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house Bill H.R. 4660

Commerce! Justice! Science! $52 Billion for FY '15

Argument in favor

Cuts spending by almost $400 million.

Argument opposed

Deals with Guantanamo by not dealing with Guantanamo.

What is House Bill H.R. 4660?

One of the twelve appropriations bills that together make up the surplus of spending of taxpayer dollars. This bill deals with funding for a number of different programs and agencies, including the FBI, NASA, and the Census Bureau.

Hal Rogers (R-KY) is Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, and has stated that it is his goal to get all twelve of the bills passed before the August recess. Below are the bill highlights, taken from the House Committee on Appropriations press release:

Bill Highlights:

Department of Justice (DOJ) – The bill funds DOJ at $27.8 billion, an increase of $383 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This funding will strengthen critical investigation, law enforcement, and prosecution activities to protect the safety and well-being of communities across the country.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – The bill includes $8.5 billion for the FBI – an increase of $125 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. Within this funding, priority is given to counterterrorism and programs that combat the growing threats of cyber-intrusion, gangs, and human trafficking. 

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – The DEA is funded at $2.4 billion in the legislation, an increase of $41 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This includes $367 million for regulatory and enforcement efforts to combat prescription drug abuse, and $10 million (by transfer) to assist states and communities with the cleanup of hazardous materials at meth lab sites. 

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) – The legislation contains $1.2 billion for the ATF, $21 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. The bill continues all provisions carried in previous years related to Second Amendment rights, and makes two of the provisions permanent law. Also included is a new provision prohibiting funding to implement the international Arms Trade Treaty until it is ratified and approved by the U.S. Senate.

U.S. Marshals Service – The Marshals Service is funded at $2.8 billion in the bill, an increase of $76 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This includes $1.6 billion for federal prisoner detention.

Federal Prison System The Bureau of Prisons is funded at $7 billion, an increase of $121 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This funding will help expand staffing levels to ensure safe and adequate facilities to house the nation’s federal prisoner population, and will continue funding to open newly constructed prisons. The bill prohibits funding for construction, rehabilitation, or acquisition of a prison within the U.S. to house Guantanamo detainees.

Grant Programs – The bill includes a total of $2.1 billion for various grant programs, a reduction of $73 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. Within this amount, funds are targeted to the highest-priority national programs, including $425.5 million for Violence Against Women programs (which is $3 million above the President’s request), $376 million for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants, $210 million for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (which the President proposed to eliminate), $45.4 million for Victims of Trafficking grants, and $67 million for missing and exploited children programs. 

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – NASA is funded at $17.9 billion in the bill, which is $250 million above the 2014 enacted level. This funding includes:

$4.2 billion for Exploration – $54 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This includes funding to keep NASA on schedule for upcoming Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and Space Launch System flight program milestones, and to continue progress in the commercial crew program. $5.2 billion for NASA Science programs – $42 million above the 2014 enacted level. This includes funding above the President’s request for planetary science to ensure the continuation of critical research and development programs. $666 million for Aeronautics – $100 million above the 2014 enacted level. 

Department of Commerce – The bill includes $8.35 billion for the Commerce Department, which is an increase of $171 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and a decrease of $395 million below the President’s request for these programs. This includes funding for the following agencies:

Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)  The bill provides $3.46 billion for the PTO, which is equal to the estimated amount of fees to be collected by the PTO during fiscal year 2015, and is $434 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. The bill also includes a provision that allows the PTO to use any fees in excess of the estimated collected amount, subject to Congressional approval. 

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – NIST is funded at $856 million in the bill, which is $5.8 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $44.2 million below the President’s request. Within this total, important core research activities are funded at $671 million to help advance U.S. competitiveness, innovation, and economic growth, and improve cyber security. The bill also includes $130 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, which provides training and technical assistance to U.S. manufacturers in order to boost growth in this important sector of our economy.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – The legislation contains $5.3 billion for NOAA, virtually equal to the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. Within this total, National Weather Service operations and systems are funded above the President’s request, denying proposed cuts to hurricane forecasting and tsunami warning grants. The bill includes full funding for the Joint Polar Satellite System weather satellite program and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite to help maintain and improve weather forecasting to warn communities about potentially devastating natural disasters.

Census Bureau – The Census Bureau is funded at $1.1 billion in the bill, $173 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and $94 million below the request. The additional funding is needed for research and planning activities as we approach the next decennial census. 

Economic Development Administration (EDA) – The bill includes $247.5 million in funding for the EDA – virtually equal to the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This includes $5 million in grant funding to help encourage the repatriation of overseas jobs back to the U.S.

National Science Foundation (NSF) – The legislation funds NSF at $7.4 billion, an increase of $237 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. This funding is targeted to programs that foster innovation and U.S. economic competitiveness, including funding for research on advanced manufacturing, cybersecurity, neuroscience and STEM education.

Savings The bill eliminates several existing programs for a savings of over $250 million, and $469 million in unused prior-year funding is rescinded. In addition, administrative and overhead costs are reduced, including a reduction of $25 million below the request for DOJ management costs.

Other Provisions – The bill includes several policy provisions, such as:

-a prohibition on the transfer or release of Guantanamo detainees into the U.S.; continuation of various existing provisions related to firearms;
-a prohibition on NASA and the Office of Science and Technology Policy engaging in bilateral activities with China unless authorized or certified via procedures established in the bill; 
-a continuation of all existing policies related to the sanctity of life; and a prohibition on contracting to train agency employees to engage in publicity and propaganda activities.

Here is a list of amendments adopted 5/8/14:

Rep. Wolf – The manager’s amendment makes technical and non-controversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Wasserman-Schultz – The amendment increases funding for the Missing and Exploited Children program by $1 million, for the purpose of hiring wounded warriors to assist with these cases. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Herrera-Beutler – The amendment increases funding for Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery by $15 million to continue the current level of funding. The amendment is offset by reductions in Periodic Census and National Science Foundation research funding. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Carter – The amendment prohibits funding for an unauthorized reporting and registration requirement – proposed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) – on the sale of multiple rifles to the same person in various border-states. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 29-18.

Rep. Amodei – The amendment adds report language expressing expectations that DOJ minimize conference costs and make location decisions are based on accountability and best value in the use of federal funds. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote. 

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4660

51,200,000,000

More Information

Media:

A View from the Right: The Heritage Foundation 

A View from the Left: Nita Lowey (D-NY) Statement 


AKA

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015

Official Title

Making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed May 30th, 2014
    Roll Call Vote 321 Yea / 87 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Appropriations
    IntroducedMay 15th, 2014

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