Oct 04 2007

Shelby Delivers Floor Statement on Funding for Commerce, Justice and Science Spending Bill

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), ranking member of the Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee, today made the following statement on the floor of the U.S. Senate as the Senate began consideration of the 2008 CJS spending bill. 

Senator Shelby’s comments, as prepared: 

“Today, the Senate begins consideration of the fiscal year 2008 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bill.”

“This bill funds a number of our nation’s most important programs and initiatives and I am pleased to outline some of its highlights.”

“First, I would like to thank Chairwoman Mikulski. We have worked together on many issues throughout our years of serving together in the House and Senate, and I believe this bill reflects our strong bipartisan relationship.”

“This bill was crafted with a tight allocation of $54 billion.” 

“Within these limitations, the Subcommittee was forced to strike a difficult balance between the competing priorities of law enforcement, terrorism prevention, research, space exploration and U.S. competitiveness through investing in science.” 

“For the Department of Justice, the Subcommittee’s recommendation is $24.3 billion -- $2 billion over the request.  The President’s budget request cut over $1.6 billion from state and local law enforcement at a time when violent crime is on the rise.”

“Chairwoman Mikulski and I worked together to ensure that law enforcement receives the funding and support they need to begin to address the increased crime problem and to help protect our citizens and communities.”

“The bill provides the Department of Commerce with $7.35 billion -- $754 million over the budget request.”

“The Commerce Department oversees some of our nation’s most important business development, economic analysis, and science and research agencies including the Economic Development Administration, the National Institutes of Science and Technology and the National Ocean Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).”  

“Our bill provides $4.2 billion for NOAA, an increase of $405 million over the fiscal year 2008 budget request.  The Committee believes it is critical to the overall health of NOAA to restore funding to programs that suffered during the past year under static funding levels.” 

“Also, existing competitive grant programs were given increased funding, and new competitive grant programs were created in an effort to reduce earmarks.”