Measure Protects Core Programs While Reducing Overall Spending
Washington, D.C. (April 25, 2012) – The House version of the annual spending bill that funds the departments of Commerce and Justice, as well as many of the nation’s science programs, preserves core priorities, including boosting U.S. competitiveness, job creation and national security, while reducing spending by $1.6 billion over last year, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), chairman of the House Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) Appropriations subcommittee, said today.
The full Appropriations committee is expected to approve the $51.1 billion bill tomorrow. The full House is expected to take up the measure next month. The fiscal year 2013 spending level is 3 percent below fiscal year 2012 and 1.4 percent below the president’s request. The bill recommends terminating 37 programs, at a savings of more than $300 million.
“This bill continues to make job creation a top priority by maintaining and expanding the manufacturing and job repatriation initiatives in last year’s bill while increasing resources for trade enforcement against foreign competitors who are violating trade agreements,” Wolf said. “It also includes a significant focus on expanding the FBI’s cybersecurity efforts and protecting U.S. networks from spying and cyber attacks.”
Wolf highlighted five major policy priorities that are reflected throughout the bill:
Job Creation Initiatives
- Repatriation grants and loans. The bill continues initiatives started last year to offer incentives to U.S. companies that bring jobs backs to America and to companies that develop innovated technologies in the U.S.
- Increasing exports. The bill identifies increasing U.S. exports as critical to expanding economic growth and creating new jobs in America and prioritizes resources for export promotion activities.
- Rebuilding American manufacturing. The bill includes $128 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program, and $21 million for an Advanced Manufacturing competitive research program, to make the American manufacturing sector a source of job growth.
- Increased funding for the FBI. The bill increases the FBI’s budget by $148 million and $34 million over the president’s request to better fund national security programs, investigations of cyber attacks and violent crime and gang reduction programs.
- Domestic Radicalization. The report directs the FBI to prepare an extensive report documenting its most recent efforts to counter the domestic radicalization threat with a particular emphasis on countering the internet as a tool for radicalization.
- Prohibiting Cooperation with CAIR. The report reaffirms the FBI director’s longstanding policy prohibiting employees from engaging in any formal non-investigative cooperation with CAIR – which was identified as an unindicted coconspirator in a terrorism financing court case – and urges the U.S. Attorney General to adopt a similar policy for all Justice Department officials.
- Economic Warfare. The report requires the FBI to study the potential for an economic attack of any kind against the U.S. and what preparations are in place to mitigate such an attack.
- Preventing cyberespionage. The bill requires the departments of Commerce and Justice, NASA and NSF to assess the risk of cyberespionage or sabotage before acquiring any information technology system. Further, if those same agencies plan to acquire systems produced by entities owned, directed or subsidized by the People’s Republic of China, they must first make a determination that to do so is in the national interest.
- FBI cybersecurity initiative. The bill includes a program increase of $23 million and 112 positions for investigative, intelligence and technology improvements to prevent and combat malicious cyber intrusions. The report encourages the FBI to develop a national network of cyber task forces, based upon the Joint Terrorism Task Force model, to leverage the participation of state, local and international partners
- National Cyber Threat Assessment. The report directs the FBI to continue to produce an annual national cyber threat assessment, in both classified and unclassified versions, and submit such reports to Congress. The assessment must include an identification and ranking of the foreign governments and non-state actors posing the greatest cyber threats to the United States.
Chinese Market Manipulation
- Trade Enforcement Remedies. The report urges U.S. trade enforcement agencies to more aggressively monitor and take action, under the standards authorized by the World Trade Organization, against China’s state-owned companies that are manipulating the market and hindering job creation in the U.S.
- Limiting space and advanced technology transfer to China. The bill continues the ban prohibiting the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and NASA from engaging in bilateral activities with China or Chinese-owned companies unless authorized or certified via procedures in the bill.
- Review of U.S.-China Bilateral Investment. The report urges that new bilateral investments to include language to make the investment fair and not allow a Chinese state-owned company to unfairly compete with private firms.
Added investments in the sciences
- National Science Foundation. The bill provides NSF with an increase of $299 million above fiscal year 2012, all of which is to be directed to core research and education activities that are critical to innovation and U.S. economic competitiveness, including fund for an advanced manufacturing science initiative for research in cyber security and cyber infrastructure.
- National Institute for Standards and Technology. The bill provides NIST with an increase of $79 million above fiscal year 2012 but is $27 million below the president’s request. Within this total, important core research activities to help advance U.S. competitiveness, innovation, and economic growth are increased by $54 million above fiscal year 2012.
- STEM Education. The bill directs the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to create a new “one-stop” Web site for teachers looking for federally-developed STEM curricula and classroom materials.
- Ocean exploration and research. The bill provides additional funds beyond the administration’s request to support new ocean exploration and research projects and educational programs.
- Continues to prohibit the transfer or release of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States.
- Prohibits the transfer of firearms to known members of drug cartels in response to ATF’s failed Fast and Furious Operation.
- Provides $12 million, an increase of $7 million over fiscal year 2012, to help states provide better data, including mental health records, to the National Instant Background Check System (NICS). The NICS Improvement Act was approved by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush following the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007. The bill was supported by both the Brady Campaign and the NRA.
- Increases funding for the Office of Violence Against Women by $2.5 million over fiscal year 2012, which is $147 million over the president’s request.
- Rejects the president’s cuts to NOAA’s tsunami preparedness programs and the National Weather Service.
Click here for bill text: http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/BILLS-112HR-SC-AP-FY13-CommerceJusticeScience.pdf
Click here for Committee Report: http://appropriations.house.gov/UploadedFiles/CJS-FY13-FULL_COMMITTEE_REPORT.pdf