6:38 PM EDT

Alan B. Mollohan, D-WV 1st

Mr. MOLLOHAN. Mr. Chairman, I rise in regard to H.R. 2847, the legislation appropriating funds for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies for 2010.

Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume in general debate.

Mr. Chairman, if this is June, it must be appropriations season, and today I'm pleased to present to the House the first of the appropriations bills for fiscal year 2010, H.R. 2847, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriation bill.

While the summer may be hot and humid, as is typical in the Nation's Capital, with the assistance of this body, our days and nights need not be long for the House to fully consider this and the other 11 appropriations bills in regular order, or so we hope.

I want to thank the ranking member of this subcommittee with most sincerity for his assistance, help, counsel, and guidance in the development of this bill. Mr. Frank Wolf of Virginia was chairman of this committee for a number of years, served on it for a great number of years. We served on it together. He brings to this bill a lot of experience and knowledge and that is really helpful as you work up an appropriation bill, and I appreciate, Frank, very much your assistance on the bill

and the credibility and knowledge you bring to it.

I also want to thank publicly and personally the chairman of the full committee, Mr. Obey, for his assistance in developing this bill. Mr. Obey's courtesy and the assistance of the front office has been very much appreciated, and we also appreciate, Mr. Chairman, the allocation that you've given us for this bill that's allowed us to do what we are allowed to do, however short the allocation may be.

I would also like to sincerely recognize the staff: the excellent work of the clerk, John Blazey, and the leadership he's provided to the rest of the staff, and all of them have done excellent work, which I appreciate: Adrienne Simonson, Dixon Butler, Diana Simpson, Darek Newby, Tracey LaTurner, Scott Sammis, all with the subcommittee; Mike Ringler and John Martens on the minority staff. And then on my personal staff, Sally Moorhead and Julie Aaronson.

It's a lot of work putting together one of these appropriation bills, as anybody who's been involved with it or close to it understands, and they have worked long hours diligently with great competence to move this bill forward, and I most sincerely thank them for the efforts. We couldn't do this without them.

Mr. Chairman, in brief summary, this bill totals $64.4 billion, an increase of $6.7 billion over last year, but it is $200 million below the President's budget request. The bill provides $30.6 billion for investments in science, technology, and innovation, an increase of $1 billion over comparable levels from last year.

Within this level, the bill provides $6.9 billion for the National Science Foundation and $18.2 billion for NASA. For NIST, the bill provides $781.1 million. For NOAA, it's recommended at $4.6 billion. The committee's recommendation continues to provide resources consistent with the doubling path identified for NSF and NIST in the COMPETES Act. It also considers the science and research conducted at NOAA and at NASA as critical to the Nation's science enterprise just as that performed by NSF

and NIST.

For law enforcement and other agencies of the Department of Justice, the bill provides a total of $27.7 billion. Full funding of $7.9 billion for the FBI, $2 billion for the DEA, and $1.1 billion for ATF.

For the Bureau of Prisons, the bill provides $6.2 billion to address longstanding critical shortages in corrections' staffing and education, in addition to drug treatment. For State and local law enforcement activities, the bill provides a total of more than $3.4 billion, restoring, in large part, reductions proposed by the administration.

For programs funded through the Office of Violence Against Women, the bill provides an increase of $11 million, including a $10 million increase for STOP Formula Grants, and a $1 million increase for Sexual Assault Victims Services.

I want to be clear that while the funding table in the report for the Office of Violence Against Women may appear in the report to show a funding decrease, that is only because the bill moves a number of programs to the Office of Justice programs which actually administers those programs.

So, let me repeat, the bill increases funding for the Office of Violence Against Women by $11 million.

The bill provides a full funding of $298 million for the COPS hiring program. In other areas within the Justice Department, the bill provides $325 million--an increase of $41 million over the fiscal year 2009 level--for the Adam Walsh Act.

With respect to border security, the bill provides $1.5 billion, a 30 percent increase over fiscal year 2009. These funds will be used to address firearms and narcotics trafficking between the United States and Mexico, an issue on which every Member of this body has concerns, and we're pleased to provide these increases.

[Time: 18:45]

For the Second Chance Act, the bill includes a total of $114 million to develop and implement evidence-based strategies and programs at the Federal and State levels to reduce recidivism and the future costs of incarceration. I want to particularly compliment the authorizing committee for the good job that they have done with the Second Chance Act and other legislation they are considering. We are looking forward and appreciate the opportunity to cooperate with them on the funding side.

A significant initiative across the Department of Justice is increased investments in law enforcement and prosecution efforts in Indian Country, for which the bill provides approximately $155 million, and that is an increase of $65 million over fiscal 2009.

For SCAAP, which the President proposed to eliminate, Mr. Chairman, the bill includes $300 million.

With respect to the Department of Commerce, $4.6 billion is slated for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an increase of $129 million above the request.

The bill provides $7.4 million for Census, the same level as the budget request.

For NASA, the bill provides a total of $18.2 billion, an increase of $420 million over last year's level. Investments have been made in Earth science to further the decadal surveys. The recommendation, however, acknowledges, and this is important for Members to consider and take note of, that the administration has established a blue ribbon panel, Mr. Chairman, led by Dr. Norm Augustine, to review the current vision for human spaceflight.

Funds are provided in this bill to continue investments in human spaceflight at the level of last year. Reductions from the budget request should not be viewed by this body as any diminution of certainly my support or the committee's support in NASA's human spaceflight activities. Rather, it is a deferral. It is a deferral taken without prejudice. It is a pause. It is a timeout.

Call it what you will, it is an opportunity for the President to establish his vision for human space exploration, looking at the Augustine report when it becomes available in August, and then for his administration to consider what their vision will be, and then, most importantly, certainly for our committee, Mr. Chairman, to come forward with a realistic future funding scheme for the human space exploration program.

We hope it is a vision worthy of the program, and we look forward to realistic funding levels, which we have never had, or haven't had for many, many years, for human spaceflight.

It is also important to note that the total funding contained in this bill for NASA is an increase of $421 million over the fiscal year 2009 level, and, moreover, some $1 billion was provided in the Recovery Act for NASA activities.

Lastly, the bill provides $440 million for the Legal Services Administration. Appropriations for Legal Services increased by almost $90 million over the last couple of years, with which we are very pleased. It is still underfunded compared to base years in the nineties. This is indicative of the rising need for legal support for the poor, particularly because of mortgage fraud and the home crisis.

The bill continues the existing limitations, Mr. Chairman, on the use of these funds, except that it lifts the current restrictions on attorney's fees.

Mr. Chairman, that is a brief summary of the bill.

I reserve the balance of my time.

6:38 PM EDT

Alan B. Mollohan, D-WV 1st

Mr. MOLLOHAN. Mr. Chairman, I rise in regard to H.R. 2847, the legislation appropriating funds for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies for 2010.

Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume in general debate.

Mr. Chairman, if this is June, it must be appropriations season, and today I'm pleased to present to the House the first of the appropriations bills for fiscal year 2010, H.R. 2847, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriation bill.

While the summer may be hot and humid, as is typical in the Nation's Capital, with the assistance of this body, our days and nights need not be long for the House to fully consider this and the other 11 appropriations bills in regular order, or so we hope.

I want to thank the ranking member of this subcommittee with most sincerity for his assistance, help, counsel, and guidance in the development of this bill. Mr. Frank Wolf of Virginia was chairman of this committee for a number of years, served on it for a great number of years. We served on it together. He brings to this bill a lot of experience and knowledge and that is really helpful as you work up an appropriation bill, and I appreciate, Frank, very much your assistance on the bill

and the credibility and knowledge you bring to it.

I also want to thank publicly and personally the chairman of the full committee, Mr. Obey, for his assistance in developing this bill. Mr. Obey's courtesy and the assistance of the front office has been very much appreciated, and we also appreciate, Mr. Chairman, the allocation that you've given us for this bill that's allowed us to do what we are allowed to do, however short the allocation may be.

I would also like to sincerely recognize the staff: the excellent work of the clerk, John Blazey, and the leadership he's provided to the rest of the staff, and all of them have done excellent work, which I appreciate: Adrienne Simonson, Dixon Butler, Diana Simpson, Darek Newby, Tracey LaTurner, Scott Sammis, all with the subcommittee; Mike Ringler and John Martens on the minority staff. And then on my personal staff, Sally Moorhead and Julie Aaronson.

It's a lot of work putting together one of these appropriation bills, as anybody who's been involved with it or close to it understands, and they have worked long hours diligently with great competence to move this bill forward, and I most sincerely thank them for the efforts. We couldn't do this without them.

Mr. Chairman, in brief summary, this bill totals $64.4 billion, an increase of $6.7 billion over last year, but it is $200 million below the President's budget request. The bill provides $30.6 billion for investments in science, technology, and innovation, an increase of $1 billion over comparable levels from last year.

Within this level, the bill provides $6.9 billion for the National Science Foundation and $18.2 billion for NASA. For NIST, the bill provides $781.1 million. For NOAA, it's recommended at $4.6 billion. The committee's recommendation continues to provide resources consistent with the doubling path identified for NSF and NIST in the COMPETES Act. It also considers the science and research conducted at NOAA and at NASA as critical to the Nation's science enterprise just as that performed by NSF

and NIST.

For law enforcement and other agencies of the Department of Justice, the bill provides a total of $27.7 billion. Full funding of $7.9 billion for the FBI, $2 billion for the DEA, and $1.1 billion for ATF.

For the Bureau of Prisons, the bill provides $6.2 billion to address longstanding critical shortages in corrections' staffing and education, in addition to drug treatment. For State and local law enforcement activities, the bill provides a total of more than $3.4 billion, restoring, in large part, reductions proposed by the administration.

For programs funded through the Office of Violence Against Women, the bill provides an increase of $11 million, including a $10 million increase for STOP Formula Grants, and a $1 million increase for Sexual Assault Victims Services.

I want to be clear that while the funding table in the report for the Office of Violence Against Women may appear in the report to show a funding decrease, that is only because the bill moves a number of programs to the Office of Justice programs which actually administers those programs.

So, let me repeat, the bill increases funding for the Office of Violence Against Women by $11 million.

The bill provides a full funding of $298 million for the COPS hiring program. In other areas within the Justice Department, the bill provides $325 million--an increase of $41 million over the fiscal year 2009 level--for the Adam Walsh Act.

With respect to border security, the bill provides $1.5 billion, a 30 percent increase over fiscal year 2009. These funds will be used to address firearms and narcotics trafficking between the United States and Mexico, an issue on which every Member of this body has concerns, and we're pleased to provide these increases.

[Time: 18:45]

For the Second Chance Act, the bill includes a total of $114 million to develop and implement evidence-based strategies and programs at the Federal and State levels to reduce recidivism and the future costs of incarceration. I want to particularly compliment the authorizing committee for the good job that they have done with the Second Chance Act and other legislation they are considering. We are looking forward and appreciate the opportunity to cooperate with them on the funding side.

A significant initiative across the Department of Justice is increased investments in law enforcement and prosecution efforts in Indian Country, for which the bill provides approximately $155 million, and that is an increase of $65 million over fiscal 2009.

For SCAAP, which the President proposed to eliminate, Mr. Chairman, the bill includes $300 million.

With respect to the Department of Commerce, $4.6 billion is slated for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an increase of $129 million above the request.

The bill provides $7.4 million for Census, the same level as the budget request.

For NASA, the bill provides a total of $18.2 billion, an increase of $420 million over last year's level. Investments have been made in Earth science to further the decadal surveys. The recommendation, however, acknowledges, and this is important for Members to consider and take note of, that the administration has established a blue ribbon panel, Mr. Chairman, led by Dr. Norm Augustine, to review the current vision for human spaceflight.

Funds are provided in this bill to continue investments in human spaceflight at the level of last year. Reductions from the budget request should not be viewed by this body as any diminution of certainly my support or the committee's support in NASA's human spaceflight activities. Rather, it is a deferral. It is a deferral taken without prejudice. It is a pause. It is a timeout.

Call it what you will, it is an opportunity for the President to establish his vision for human space exploration, looking at the Augustine report when it becomes available in August, and then for his administration to consider what their vision will be, and then, most importantly, certainly for our committee, Mr. Chairman, to come forward with a realistic future funding scheme for the human space exploration program.

We hope it is a vision worthy of the program, and we look forward to realistic funding levels, which we have never had, or haven't had for many, many years, for human spaceflight.

It is also important to note that the total funding contained in this bill for NASA is an increase of $421 million over the fiscal year 2009 level, and, moreover, some $1 billion was provided in the Recovery Act for NASA activities.

Lastly, the bill provides $440 million for the Legal Services Administration. Appropriations for Legal Services increased by almost $90 million over the last couple of years, with which we are very pleased. It is still underfunded compared to base years in the nineties. This is indicative of the rising need for legal support for the poor, particularly because of mortgage fraud and the home crisis.

The bill continues the existing limitations, Mr. Chairman, on the use of these funds, except that it lifts the current restrictions on attorney's fees.

Mr. Chairman, that is a brief summary of the bill.

I reserve the balance of my time.