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More FY2012 Appropriations Bills Approved by House Committee

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies

On July 13, the House Appropriations Committee approved, by voice vote, the FY2012 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered). The subcommittee approved the measure on July 7 (see The Source, 7/8/11).

According to the committee report, the bill would allocate $50.565 billion in FY2012 for programs at the Departments of Commerce and Justice and at federal science agencies, such as the National Science Foundation. Included in the total is $50.237 in discretionary funding, $3.09 billion below FY2011 and $7.434 billion below President Obama’s FY2012 request.

Specifically, the Department of Commerce would receive $7.118 billion in FY2012, $463.15 million below FY2011 and $1.685 billion below the president’s request. Included in that amount is $30.339 million for the Minority Business Development Agency, equal to FY2011 but $1.983 million below the amount requested by the president.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) would receive $26.348 billion in FY2012, $1.041 billion less than FY2011 and $2.376 billion less than requested by the president. This amount includes $1.747 billion for overall State and Local Law Enforcement programs, $1.051 billion below FY2011 and $1.337 below the administration’s request.

The bill would prohibit funding for DOJ from being used to provide abortion services, except in instances of rape or to protect the life of the mother.

The committee expressed its concern that DOJ has failed to publish the national standards for the Prison Rape Elimination Act (P.L. 108-79), which were due one year ago. As a result, the committee directs DOJ to publish a final rule adopting standards for the “detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of prison rape.” (p. 45).

Emphasizing the importance of combating human trafficking, the committee report notes that “Although great strides have been made in combating sex trafficking and other forms of human trafficking, DOJ can, and must, do a better job of investigating and prosecuting these crimes. Human trafficking is a serious federal civil rights crime and the committee believes that combating it must be a top priority of not only DOJ, but also of state and local governments.” The committee also directs DOJ “to undertake outreach efforts in the form of public notices, such as newspaper advertisements, in ethnic communities in the U.S., the home countries of which represent the top ten countries with regard to the prevalence of human trafficking activities.” (p. 50, see also additional language on p. 63).

The bill would provide $300,000 for the new Children and Youth Exposed to Violence competitive grant program (p. 59). The program “provides grants for projects that seek to mitigate the effects of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking on children and youth exposed to violence and reduce the risk of future victimization or perpetration of such crimes.”

The measure would provide $15 million for the investigation and prosecution of child abuse and $9 million for sex offender location, arrest, and prosecution (p. 64).

With regard to initiatives to reduce or eliminate the DNA backlog, “The committee directs the department to submit a spending plan with respect to funds appropriated for DNA-related and forensic programs, and a report on the alignment of appropriated funds with the authorized purposes of the Debbie Smith DNA Backlog grant program, within 60 days of enactment of this act.” (p. 65).

During consideration of the bill, the committee rejected an amendment by Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) to provide $35 million for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program, 22-25. The bill would eliminate funding for the program, which received $791.608 million in FY2011; the president requested $669.5 million for the program in FY2012.

The chart below details funding for programs important to women and their families.



President’s FY2012 Request

House Committee Mark

Department of Commerce

Minority Business Development Agency $30.339 million $32.322 million $30.339 million (p. 14)

Department of Justice

Office on Violence Against Women $417.663 million $454.898 million $437.663 million (p. 59)
Grants to Combat Violence Against Women (STOP Grants) $210 million $182 million $210 million (p. 59)
Transitional Housing Assistance $18 million $25 million $18 million (p. 59)
Research and Evaluation on Violence Against Women* $0 $3 million $3 million (p. 59)
Sexual Assault Victims Services $15 million $35 million $20 million (p. 59)
Rural Domestic Violence & Child Abuse Enforcement $41 million $38 million $41 million (p. 59)
Violence on College Campuses $9.5 million $9.5 million $9.5 million (p. 59)
Civil Legal Assistance $41 million $50 million $41 million (p. 59)
Elder Abuse Grant Program $4.25 million $4.25 million $4.25 million (p. 59)
Safe Havens Program $14 million $11.25 million $11.663 million (p. 59)
Education and Training for Disabled Female Victims $6.75 million $5.75 million $5.75 million (p. 59)
Court Training and Improvement Program $3 million $5 million $5 million (p. 59)
Research on Violence Against Indian Women $1 million $0 $1 million (p. 59)
Engaging Men & Youth in Prevention $3 million $0 $3 million (p. 59)
Services for Children/Youth Exposed to Violence $3 million $0 $3 million (p. 59)
National Resource Center on Workplace Responses $1 million $0 $1 million (p. 59)
Indian Country – Sexual Assault Clearinghouse** $0 $500,000 $500,000 (p. 59)
Office of Justice Programs $1.698 billion $1.919 billion $1.309 billion (p.121)
State and Local Law Enforcement (within OJP) $1.118 billion $1.174 billion $1.048 billion (p. 121)
Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants $519 million $519 million $357.265 million (p. 61)
Victims of Trafficking Grants $12.5 million $10 million $10.5 million (p. 61)
Prison Rape Prevention and Prosecution $15 million $15 million $12.5 million (p. 61)
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) $15 million $0 $6 million (p. 61)
Juvenile Justice Grants (State and Youth Mentoring programs) $275 million $280 million $0 (p. 121)
Investigation and Prosecution of Child Abuse $22.5 million $20 million $15 million (p. 61)
Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) $791.608 million $669.5 million $0
DNA Initiative $133.363 million $110 million $133.63 million (p. 62)
Debbie Smith Backlog Grants $125.3 million $125.33 million (p. 62)
Sexual Assault Forensic Exam Program Grants $4.14 million $7.5 million $4.15 million (p. 62)
Child Sexual Predator Program $11 million $0 $9 million (p. 62)

Related Agencies

Legal Services Corporation $404.19 million $450 million $300 million (p. 87)
Commission on Civil Rights $9.4 million $9.4 million $8 million (p. 86)
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission $366.568 million $385.52 million $366.568 million (p. 86)
National Science Foundation $6.859 billion $7.767 billion $6.86 billion (p. 123)
Education and Human Resources $861.034 million $911.2 million $835 million (p. 123)

*Research and Education on Violence Against Women previously received funding through Grants to Combat Violence Against Women (STOP Grants). However, the president’s FY2012 budget for DOJ moved the program to its own line-item.

**The president’s budget creates a new line-item for the Indian Country – Sexual Assault Clearinghouse.

Legislative Branch

On July 13, the House Appropriations Committee approved, 28-19, the FY2012 Legislative Branch spending bill (H.R. 2551). The Legislative Branch Subcommittee approved the bill on July 7 (see The Source, 7/8/11).

According to the committee report, the bill would provide $3.326 billion in FY2012 for House operations, the Capitol Police, Library of Congress, and other House-related agencies. This amount is $227.002 million below FY2011 and $471.765 million below the agencies’ FY2012 request.

The bill does not provide funding for the House child care subsidy, as is typically the case, due to a lack an authorization for such a program.

During consideration of the bill, the committee approved, by voice vote, an amendment by Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) to insert language representing the House of Representatives’ commitment to diversity. The amendment also would require House officers to report to Congress on efforts to achieve greater diversity within their offices.

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