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Summary of FY2018 Commerce Justice Science Appropriations Act - Committee mark

July 13, 2017
Press Release

The 2018 CJS Appropriations bill fails to fund priorities critical to communities, including the COPS hiring program, economic development investments, legal representation for low-income Americans, and climate research, while including divisive riders relating to firearms and U.S. policy toward Cuba.

Highlights of 2018 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Act

Discretionary Budget Authority:

2017 enacted:                         $56.6 billion                                       

2018 President’s request:       $49.1 billion

2018 mark:                              $53.9 billion

The Chairman’s mark provides:

  • $2.24 billion overall for total State and Local Law Enforcement Activities, which is $167 million less than the comparable FY2017 enacted level and $174 million above the comparable President’s request. 
    • $234 million overall for the COPS office.  However, the mark shifts more than $188 million in grants, previously funded elsewhere in the bill, to the COPS program, making the appearance of a high COPS number an illusion.  The core COPS Hiring Program receives no funding in the mark.
  • $4.97 billion for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is $709.8 million less than the FY2017 enacted level and $195 million above the President’s request.  Cuts are concentrated in programs critical to coastal districts like Coastal Zone Management Grants and climate research, which is cut 19% below the FY2017 level.
    • $973 million is provided for operating expenses of the National Weather Service, $6.8 million less than the FY2017 level and $36.9 million above the request.
  • $1.5 billion for the Census Bureau, which is $37 million more than the FY2017 enacted level and $10 million above the President’s request.
  • $300 million for the Legal Services Corporation, which is $85 million less than the FY2017 level and $267 million above the request.
  • Office of Justice Programs
    • $500 million for the Byrne-JAG program, which is, excluding carve outs, $109 million above the FY2017 enacted level and $184.1 million more than the President’s request. 
    • $527 million for Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution.  However, the mark moves Victims of Trafficking grants into VAWA, making the appearance of a significant increase an illusion.  Accounting for the change, VAWA funding is $500,000 million more than the FY2017 level and $2 million less than the President’s request.
  • $8.8 billion for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Salaries and Expenses, which is $47.5 million more than the FY2017 level and $92.2 million more than the President’s request.
  • $2.16 billion for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which is $61 million more than the FY2017 level and equal to the President’s request.
  • $1.29 billion for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), which is $35.2 million more than the FY2017 level and $20 million above the President’s request.
  • $7.07 billion for Federal Prison System operations, which is $61 million more than the FY2017 enacted level and $33 million less than the request.
  • $7.34 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF), which is $132.7 million less than the FY2017 level and $686 million more than the President’s request.
  • $19.87 billion for National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which is $218.5 million more than the FY2017 enacted level and $779.6 million more than the President’s request.

 

Policy Riders

  • The bill seeks to expand firearms riders by making permanent the following policy riders:
    • Preventing the federal government from prohibiting imports of curios and relics;
    • Preventing the federal government from issuing regulations relating to the export of certain firearms parts and accessories to Canada;
    • Preventing the federal government from issuing regulations characterizing certain shotguns as “non-sporting” due to military-style features; and
    • Prohibiting federal agents from facilitating the transfer of an operable firearm to any individual associated with a drug cartel (“Fast and Furious” provision).
  • The bill includes a provision preventing the Department of Justice from requiring Federal firearms licensees to report on the sale of multiple long guns to the same person.
  • The bill would continue the following policy riders related to firearms on a one-year basis:
    • Prohibiting transferring functions of ATF to other agencies;
    • Prohibiting funding to implement the Arms Trade Treaty, absent ratification by the Senate; and
  • The bill meddles in foreign policy by prohibiting funding related to trademarks connected to a business or assets that were confiscated in Cuba.
  • The bill contains a rider prohibiting the Department of Justice from concluding a settlement that includes a payment to a third party – potentially impacting a number of cases including those involving mortgage fraud and environmental pollution.

 

115th Congress