Congressman Chaka Fattah on the 2013 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill
WASHINGTON, April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) voted to move the fiscal 2013 bill out of subcommittee to the full committee today. The bill funds the Departments of Commerce and Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF) the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and other related agencies. Congressman Chaka Fattah, Senior Democrat on the Subcommittee released the following statement on the measure:
“This bill makes investments in many of my priorities such as neuroscience, manufacturing, youth mentoring, NASA and the National Science Foundation. There is full funding for the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), which plays a critical oversight and coordination role for science and technology activities. The OSTP funding includes support for the Fattah Neuroscience Initiative which was put into place in last year’s bill. This inter-agency working group will coordinate federal research in brain development, cognition, disease and injury. This collaboration is now fully engaged, and one of the nation’s leading neuroscientists, Dr. Phil Rubin is shepherding it.
“I was encouraged to see significant support for manufacturing, a legislative priority of mine, in this bill. The Manufacturing Extension Partnership program receives $128 million, including $2.5 million to continue the work of the National Innovation Marketplace to help expand our manufacturing base by connecting manufacturers, parts suppliers, purchasers and others. The bill also includes $21 million, as requested by the President, for a new Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia program at NIST, which will expand research and development in support of manufacturing, and $149 million for NSF’s Advanced Manufacturing initiative.
“We are also continuing our investment in a program authorized under the America COMPETES Act to provide loans to small manufacturers to invest in technology. This loan program and the work of NIST overall is extremely important to the future of manufacturing.
“I want to thank the Chairman for his extraordinary support for my request to increase funding for youth mentoring in this legislation. For instance, through the Boys and Girls Clubs, 4 million young people benefit from 4,000 clubs across our country. They provide a tremendous opportunity for us to direct young people the right way.
“I am also pleased that we have made a significant investment in NASA Space Technology in this bill and that NASA Commercial Crew Development is funded at $500 million. The proposed legislation makes a strong commitment to NASA Science at $5.1 billion and meets the President’s budget request for the James Webb Telescope at $628 million. NASA Science funding also includes $1.4 billion for planetary science to ensure the continuation of essential research and development programs. In addition, the bill funds future robotic missions to Mars, which will ensure that the United States continues its vital leadership in the area of Mars exploration.
“This 2013 CJS bill includes a healthy increase for the National Science Foundation (NSF), $7.3 billion, $299 million above fiscal year 2012. The additional dollars are for core research and education activities, both critical to innovation and U.S. economic competitiveness. The legislation also includes funding for an advanced manufacturing science initiative and for research in cyber-security and cyber-infrastructure.
“Funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) satellite programs, which are important to ensuring accurate weather forecasting in support of public safety and the economy, is at $5 billion, an increase of $68 million from last year but $93 million below the President’s request. The NOAA funding includes $22.3 million for the National Weather Service operations and systems and $916 million for the Joint Polar Satellite System weather satellite program to ensure the continuation of important weather data collection. The Chairman’s mark very wisely rejects proposed cuts within the National Weather Service related to information technology personnel, air quality forecasting, tsunami warning capability, and wind profile measurements.
“While the bill is not what we would have written in every respect I am optimistic it will improve as this process moves forward.
“We should provide additional resources for the Economic Development Administration grants, which are cut by $38 million. These grants have proven to be of great help in creating jobs in many of the most distressed communities across the country.
“We will need to find more funding for the Census Bureau, which saw a reduction, and also for NOAA’s Operations, Research, and Facilities account which is cut by $54 million.
“I am concerned that the bill does not provide most of the increases sought by the White House for the Department of Justice’s financial and mortgage fraud enforcement.
“The Legal Services Corporation, a critical tool to ensuring equal access to our court system and the justice it provides, received funding cuts for a second year. I will continue to seek restoration of these funds.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues as we move through the Appropriations process to ensure that funding levels accurately reflect the needs of the American people while ensuring that Federal dollars are spent in the most efficient and effective manner.”
To view Congressman Fattah’s complete statement click here.
SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah