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Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2021 Commerce-Justice-Science Funding Bill

WASHINGTON — The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2021 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies bill on a vote of 30 to 22. The bill funds the Departments of Commerce and Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other related agencies.

The legislation contains $71.473 billion in discretionary budget authority, a reduction of $1.7 billion below the FY 2020 enacted level, reflecting the completion of the 2020 Decennial Census.

“At this funding level, the bill sustains strong increases to invest in promoting economic development, reducing gun violence, addressing climate change, sustaining scientific leadership, and implementing police accountability and police reform. Our nation is in the midst of a moment of reckoning with its history of racial discrimination, denials of civil rights, and police violence,” said House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Chair José E. Serrano. “Millions of voices are crying out for justice, fairness, and most of all, change.  That change is long overdue for the people I represent in the Bronx and for people, especially Black Americans, around this nation.  This bill takes those voices seriously, and we start the process of change.  To accomplish that, the bill includes major reform efforts to enhance law enforcement accountability and to better protect our civil rights.”

“As we confront the twin crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and systemic racism, the American people are demanding action to build safer and stronger communities for all people. The fiscal year 2021 CJS appropriations bill recognizes and acts on the urgent need for meaningful police reform, racial justice, and the defense of civil rights for every American. Strong funding in this bill would support law enforcement reform at the state and local level while catalyzing economic development in disadvantaged communities that is fundamental to a more just and equitable society,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey. “At a time when we must restore Americans’ faith in law enforcement, the Commerce, Justice, Science bill provides strong funding increases to promote civil rights and improve police practices throughout the country, including more than $500 million in federal grants for states and localities to carry out police reform initiatives. These investments would bring about real change.”

The following amendment to the bill was adopted by the full Committee:

Rep. Serrano – The manager’s amendment makes technical and noncontroversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.

A summary of the bill is here. The text of the bill, prior to adoption of amendments in full committee, is here. The bill report is here.

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