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:
- 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.
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.
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.
CensusThe 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.