agencies to spend the money inappropriately. Separate the bill per each department and what the money will be spent on for each. There are already laws in place. What we need to do is remove incompetent government officials such as Obama.
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What is House Bill H.R. 2578?

Update June 15, 2016: Originally, this bill served as the House's appropriations proposal for fiscal year 2016 for the Dept. of Justice (DOJ), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Dept. of Commerce, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other related agencies. As it was rendered moot by the Bipartisan Budget Agreement, it was re-purposed by the Senate to serve as an appropriations package for those agencies to use in fiscal year 2017.

The bill would authorize a total of $56.3 billion in appropriations — which is $563 million more than the previous year, but $183 million below the President’s budget request.

It's also worth noting Democrats in the Senate filibustered this bill in an attempt to attach gun control measures to it in the wake of the Orlando terror attack. Their goal is to get this bill to pass through the Senate with two amendments attached:

  • The other would close the so-called “gun-show loophole,” which allows gun purchases at private gun shows and over the internet without completing a background check.

The Dept. of Justice (DOJ)

The DOJ would receive a total of $29.2 billion in appropriations, which is an increase of $156 million from fiscal year 2017. $9.45 billion of the total would go to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) — a $156 million increase from the prior year. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) funding would be increased by $34.1 million to a total of $2.49 billion. DOJ grant programs would receive a total of $2.36 billion in appropriations, which is a decrease of $334 million from the previous year.

NASA

Funding for NASA would be set at $19.3 billion for fiscal year 2017, which is an increase of $21 million from 2015. Of this, $4.63 billion would be used for exploration activities,  like the Space Launch Flight System program and the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle. Another $5.4 billion would go to NASA Science programs — $194 million less than what those programs received in 2016.

Dept. of Commerce

The Dept. of Commerce would receive $9.3 billion in appropriations — an increase of $70.8 million from fiscal year 2016’s funding level. There would be $3.2 billion allocated to the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), and historically this figure is based on the amount of fees the PTO expects to collect in the fiscal year. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) would see its budget increase by $10 million from the preceding fiscal year to $974 million.

Also within the Department of Commerce, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) would receive $5.7 billion in funding, $33.5 million more than it received in fiscal year 2016.


Census

The Census Bureau would be allocated $1.5 billion — a $148 million increase from the prior year. The increased funding is for research and planning for the 2020 census. This bill provides $7.5 billion in funding to the National Science Foundation (NSF), which is an increase of $0 from 2016, and spending would be targeted to programs fostering innovation, creating 3 Regional Class Research Vessels (really big ships), economic competitiveness, and STEM education.

Impact

Federal agencies receiving funding through this bill — including DOJ, NASA, the Department of Commerce, the NSF, among others; taxpayers who support and benefit from these agencies; Congress; the President.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2578

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: The Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Thad Cochran (R-MS) praised the bill because:

“American competitiveness is directly linked to American scientific innovation.  This bill continues to invest in important science and space programs, while also supporting commerce and law enforcement needs.”

Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) concurred, writing that:

“Within prudent budgetary boundaries, this bill achieves a careful balance between the competing priorities of law enforcement, national security, economic development, scientific research, and space exploration.”

Through the Office of Management and Budget, the White House expressed disapproval with multiple parts of the bill. Specifically, the White House disagreed with the bill’s “inadequate funding of research, testing, and implementation activity for the 2020 Decennial Census,” further stating that the bill “fails to provide the funding necessary for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to … help enforce existing gun laws and keep guns out of the wrong hands.” The White House also wasn’t satisfied with the bill’s appropriations for NASA, writing that it overfunded certain sections of NASA by more than $1 billion while underfunding other parts of the organization.



Media:

Summary by Chris Conrad and Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user wales_gibbons)

AKA

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016

Official Title

Making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Appropriations
  • The house Passed June 3rd, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 242 Yea / 183 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Appropriations
    IntroducedMay 27th, 2015

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    The future of space exploration and commercial enterprise hinges on NASA being a strong partner to the startup space industry. They deserve as much funding to learn about the place we live in as possible
    Like (24)
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    Share
    Why does Nasa have to be lumped in with DOJ, FBI, and DEA? I vote yes to Nasa but no to adding funding for the others. Nasa is the only one of these under funded right now.
    Like (80)
    Follow
    Share
    We must begin to greatly reduce the size, scope, and spending levels of the federal government. Every dollar of ours the government doesn't spend is one we can spend for ourselves. This overspending is counterproductive to our future and stifling our present economy.
    Like (17)
    Follow
    Share
    I vote yes but the entire DEA agency budget should be transferred over to add to NASA budget. Also the bill should include a federal excise tax on all Marijuana sales that would be a set percentage with all of that percentage going directly to NASA. Let's have the space cadets fund the astronauts so someday those space cadets get to do an MJ vaporizer bong with a view fomr an orbiting space colony.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    This a back door move to give money where it is not needed using NASA as a front for other agencies to spend the money inappropriately. Separate the bill per each department and what the money will be spent on for each. There are already laws in place. What we need to do is remove incompetent government officials such as Obama.
    Like (7)
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    Fund NASA separately and start reducing the others.
    Like (5)
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    Both departments are run by progressives with agenda. Funding should be severely cut for both. Private enterprise is developing in space programs and it will make it more efficient and affordable in the future. The department of justice needs to go away, and let the states handle their criminal matters. P.S. All government agencies need to be run by ELECTED officials. This would help in preventing presidential agendas being furthered.
    Like (4)
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    If a Texas Republican is for this, then it's bad! STOP defunding science!!!!
    Like (4)
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    My only problems with this is that NASA should be getting much, much, more. The technologies of the Space program ripple thru society almost invisibly but with great impact. Refrigeration home climate control, and insulation are taken for granted but didn't exist prior to our commitment to space travel. Those and hosts of other industries were unexpected side benefits of developing space flight that we rely on every day. Even water filtration systems like reverse osmosis came from NASA research. For me NASA. The others too. But fund NASA like our future depends on it. Cause it does.
    Like (3)
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    It's about time we enact some common sense gun regulation, and attaching it to this spending bill is a sure fire way to do it.
    Like (3)
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    Democrats in the Senate filibustered this bill in an attempt to attach gun control measures to it in the wake of the Orlando terror attack. Their goal is to get this bill to pass through the Senate with two amendments attached: One would ban the sale of guns to people on the FBI terrorist watch list like what this House legislation proposed; The other would close the so-called “gun-show loophole,” which allows gun purchases at private gun shows and over the internet without completing a background check. I'm against the gun-grabbers' using this bill in a blatant and contemptible attempt to circumvent the Constitution to deny people their right to keep and bear arms. The Obama Administration has made it abundantly clear that they are more worried about possible right wing "extremists" and civil unrest than they are about Muslim terrorists!
    Like (2)
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    Science (NASA) should not be funded in the same bill with tools of war.
    Like (2)
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    Each department's monetary requirements should be on a seperate bill. Say No to this bill. It wants to close the fictitious "gun show loophole", which is private property being sold from one to another without govt. intervention.
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    Why are we tying NASA to these other organizations? In favor of more love for NASA, but the rest should be handled separately.
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    It should be closer to the President's proposed amount, however any additional funding for NASA would be great.
    Like (2)
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    I vote to fund NASA. But enough of lumping all of these different governmental departments together. Rewrite this bill and it might actually pass.
    Like (2)
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    Give NASA a clean spending bill where it is funded at a level that is appropriate for a country that wants to remain a world leader in space exploration.
    Like (2)
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    The Democratic senators are doing the right thing by adding gun control measures to this proposal. Let's get this passed, and pass it now!
    Like (2)
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    While I do believe in NASA and space exploration, the defense budget is already bloated and unsustainable. I can't in good conscience support another increase.
    Like (2)
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    The money should go to NASA but not the other agencies they get enough as it is.
    Like (1)
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