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House Subcommittees Approve FY2009 Spending Bills

Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies

On June 12, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies approved, by voice vote, its FY2009 spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered).

According to Chair Alan Mollohan’s (D-WV) statement, the measure would allocate $56.8 billion, a $5 billion increase from FY2008 and $3.1 billion over the president’s request.

Department of Justice

The Department of Justice would receive $25.4 billion, a $1.9 billion increase over FY2008 and $5.1 billion above the administration’s request. Included in that amount is “$113 million for department-wide enhancements and new staffing for Adam Walsh [Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-248)] and other child exploitation enforcement activities.”

State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance: State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance would receive $3.1 billion. This is a $2.192 billion increase over FY2008 and $1.1 billion over the president’s request.

Related Agencies

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission would receive $350 million in FY2009, a $20.9 million increase over FY2008 and $8.075 million above the president’s request.

Legal Services Corporation: The Legal Services Corporation would receive $390 million in FY2009, $44.51 million more than FY2008 and $79 million above the administration’s request.

National Science Foundation: The National Science Foundation would receive $6.9 billion, a $835 million increase over FY2008.

More information will be available when the committee report is finalized.

Military Construction and Veterans Affairs

On June 12, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies approved, by voice vote, the FY2009 spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered). The measure, totaling $118.7 billion, includes $72.7 billion in discretionary spending, $3.4 billion more than the president’s FY2009 request and $8.8 billion more than FY2008.

The bill includes $24.8 billion for military construction, family housing, and the Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC), a $400 million increase over the president’s request. According to a statement by Chair Chet Edwards (D-TX), “This bill fully funds BRAC, and provides for the modernization of training facilities, as well as the building of child care centers, barracks, and homes.”

It also includes “an additional $136 million for medical facilities [over FY2008]” and “no less than $3.8 billion [for] specialty mental health services, and $584 million [for] substance abuse programs.” Additionally, according to Rep. Edwards, “language has been included to increase our oversight in this critical area to ensure that the department is able to provide the best care both now, and in the future, for our veterans with mental illness, with PTSD, who struggle with substance abuse, who are thinking of suicide, and who suffer from military sexual trauma.”

More information will be available when the committee report is printed.

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