Chairman Cartwright, thank you for presenting the Fiscal Year 2022 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies appropriations bill.
I also want to recognize and thank my friend, the ranking member of the subcommittee, Mr. Aderholt.
I know both of you have worked together to address priorities of members on both sides of the aisle.
The Commerce-Justice-Science bill always supports initiatives that:
- Strengthen the ability of the United States to be competitive around the world,
- Invest in cutting-edge research and technology, and
- Protect children and our communities.
Unfortunately, this year’s bill is overshadowed by partisan politics and unbalanced spending priorities.
This comes at a time when we know our nation is facing increasing threats on a daily basis, such as:
- Cyber-attacks on American companies and our government,
- Extortion plots on critical infrastructure, and
- a seemingly endless flow of deadly drugs made in China coming across our southern border.
Instead of prioritizing these security challenges, this bill instead focuses on funding of new, overlapping, and potentially duplicative programs that may not even be useful for our local communities.
State and local grant programs are increased by an astounding $1.6 billion, with much of this funding conditioned on policies far outside the control of our local law enforcement officers.
This is unacceptable, and it will keep our local officials from pursuing their own police reform agendas.
Even worse, funds that might otherwise be available for body cameras, bulletproof vests, investigations, or overtime will be withheld indefinitely.
There are several other items that concern me as well. The bill does not include a long-standing pro-life provision regarding the use of Justice Department funds.
In addition, language carried for many years to protect Second Amendment rights is stripped from the bill.
Still, I am encouraged that the bill includes strong funding for NASA. It is essential that the United States maintain our path toward renewed space dominance.
In closing, this committee must develop appropriations bills with bipartisan support that can be signed into law.
The Commerce-Justice-Science bill supports agencies that combat criminal threats, ensure compliance with our trade laws, and enable us to effectively counter China. We cannot allow it to be delayed.
Time is of the essence, and I hope we can get to work. I look forward to addressing these concerns as this process moves forward.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I yield back.
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