Category Archives: Commerce/Justice/Science

Committee Approves FY 2011 Energy/Water, Commerce/Justice and Transportation/HUD Appropriations Bills

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Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee “reported out three FY 2011 Appropriations bills: Energy and Water Development, Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies,” according to a press release.

The vote on each bill was 17-12.

Summaries:

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Filed under Appropriations, Commerce/Justice/Science, Committees, Energy, Housing, Transportation, Water

Senate Passes 2010 Commerce/Justice/Science Appropriations Bill

Senators have adopted the 2010 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2847) by a vote of 71 to 28.

According to a Democratic Policy Committee summary, this bill “would appropriate $64.93 billion in non-emergency discretionary spending, including overseas contingencies.”

A Republican Policy Committee summary prices the bill at “$67.492 billion in new budget authority for fiscal year (FY) 2010, which is $7.597 billion more than the FY09 non-emergency enacted level ($59.895 billion) or a 12.68 percent increase.”

The bill now goes to a conference with the House.

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Ensign State Criminal Alien Assistance Program Commerce Amendment Defeated

An amendment offered by Senator John Ensign (R-NV) to the 2010 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2847) has been defeated by a vote of 32 to 67.  This vote actually took place on a motion to waive a budget point of order.

The amendment would add $172 million in funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP).  According to a floor statement made by Senator Ensign, the funding would be offset by across-the-board cuts in unspecified areas of the underlying appropriations bill.

According to a Congressional Research Service report, the SCAAP program is a formula grant program that provides financial assistance to states and localities for correctional officer salary costs incurred for incarcerating “undocumented criminal aliens.”

The program is administered by the Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance, which is located in the Department of Justice, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security.

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Filed under Appointments, Commerce/Justice/Science, Immigration

Graham Commerce Amendment to Prevent Federal Trials for 9/11 Perpetrators Tabled

An amendment offered by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to the 2010 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2847) has been tabled by a vote of 54 to 45.

It would “prohibit the Obama Administration from trying anyone accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks on America in federal district court (Article III Courts),” according to a press release.  More specifically, it prevents funding in the bill from assisting in these trials.

Senator Graham “supports the use of military commissions instead.”

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Filed under Appropriations, Commerce/Justice/Science, Guantanamo

Coburn Commerce Appropriations Inspector General Amendment Defeated

An amendment offered by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) to the 2010 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2847) has been defeated by a vote of 42 to 57.  This vote actually took place on a motion to waive a budget point of order against it.

This amendment would shift $5 million in funding from the Hoover Department of Commerce building to the Inspector General’s office, according to Coburn’s web site.

While the House version of the CJS appropriations bill includes the same amount as last year for the renovation of the Herbert C. Hoover Department of Commerce building (HCHB) – $5 million – the Senate and the Administration have recommended a 350 percent increase ($17.5 million increase) in spending in a down economy for a variety of improvements, including historic restoration and new bicycle racks. This amendment would shift $5 million in funding from the Hoover Department of Commerce building to the Inspector General’s office of the Commerce to help them address what the Senate Committee referred to as “a culture within many agencies [funded in CJS] that exhibits a lack of accountability and oversight of grant funding.”

An amendment summary is linked here.  The text is linked here.

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Filed under Appropriations, Commerce/Justice/Science