Senate Democrats

S. 1745, the Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2008

Summary and Background

On June 29, 2007, the Senate Appropriations Committee reported S.1745, the Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2008 (CJS), and the bill was placed on the Senate calendar.  The bill would provide $54.65 billion for the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, Science related agencies, and related agencies for Fiscal Year 2008.  This amount is $3.18 billion above the Bush Administration’s Fiscal Year 2008 budget request.

The underlying purpose of the CJS bill is to strengthen the American economy, protect our nation from terrorist threat and violent crime, and promote scientific advancements. 

  • The legislation would provide significant investments in scientific research, technology, innovation, and educational programs to strengthen America’s competitiveness in the global economy.     
  • The bill would provide more than $130 million in increases over 2007 levels to improve counterterrorism efforts.  The bill would also provide $2.66 billion for state and local law enforcement and would reject the President’s efforts to divert 100 FBI agents from their work combating violent crime.  The bill also provides additional resources to protect America’s children from predators. 
  • The bill would make significant investments in research programs and efforts aimed at understanding, predicting, and monitoring changes in the Earth’s climate, weather, and oceans. 

The Senate is expected to bring the House-passed version of this bill, H.R.3093, the Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2008, to the floor during the first week of October.  It is anticipated that a substitute amendment will be offered to replace the text of the House billwith that of S.1745

Major Provisions

Title I – Department of Commerce

S. 1745 would provide $7.35 billion for the Department of Commerce and related agencies.  This is $895.7 million above the enacted level for Fiscal Year 2007 (excluding emergency supplemental appropriations), and $754.2 million above the President’s budget request. 

International Trade Administration (ITA).  S.1745 would provide $417.4 for ITA, which is $21.8 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 level and $5 million above the President’s budget request.  ITA, which includes Manufacturing and Services, Market Access and Compliance, Import Administration, and Trade Promotion and U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, develops the export potential of U.S. firms and improves the trade performance of U.S. industry.  S. 1745 includes $3 million above the President’s budget request to enable the agency to hire additional analysts and enforcement officers to rigorously enforce U.S. trade remedy laws, an important function to safeguard U.S. industries and jobs against injurious unfair foreign trade practices. 

Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). S.1745 would provide $78.78 million for the BIS, an increase of $3.38 million above the current spending level and the same level as the President’s budget request.  BIS is the principal agency involved in the development, implementation, and enforcement of laws controlling the exportation of dual-use technologies (technologies that have both civilian and military applications). 

Economic Development Administration (EDA).  S.1745 would provide $282.8 million for the EDA, which is $2.17 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 level, and $80 million above the President’s budget request.  EDA provides grants for economic development projects in economically-distressed communities and regions, such as the gulf coast states impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita of 2005.  S. 1745 funding restores budget cuts sought by the Administration to the highly successful Economic Development Assistance Programs for communities (EDAP).  EDAP investments have attracted billions of dollars in private sector investment into distressed communities and over 100,000 jobs have been created or retained as a result of these investments. 

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).  S.1745 would provide $30.2 million for the MBDA, which is $475,000 above the Fiscal Year 2007 level, and $1.49 million above the President’s budget request.  These increases for MBDA, which seeks to promote private and public sector investment in minority businesses, provides for inflationary adjustments and ensures that funds will be available for the existing Native American Business Development Centers.

Economic and Statistical Analysis (ESA).  S.1745 would provide $85 million for the ESA, which is $5.25 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 level and the same as the President’s budget request.   ESA prepares, develops, and interprets information on the state of the economy and provides analytical support to Commerce officials.  The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), which provides economic accounts data to promote a better understanding of the U.S economy, is funded in this account.

Bureau of the Census.  The Bureau collects, compiles, and publishes a broad range of economic, demographic, and social data.  The bill would provide $1.25 billion for the Bureau of the Census, $353.63 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 level and $16.4 million more than the President’s budget request. 

Fiscal Year 2008 funding will be critical for the Census Bureau because it will provide the foundation upon which a successful constitutionally-mandated decennial census is built.  S. 1745 fully funds the budget request for the 2010 Census and includes $18 million in additional funding to restore the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), which the President’s budget eliminated.  Data from the SIPP informs policy decisions related to important low-income programs.

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).  S.1745 would provide $48.58 million for the NTIA, which is $8.79 million above the current spending level and $30 million above the President’s budget request.  NTIA advises the President on domestic and international communications policy, manages the federal government’s use of the radio frequency spectrum, and performs research in telecommunications sciences. 

United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).  The PTO, which examines and approves applications for patents for claimed inventions and registration of trademarks, is funded by user fees collected from customers that are designated as "offsetting collections" and subject to spending limits established by the Appropriations Committee.  S. 1745 would give the PTO authority to spend $1.92 billion from fees generated in that Fiscal Year 2008, which is $144.5 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 and the same as the President’s budget request. 

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  S.1745 would provide $863.02 million for the NIST, which is $186.14 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 level and $222.3 million above the President’s budget request.  NIST assists industry in developing technology to improve product quality, modernize manufacturing processes, ensure product reliability, and facilitate rapid commercialization of products based on new scientific discoveries.  NIST has assisted in the development of electricity standards, navigation systems for aviation, and modern-day mammograms and semiconductors.  S. 1745 provides $110 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program, which is $64 million above the President’s budget request.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  S.1745 would provide $4.21 billion for NOAA, which is $136 million above Fiscal Year 2007 level and $405 million above the President’s budget request.  NOAA provides scientific, technical, and management expertise to: 1) promote safe and efficient marine and air navigation; 2) assess the health of coastal and marine resources; 3) monitor and predict the coastal, ocean, and global environments (including weather forecasting; and 4) protect and manage the nation’s coastal resources.  S. 1745 includes:

·        $636 million for the National Ocean Service;

·        $927 million for the National Weather Service,

·        $765 million for the National Marine Fisheries Service;

·        $1 billion for satellite programs, and

·        $439 million for ocean and atmospheric research.

The legislation also includes a total of $795 million to implement the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative’s recommendations for greater stewardship of our oceans.  Language included in the bill directs the Initiative to focus on research, education, observation, and exploration.

Title II – Department of Justice

S.1745 would provide $24.31 billion in total budgetary resources for the Department of Justice (DOJ), which is $1.46 billion above the Fiscal Year 2007 level (excluding emergency supplemental appropriations), $1.1 billion above the Fiscal Year 2007 level (including emergency supplemental appropriations), and $2.06 billion above President Bush’s Fiscal Year 2008 budget request. 

The DOJ is the nation’s premier law enforcement agency, investigating, prosecuting, and guarding against civil or criminal crimes against the United States.  The department also provides legal advice and opinions to the President and executive branch department heads and represents the federal government in civil and criminal proceedings before the Supreme Court. 

Major DOJ agencies include: United States Attorneys, United States Marshals, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Bureau of Alcohol, tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) and the Federal Prison System. 

Administrative Review and Appeals.  S.1745 would provide $247.5 million for this account, which is $18.4 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 enacted level and equal to the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request.  This account covers the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which includes the Board Immigration Appeals, immigration judges, and administrative law judges who deal with immigration issues.  This account also funds the Office of the Pardon Attorney, which receives, investigates, and considers petitions for all forms of executive clemency. 

Detention Trustee.  S.1745 would provide $1.27 billion for the Office of the federal Detention Trustee, which is $40.06 million above the 2007 enacted level and $28.35 million below the 2008 budget request.  This office ensures that Federal agencies involved in detention provide for the safe, secure, and humane confinement of federal prisoners. 

Office of the Inspector General (IG).  S.1745 would provide $73.7 million for the IG’s office, which is $4.1 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 enacted level and $492,000 above the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request.  This office conducts audits, inspections, investigations, and reviews of DOJ activities and programs in an effort to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness and prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse.  The IG also investigates ethical violations of DOJ employees.  This bill’s budget increases for the IG would be aimed at enabling the IG to continue investigating the FBI National Security Letter issue.

United States Parole Commission.  S.1745 would provide $12.19 million for the Commission, which is $685,000 above the 2007 enacted level and equal to the 2008 budget request.  The commission is an independent DOJ agency that makes decisions regarding requests for parole and supervision of federal prisoners

Legal Activities.  S.1745 would provide $753 million for the general legal activities account, which is $75.85 million above the 2007 enacted level and $2.42 million above the 2008 budget request.  This account funds the Office of the Solicitor General, the Tax Division, the Criminal Division, the Civil Division, the Environmental and Natural Resources Division, the Civil Rights Division, the Office of Legal Counsel, and Interpol.

Separate from the divisions listed above, S.1745 would provide $155.1 million for the Antitrust Division account, which is $7.28 million above the 2007 enacted level and equal to the 2008 budget request.  This division investigates violations of federal antitrust laws. 

United States Attorneys.  S.1745 would provide $1.75 billion for this account, which is $92.94 million above the 2007 enacted level and equal to the 2008 budget request.  The account supports the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys and the 94 U.S. Attorneys offices throughout the country.  U.S. Attorneys (USAs) are the principal litigators for the federal government. 

The Senate Appropriations Committee is concerned about software copyright abuse and has included in the legislation language that would direct USAs to report to the Committees on Appropriation by February 1, 2008 the number, type, and location of copyright prosecutions undertaken in 2007. 

United States Trustee System Fund.  S.1745 would provide $231.9 million for this account, which is $8.75 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 enacted level and equal to the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request.  The Trustee System Fund is responsible for protecting the integrity of the bankruptcy system. 

Foreign Claims Settlement Commission.  S.1745 would provide $1.71 million for this account, which is $148,000 above the 2007 enacted level and equal to the budget request.  The Commission settles claims of citizens arising from nationalization, expropriation, or other takings of their properties and interests by foreign governments.  The Senate Appropriations Committee specifically identified claims against Germany relating to World War II, Cuba relating to the Castro regime, and Iraq relating to the U.S.S. Stark incident and Desert Shield/Storm.

United States Marshals Service.  S.1745 would provide $897 million for the USMS, not including construction, which is $84.8 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 enacted level and $3.02 million below the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request.  USMS construction is funded in another account at $8.02 million, which is $1.17 million above this Fiscal Year 2007 enacted level and $8.02 million above the Administration’S.2008 request, which didn’t provide any funding for construction.  In total, the bill would provide $904.88 million for the USMS, which is $79.51 million above the 2007 enacted level and $5 million above the 2008 budget request. 

The USMS is charged with the responsibility of apprehending fugitives, protecting the federal judiciary, protecting witnesses, executing warrants and court orders, and custody and transportation of accused and unsentenced prisoners.  Included in this account are funds for addressing the increasing number of illegal immigration arrests along the Southwest Border.  The Senate Appropriations Committee recommends an additional $5 million above the 2008 budget request to establish and expand regional fugitive task forces and asked that special emphasis be given accommodating the workload created by the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act

Community Relations Service.  S.1745 would provide $10.23 million for this account, which is $9,000 above the 2007 enacted level and $436,000 above the 2008 budget request.  This service provides assistance to communities and individuals in the prevention and resolution of disputes relating to perceived discriminatory practices. 

Assets Forfeiture Fund.  S.1745 would provide $21 million for this account, which is $221,000 below the Fiscal Year 2007 enacted level and equal to the President’s budget request.  The Fund supplements existing resources to cover additional investigative expenses of the FBI, DEA, and USMS, such as investigative expenses leading to seizure.  The Fund also covers expenses related to the management and disposal of assets.  The activities are funded by receipts deposited into the Fund from seizure and liquidation of assets.

National Security Division.  S.1745 would provide $78.06 million for the Division (NSD), which is $11.09 million above the 2007 enacted level and equal to the 2008 budget request.  NSD coordinates the DOJ’s national security and terrorism missions through law enforcement investigations and prosecutions. 

Interagency Law Enforcement.  S.1745 would provide $509.16 million for this account, which is $11.22 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 enacted level and equal to the 2008 budget request.  The Interagency and Drug Enforcement Account, which funds the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), was created to ensure a coordinated multi-agency approach to identifying and dismantling drug trafficking and money laundering organizations.  This account also funds the OCDETF Fusion Center, which combines the analytical resources and intelligence information of the OCDETF member agencies and others. 

Federal Bureau of Investigations.  S.1745 would provide $6.37 billion for the FBI, which is $383.07 million above the 2007 enacted level (excluding emergency supplemental appropriations), $125.07 million above the enacted level (including emergency supplemental appropriations), and $22.3 above the 2008 budget request.  Including appropriations for construction, the legislation would provide, in total, $6.58 billion for the FBI, which is $538.08 million above the 2007 enacted level and $147.35 million above the 2008 budget request. 

Included in the FBI’s account is $47.2 million in funds and 159 positions to address the agency’s intelligence program requirements.  These funds will allow the FBI to focus its core investigative work on threats against U.S. interests, develop enterprise-wide intelligence policies and capabilities, and provide useful and timely information and analysts to the national security, homeland security, and law enforcement communities. 

S.1745 would also address the nation’s rise in violent crime by beginning to restore years of Republican budget cuts to the FBI’s traditional criminal investigation resources (like the task force approach to combating street crime and gang violence) which have been cut by nearly 30 percent since 2001.  The FBI plays a significant role in combating local crime by assisting state and local authorities with investigative, forensic, and technical support and guidance.  This account would include $31.13 million for 167 positions, including 100 new agents to combat violent crime, and establishing additional joint task forces to target violent crimes and gang violence. 

This FBI’s account would further include $9.3 million for the Innocent Images National Initiative (IINI), which is an increase of $8.13 million above the President’S.2008 budget request, to greatly expand the number of agents investigating Internet-related crimes against children.  This account would be funded at $13 million over the budget request for the detection, investigation, and prosecution of domestic and international intellectual property crimes against the United States.

Drug Enforcement Administration.  S.1745 would provide $2.09 billion for the DEA, which is $136.43 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 enacted level (excluding emergency supplemental appropriations), $120.27 million above the enacted level (including emergency supplemental appropriations), and $51.58 above the President’s Fiscal Year 2008 budget request. 

These funds will be used to help the DEA assist state and local law enforcement in combating drug abuse, specifically methamphetamine usage, which has contributed to the rise in violent crime across the nation.  To this end, the Senate Appropriations Committee provided $31 million over the President’s budget request to enable the DEA to lift the year-long hiring freeze on agent and support personnel.  The Committee also rejected the President’s request to eliminate the Mobil Enforcement Teams program and cut funding for 80 DEA Special Agents and, instead, restored the $20.58 million the President cut for these purposes. 

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  S.1745 would provide $1.01 billion for the ATF account, which is $29.88 million above the 2007 enacted level and equal to the budget request.  Including $35 million in appropriations for constructing the National Center for Explosives Training and Research, ATF would receive $1.05 billion, which is $65 million above 2007 enacted level and $35 million above the budget request. 

Federal Prison System.  S.1745 would provide $5.65 billion for this account, which is $217.74 million above the 2007 enacted level (excluding emergency supplemental appropriations), $200.74 million above the enacted level (including emergency supplemental appropriations), and $285 million above the budget request. 

The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is responsible for the federal prisoners and prisons.  Additional funding in this account is for the expansion of the following programs: inmate care and programs, prison security, contract confinement, activations, and expansions.   These appropriations would also be aimed at improving coordination between federal prisons and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for the purposes of sharing information on inmates when appropriate. 

The Senate Appropriations Committee applauded BOP on its effort to curtail sexual misconduct and abuse in prisons and would direct the agency to report to the Committee by March 31, 2008 on progress made.  The Committee would also require BOP to report back on its efforts to assist prisoners who are primary caretakers of young children. 

$495 million would be included in this account for the construction, modernization, maintenance, and repair of prisons and detention facilities, which is $62.58 above the 2007 enacted level and $285 million above the budget request. 

Office on Violence Against Women.  S.1745 would provide $390 million for this office, which is $20 million above the budget request.  The Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) coordinates legislative and other initiatives amongst state, local, tribal, prosecutorial, advocacy, health care, and community  agencies/organizations in an effort to prevent, detect, and stop violence against women, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking.  Note: as of Fiscal Year 2007, OVW is no longer funded in the Office of Justice Programs account.

The Senate Appropriations Committee rejected the President’s request to create a consolidated, competitive grant program for Violence Against Women Act programs, including those that address gaps in prevention services, housing, health care, criminal justice, and employment and meet the needs of native women and communities of color.  The Committee is concerned that the President’s plan would circumvent congressional intent and dilute the effectiveness of these programs. 

S.1745 would include $10 million in this account for the Sexual Assault Services Program, which would directly fund the needs of sexual assault victims and their families.  The Committee also recognizes and would appropriate funds for two programs to address the disproportionate number of Native American women who are victims of sexual assault.  The legislation would also provide funding for two programs that offer support services to young persons exposed to violence in the home and teens experiencing violence in their own relationships. 

Office of Justice Programs.  S.1745 would provide $2.66 billion for this office (OJP), which is $126.56 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 enacted level if excluding the emergency supplemental and $1.55 billion above the President’s Fiscal Year 2008 budget request.  The Committee would reject the President’s proposal to merge the Byrne Grant program and Local Law Enforcement Block Grant program. 

The OJP account includes funding for:

·        Justice Assistance.  The legislation would provide $240 million for this program, which is $1.66 million above the 2007 enacted level and $72.73 above the budget request.  This program supports state and local law enforcement by providing scientific research and evaluation, technological standards and advancements, statistics, regional information sharing, programs to assist the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and victim notification assistance. 

·        State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance.  The bill would provide $1.4 billion for this account, which is $163.2 million above the 2007 enacted level (excluding emergency supplemental appropriations), and $850 million above the budget request. 

Funding for federal state and local law enforcement programs have been decimated since President Bush took office, many in law enforcement believe that these cuts have contributed to the rise in violent crime across the nation for the second consecutive year.  Democrats have committed to responsibly restoring these cuts over time.

This account includes funding for several programs, including the Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants ($660 million), State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training, SCAAP ($400 million, including Southwest Boarder Prosecutor Initiative), Byrne Discretionary Grants ($190 million), Victims of Trafficking ($15 million), Drug Courts ($25 million), Court Appointed Special Advocates ($15 million), Prison Rape Prevention, National Crime Victim Law Institute, Indian Tribe Assistance ($28 million), and the National Sex Offender Registry. 

Please see the committee report for a list of specific projects.

·        Community Oriented Policing Services.  S.1745 would provide $550 million for this program (COPS), which is $1.64 million above the fiscal year 2007 enacted level and $517.7 million above the President’s budget request.  COPS has assisted state and local law enforcement agencies in combating traditional crime and responding to terrorist threats by providing grants, training, and technical assistance. 

The Senate Appropriations Committee has allocated funds in this account to cover training and technical assistance, bulletproof vests, tribal law enforcement, methamphetamine hot spots, law enforcement technology, DNA backlog/crime law improvement, and offender re-entry.  The legislation would also create the Child Sexual Predator Elimination program, a new national initiative that would provide grants to state and local governments to locate, arrest, and prosecute sexual predators.  $55 million would be allocated for this program. 

Please see the committee report for a list of specific projects.

·        Juvenile Justice Programs.  S.1745 would provide $340 million for this account, which is $1.64 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 enacted level and $60 million above the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request. 

This account includes the state formula grants program ($73 million), juvenile mentoring program, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, the Tribal Youth Program, the Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws program, Secure Our Schools Act implementation ($10 million), the Improving Investigation and Prosecution of Child Abuse Program ($20 million), the gang prevention program ($10 million), and the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant program ($80 million). 

Title III: Science

S.1745 would provide $24.01 billion in total budgetary resources for the bill’s science related accounts.  The funding amount recommended by S.1745 is $1.8 billion above the Fiscal Year 2007 level and $274.8 million more than the Administration’s request.

Office of Science and Technology Policy

S.1745 would appropriate $5.72 million for the Office of Science and Technology Policy which is $187,000 more than Fiscal Year 2007 enacted level and $200,000 more than the budget request.  The Office of Science and Technology Policy provides scientific and technological information, analysis, and advice for the President and for the executive branch.  Within the amount appropriated, the billwould allocate $200,000 for the creation of an Associate Director for Earth Science and Applications and direct the Office of Science and Technology to develop a strategic budget plan to address the potential loss of space based climate satellites.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The missions of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is to advance human exploration, use, and development of space; advance and communicate scientific knowledge and understanding of the Earth, the solar system and the universe; and research, develop, verify, and transfer advanced aeronautics and space technologies.  S.1745 would distribute $17.46 billion for NASA which is $1.175 billion more than Fiscal Year 2007 enacted level (including emergency supplemental appropriations), and $150.2 million above the budget request. 

Science, Aeronautics, and Exploration.  S.1745 would provide $10.6 billion for the science, aeronautics, and exploration (SAE) account which funds both the direct and the indirect costs of supporting the Mission Directorates and Education Program as well as research, development, and operations within NASA’s SAE program. 

The funding level would allocate the $10.6 billion as follows: $5.65 billion for science; $554 million for aeronautics; and $3.97 billion for exploration systems.  The funding level for the SAE account is $546.5 million more than enacted level during for the Fiscal Year 2007 and $149.9 million for than the budget request.

Exploration Capabilities.  Funding provided forNASA’s exploration capabilities is used to fund the Space Operations Mission Directorate which includes International Space Station, Space Shuttle Program, and Space and Flight Support.  S.1745 would appropriate $6.79 billion for exploration capabilities which is $646.41 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 enacted level and $300,000 above the President’s request.

The breakdown of funds for exploration capabilities is distributed as follows: $4 billion for Space Shuttle operations; $2.24 billion for Space Station operations; $862.2 million for center management and operations; $263.7 million for corporate and general administrative costs; and $263.7 for institutional investments.

Office of Inspector General.  S.1745 would allocate $34.6 million for NASA’s Office of the Inspector General, which is $2.38 million the above the Fiscal Year 2007 level and identical to the budget request. 

National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is the principal federal agency charged with promoting science and engineering education from pre-kindergarten through career development.  S.1745 would distribute $6.55 billion for the NSF, which is $636 million more than Fiscal Year 2007 enacted level and $124.4 million above the budget request.

This funding would help ensure that the United States has world-class scientists, mathematicians and engineers, and well-prepared citizens for today and the future.  The funding levels that S.1745 would provide the NSF is vital to broadening fundamental science disciplines in conjunction with the passing of the American Competitiveness Initiative.

Research and Related Activities.  S.1745 would spend $5.16 billion for research and related work within the NSF.  That amount of spending is $490.1 million more than what was spent in Fiscal Year 2007 and $24.4 million more than the budget request.  The funding provided by this account addresses NSF’s three strategic goals of: 1) developing a diverse internationally competitive and globally engaged workforce of scientists; 2) enabling discovery across the frontiers of science and engineering, connected to learning, innovation; and 3) state-of-the-art science and engineering facilities and shared research and education tools.

Major Research Equipment and Construction.  The major research equipment and facilities construction appropriation supports the acquisition, procurement, construction, and commissioning of unique national research platforms and facilities as well as major research equipment.  S.1745 would allocate $244.7 million for the acquisition of major research equipment and construction activities which accounts for more than $53.9 million than the Fiscal Year 2007 level and identical to the budget request.

Education and Human Resources.  S.1745 would appropriate $850.6 million for the NSF’s education and human resource activities, which is an increase of more than $53.9 million over the Fiscal Year 2007 level and $100 million above the budget request.

Agency Operations and Award Management.  This account provides funding for the salaries, operations, and maintenance at the NSF.  S.1745 would provide 285.6 million for this account, which is $37.3 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 level and identical to the level in the budget request.

National Science Board.  S.1745 would distribute $4 million to the National Science Board, which is $61,000 more than the enacted level for the Fiscal Year 2007 and the same level as the budget request.  The National Science Board is the governing body of the National Science Foundation.  

Inspector General.  S.1745 would distribute $12.3 million to the NSF’s Inspector General, which is an amount that is $923,000 more than what was enacted for the Fiscal Year 2007 and the same as the budget request.

Title IV: Related Agencies

Commission on Civil Rights.  S.1745 would provide $9 million for this account, which is $28,000 above the Fiscal Year 2007 enacted level and $200,000 above the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request.  The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is an independent, bipartisan agency charged with monitoring federal civil rights enforcement. 

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  S.1745 would provide $378 million for this account, which is $49.25 million above the 2007 enacted level and $50.27 million above the 2008 budget request.  The EEOC is charged with enforcing federal employment discrimination laws, as well as providing oversight and coordination of all federal regulations, practices and policies regarding discrimination at the workplace. 

The Senate Appropriations Committee is concerned about the rising backlog of discrimination claims.  Last year, EEOC received 76,000 complaints that they needed to investigate on top of a 34,000 backlog of cases from the year before.  In 2008, EEOC estimates they will receive 76,000 new complaints and the backlog will rise to 40,000.  The year after that, the backlog will increase to nearly 55,000.  These increased funds would be used to improve EEOC resources in field offices across the country in an effort to clear the backlog. 

Legal Services Corporation (LSC). S.1745 would provide $390 million for payment to the LSC, which is $41.42 million above the 2007 enacted level and $79.14 million above the 2008 budget request.  The LSC provides basic legal services for low-income individuals who suddenly qualify for and need legal assistance, such as when natural or national disaster strikes.  Soldiers and their families also use these legal services.

International Trade Commission (ITC).  S.1745 provides $68.4 million for the International Trade Commission (ITC), which is $6.5 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 level and the same as the budget request.  The ITC is an independent, quasi-judicial agency that advises the President and Congress on the impact of U.S. foreign economic policies, and, along with the Import Administration Unit of ITA, is charged with administering various U.S. trade remedy laws.

Marine Mammal Commission (MMC).  The MMC provides oversight and recommends actions on domestic and international topics to advance policies and provisions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The Commission provides precise, up-to-date scientific information to Congress on issues related to the safety of marine mammals.  S.1745 would appropriate $3 million for the MMC, which is $104,000 more than Fiscal Year 2007 level and $701,000 more than budget requested level.

Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).  The bill would provide $47.8 million for USTR, which is $3.6 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 level and $3.4 million above the President’s Fiscal Year 2008 request.  USTR, located in the Executive Office of the President, is responsible for developing and coordinating U.S. international trade and direct investment policies.

State Justice Institute.  S.1745 would provide $3.5 million for this account, which is $45,000 above the 2007 enacted level.  The President did not request funds for this account.  The Institute furthers the development and adoption of improved judicial administration in state courts. 

Legislative History

On June 28, 2007, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed S.1745, the CJS Appropriations bill, on a 28-1 vote.   The majority of the Committee’s debate focused on two controversial amendments: 1) an amendment offered by Senator Shelby to reinsert language that limits the ATF’s authority to disclose gun trace information to specific law enforcement requests, which passed 19-10; and 2) an amendment offered by Senator Alexander to bar the EEOC from suing employers who require their workers to speak English as a condition of keeping their jobs, which passed 15-14.  The bill was reported on June 29 and was placed on the Senate legislative calendar. 

The Senate is expected to bring the House-passed version of this bill, H.R.3093, the Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2008, to the floor during the first week of October.  The House bill, which passed on July 26 (281-142) would appropriate $56 billion for the CJC agencies.  It is anticipated that a substitute amendment will be offered to replace the text of the House billwith that of S.1745

Expected Amendments

In addition to the substitute amendment, several amendments are expected to S.1745

It is expected that Senators Mikulski, Hutchison, Shelby, Landrieu, Bill Nelson, Martinez, Salazar, Lieberman, Bennett will co-sponsor an amendment to increase funding for NASA by $1 billion to account for the cost of redeploying the Space Shuttle back into Space following the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy. 

Senator Biden plans to offer an amendment to provide $110 million for the COPS hiring program.

Senators may also offer amendments on the EEOC English-speaking lawsuits and AFT gun trace matters. 

As it becomes available, information on amendments will be sent to the DPC email lists.

Statement of Administration Policy

As of this writing, the Bush Administration has not issued a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) for S.1745.   On July 24, the Administration did, however, issue a SAP in opposition to H.R.3093.  The President has threatened to veto the House appropriations bill because it exceeds his Fiscal Year 2008 budget request.  The Senate bill also exceeds the budget request, and, if passed, it is anticipated that the President would veto the bill. 

CRS Reports

RL34092, Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies: FY2008 Appropriations, Updated September 7, 2007.

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