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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 4505 — Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2022

July 27, 2021

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

(House Rules)
(Rep. DeLauro, D-CT)

The Administration strongly supports House passage of H.R. 4505, making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year (FY) ending September 30, 2022, and for other purposes.

Over the past decade, due in large measure to overly restrictive budget caps, the Nation significantly underinvested in core priorities such as education, research, and public health that are vital to our prosperity and strength. We have seen the consequences of this broad disinvestment in our lack of preparedness to effectively respond to a global pandemic. We see it in global competitors that are catching up or even surpassing the United States in research and development. In addition, we see it in longstanding inequities that have been deepened by chronic underinvestment in programs that are drivers of opportunity, such as Head Start and K-12 education. These cuts to public investment in basic services and protections have cost us all—and the moment to begin reversing this troubling trend is now.

The Administration is eager to incorporate the best ideas to reinvest in America. What we cannot accept is a continuation of damaging and self-defeating disinvestment. Instead, we must seize this moment to invest in our future—building an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top; tackling the generational challenge of climate change; competing with rising powers and maintaining our position as global leader; and preparing for the full range of challenges and opportunities ahead of us.

The President's FY 2022 Budget details a robust set of discretionary proposals to help deliver that future by reinvesting in the foundations of our Nation's strength. The Administration strongly supports the House Appropriations Committee in putting forth FY 2022 bills that reflect these shared priorities.

The Administration would like to take this opportunity to share additional views regarding the House Appropriations Committee's version of the bill.

Department of Commerce

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Satellites. The Administration appreciates the increased funding to initiate next generation weather satellites. However, the Administration urges the Congress to fund the full FY 2022 Budget request for the Geostationary Earth Orbit program in order to develop a highly-capable system as expeditiously as possible.

NOAA Operations. The Administration appreciates the Committee's recognition of NOAA's role in addressing the climate crisis. The bill provides $585 million in new investments across NOAA, including the requested increases for offshore wind and climate-ready fisheries. However, the Administration urges the Congress to fully fund the FY 2022 Budget request for other high priority NOAA programs, such as those supporting coastal resilience and climate competitive research.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing. The Administration appreciates the requested $125 million increase above the FY 2021 enacted level for the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership. However, the Administration urges the Congress to provide the full FY 2022 Budget request for Manufacturing USA institutes. The Administration believes that a comprehensive manufacturing strategy is crucial to bringing jobs back to the United States, and that the Manufacturing USA institutes play a critical role in that effort.

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). The Administration appreciates the Committee's support for investing in minority-owned businesses. The funds provided in the bill would enable MBDA to improve the reach of the bureau's technical assistance programs, eliminate barriers, and expand opportunities for minority-owned businesses.

Department of Justice (DOJ)

Civil Rights. The Administration appreciates the Committee's strong support for civil rights activities at the DOJ. The bill provides $221 million, which would strengthen the important work of the Civil Rights Division, including pattern-or-practice investigations, the prosecution of hate crimes, and voting rights protections. This funding would also support the Community Relations Service work to reduce community conflicts and tensions and would provide resources to expand the Department's access-to-justice work.

Office on Violence Against Women Funding. The Administration strongly supports the $240 million increase provided to support Violence Against Women Act programs at DOJ, including funding to support new programs requested in the President's FY 2022 Budget. However, the Administration urges the Congress to provide the full $1 billion requested in order to support these vital programs and activities.

Executive Office of Immigration Review. The Administration appreciates the $891 million provided to the Executive Office for Immigration Review. These resources would support the addition of 100 immigration judge teams and other enhancements that would help to reduce the case backlog at the immigration courts.

Legal Representation for Immigrant Children and Families. The Administration appreciates the $50 million provided to support the Legal Representation for Immigrant Children and Families program. This pilot program would support awards to provide legal representation to children and families in removal proceedings, enabling those proceedings to operate more equitably and efficiently.

Gun Violence Reduction. The Administration strongly supports the $2.1 billion provided by the Committee to fund activities to combat gun violence in communities across the Nation, including funds essential to advance the President's comprehensive strategy to reduce gun crimes. These resources would support the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigations, as well as DOJ grant programs. The Administration appreciates the strong support in the bill for evidence-based, innovative programs that would make communities safer, such as a new $100 million Community Violence Intervention initiative at Justice to complement additional funding requested by the Administration at the Department of Health and Human Services. Together with funding for other programs the Administration has requested, these resources would strengthen DOJ's response to gun crime and enhance public safety.

First Step Act. The Administration strongly supports the $409 million provided to the Bureau of Prisons to aid in further implementation of the First Step Act. These funds would expand high-quality programming, substance use disorder treatment, and reentry support.

Reducing Overdose Deaths. The Administration appreciates the Committee's support for the Office of Justice Programs to reduce the overdose death rate through fully funding the FY 2022 Budget request which includes critical programs such as: the Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program; Drug Courts; the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment Program; the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program; the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program; and the Veterans Treatment Court Grant Program.

Antitrust Division. The Administration appreciates the strong support provided to the Antitrust Division. The bill includes $201 million, equal to the FY 2022 Budget request, which would allow the Antitrust Division to promote a fair, open, and competitive marketplace.

Juvenile Justice Programs. The Administration appreciates the $148 million increase provided for Juvenile Justice Programs, but urges the Congress to consider providing an additional $302 million to match the FY 2022 Budget request, including full funding for the Community-Based Alternatives to Incarceration program.

Guantanamo Bay. The Administration appreciates that the bill supports the FY 2022 Budget request to remove provisions that effectively prohibit the closure of facilities at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Administration appreciates the Committee's strong support for NASA. The $25 billion provided in the bill would enhance NASA's Earth science and aeronautics work to address the climate crisis, enable the Artemis program to land American astronauts on the Moon, and expand STEM engagement efforts. The result would be a robust and inspirational space program that addresses the critical challenges of our times.

National Science Foundation (NSF)

NSF Topline. The Administration appreciates the Committee's strong support for NSF's climate and clean energy R&D, broadening participation programs, and the creation of the new Directorate to speed the transfer of NSF's discoveries into innovations that would benefit the American people. However, the Administration urges the Congress to provide the full FY 2022 Budget request that would enable NSF to make further contributions to U.S. innovation and technological competitiveness.

Legal Services Corporation (LSC)

LSC Topline. The Administration strongly supports the $600 million provided to LSC to enhance its COVID-19 pandemic response, which is equal to the FY 2022 Budget request. These funds would expand access to civil legal aid and are critical to assisting low-income individuals with responding to legal issues, including those driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

EEOC Topline. The Administration appreciates that the Committee provides the full FY 2022 Budget request for the EEOC, which would help restore critical agency staff lost in recent years and finance key investigative, regulatory, and enforcement resources necessary to protect the Nation's workers from workplace discrimination.

Constitutional Concerns

Sections 509, 518, and 526 would in certain applications intrude upon the President's constitutional authority over international diplomacy. The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to address these and other concerns.

The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress as the FY 2022 appropriations process moves forward.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 4505 — Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2022 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/351941