Chairman Rogers Floor Statement on FY 2013 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Bill
Mr. Chairman, I rise today in support of HR 5326, the Fiscal Year 2013 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill.
The bill before you today – the first for FY13 – marks one of the earliest starts to the Appropriations process in recent memory – which is a good sign for moving these 12 bills before our September 30 deadline. I look forward to an open and transparent process as we consider each of the bills, staying faithful to our commitment to smart, reduced levels of spending to help do our part in controlling the federal deficit.
The Appropriations Committee held more than 100 hearings and briefings since January – which helps us determine the best use of limited tax dollars that we must spread out over a great number of vital federal programs, services and agencies. I want to thank Chairman Wolf and Ranking Member Fattah, as well as the subcommittee staffs on both sides, who have put in the arduous legwork needed to craft this thoughtful piece of legislation we have on the floor today.
The Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill is in line with the House-passed budget resolution, and totals $51.1 billion – which is $1.6 billion BELOW last year, and BELOW the pre-stimulus/pre-bailout level of 2008.
Within this total, the Committee prioritized programs and services that: 1) protect our people from threats at home, abroad, and in cyber-space; 2) that maintain the competitiveness of American industry and businesses; and 3) that encourage the scientific research that has kept America at the forefront of the world in innovation.
Some of these critical investments include: $8.3 billion for the FBI; $468 million for the International Trade Administration; $830 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology; and $2.4 billion for the Drug Enforcement Agency.
In addition, this bill includes various provisions to promote freedom and liberty, while also fulfilling our moral obligation to the most vulnerable among us. This bill helps to uphold our Second Amendment rights; prevent violence against women; help victims of trafficking, and missing and exploited children; and bring under control our country’s fastest growing drug threat – the abuse of prescription drugs.
We were able to fund these programs at adequate, responsible levels while cutting spending – including terminating 37 duplicative, unnecessary, or lower-priority programs. Not all of these decisions were easy to make, and I know many of my colleagues will have amendments to offer as we debate this bill, but I am proud of the work that this Committee has done to ensure responsibility and sustainability in these federal budgets.
While making important reductions that curtail unnecessary overhead and wasteful inefficiencies, this bill makes judicious and sensible investments in programs that make America the great nation that it is: an America that is safe and secure, an America that leads the way in scientific development and innovation, and an America that helps get its people to work. I urge my colleagues to support this bill. Thank you.