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Senate Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee Approves FY 2012 Bill
September 14, 2011
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), Chairwoman of the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee, announced subcommittee approval today of the Fiscal Year 2012 CJS Appropriations Bill. The bill provides $52.7 billion, $626 million less than last year's enacted level, and focuses the federal checkbook's priorities on creating jobs, saving lives, and protecting the safety of Americans.
"This bill is about creating jobs today and jobs tomorrow, saving lives and protecting the safety of Americans," Chairwoman Mikulski said. "Faced with shrinking budget levels, we had to make some tough decisions. We faced two very pressing funding challenges that are critical to lives and safety – funding for the next generation of weather satellites and funding to safely guard the nation's growing prison population. We chose to meet those obligations, as well as fund other programs directly related to creating jobs, saving lives and protecting our citizens, but in doing so other programs we have always supported in CJS had to be reduced or cut altogether."
The bill eliminates 30 programs supported in the 2011 CJS bill.
CREATING JOBS FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW
Every year, Chairwoman Mikulski fights for federal investments that strengthen America's innovation economy, ensuring that our national research programs keep America competitive in the global marketplace. In addition to investing in science, this bill also helps American manufacturers leverage new technology to create new jobs for our communities, while expanding U.S. markets overseas.
"We are creating the building blocks that we need for a smarter America. Our nation is in an amazing race – the race for discovery and new knowledge, the race to remain competitive," Chairwoman Mikulski said. "This bill includes full funding of the James Webb Telescope to achieve a 2018 launch. The Webb Telescope creates 2,000 jobs and will lead to the kind of innovation and discovery that have made America great. It will inspire America's next generation of scientists and innovators that will have the new ideas that lead to new products and new jobs."
As Congress works to promote innovation and discovery, Chairwoman Mikulski has provided critical funding to protect inventions and intellectual property, and enforce trade agreements. "We must protect the intellectual property of our inventors, who are entitled to timely access to patent protections and strong enforcement of those protections," she said.
The bill includes:
- $6.7 billion for the National Science Foundation focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields to help build our next generation of innovators.
- $5.1 billion for National Aeronautics and Space Administration Science, which includes the full $530 million needed for the James Webb Space Telescope to achieve a 2018 launch.
- $680 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which will support basic research that will contribute to the development of new innovative products and processes and keep consumers safe by creating standards for new technologies.
- $220 million for economic development assistance programs and $135 million in disaster assistance at the Economic Development Administration to grow and recover businesses and spur regional innovation.
- $441 million for the International Trade Administration to grow the 10 million U.S. jobs that are supported by exporting goods and services by taking U.S. products to markets around the world.
- $2.7 billion for the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) to protect the intellectual property of inventors.
"Law enforcement agencies work hard every day to keep Americans safe from terrorism and to combat violent crime faced by families and neighborhoods," Chairwoman Mikulski said. "I have heard from federal, state, and local police around the country that the consequences of these funding cuts will be fewer cops on our streets fighting gangs, drugs and child predators, and fewer prosecutions of criminals. We have an obligation to continue making solid investments in important, proven programs that give law enforcement the tools they need to clean up the streets, protect our families, and fight crime."
The bill provides $7.9 billion for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Chairwoman Mikulski has continually acknowledged the new counterterrorism responsibilities placed on the FBI since 9/11, and has shared her concern that the agency is being pulled in too many directions, with too few resources.
"The FBI is our domestic security agency tasked with keeping us safe from violent crime, but with a growing international role, their resources could be spread too thin." Chairwoman Mikulski said. "As the FBI adapts to new responsibilities, Congress needs to adapt with them. We must give them the tools and technology they need to stay one step ahead of criminals and terrorists, while still protecting our local communities here at home."
The bill also includes:
- $2.3 billion to help states and local communities fight violent crime, including:
o $395 million for Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (JAG);
o $200 million for Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants to hire or retain roughly 1,500 police on the beat;
o $418 million to prevent violence against women;
o $251 million for juvenile justice and delinquency prevention; and
o $351 million to prevent, investigate and prosecute crimes against children.
- $6.7 billion for the Bureau of Prisons to keep guards and communities safe.
- $2.2 billion for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which targets and dismantles criminal narcotics activities.
- $1.1 billion for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), to support partnerships with state and local law enforcement to fight gangs and prevent violence.
- $1.1 billion for the U.S. Marshals Service to apprehend dangerous fugitives and sex offenders who prey on the vulnerable, and protect the federal courts and the judiciary.
"Accurate weather prediction doesn't just tell us whether we need to bring an umbrella, it also tells us when it's time to batten down the hatches and get out of harm's way. Severe storms, tornadoes and hurricanes can be deadly," Chairwoman Mikulski said. "Weather satellites are critical to warning the population and ultimately saving lives."
The bill includes $921 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS). This is $436 million more than the fiscal year 2011 level. NOAA operations, research and facilities is funded at $3.1 billion, $48 million less than the 2011 level. To continue protecting lives and property, the CJS bill provides National Weather Service operations an increase of $14 million.
In the next step of the appropriations process, the bill will move to the Senate floor for a vote, which has not yet been scheduled. For more information on the CJS spending bill, go to: http://mikulski.senate.gov/media/press_releases.cfm