Press Release

Mikulski Focuses on Community Security, Competitiveness and Accountability in CJS Spending Bill

By SpaceRef Editor
June 27, 2007
Filed under , ,

Requires earmark criteria and greater fiscal responsibility of agencies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today announced she has focused the 2008 spending bill on community security, competitiveness and accountability. The bill provides $54.6 billion, $3.18 billion above the President’s budget request, for the Departments of Commerce and Justice (DOJ), the National Atmospheric and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and nine related independent agencies. Programmatic details of the bill, which passed the subcommittee this afternoon, will be available after the full Appropriations Committee vote Thursday afternoon. “When I look at the agencies in our jurisdiction, I see tremendous opportunities to promote innovation that creates jobs and make our communities more secure, while ensuring accountability and stewardship of taxpayer dollars,” said Senator Mikulski. “The funding we put into the federal checkbook must make a down payment on these priorities.”


The top priority for Senator Mikulski’s first CJS bill as Chairman is to protect America from terrorism and violent crime, funding the DOJ at $24.3 billion, a $2.1 billion increase above the President’s budget request. This includes restored funding for state and local law enforcement at nearly $2.7 billion, filling a major gap after the President cut its budget in half. The bill also provides approximately $1.9 billion for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to lift a hiring freeze and restore a program that empowers the DEA to work with state and local law enforcement agencies.

The bill also funds the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) at $6.6 billion, $147 million above the President’s budget request. This includes funding for additional agents dedicated to fighting violent crime and internet crimes against children, and specific funds for the detection, investigation and prosecution of domestic and international intellectual property crimes against the United States.

“The rise in violent crime and the critical ongoing fight against terrorism have placed new pressure on the law enforcement agencies working hard every day to prevent crime and keep our neighborhoods safe,” said Senator Mikulski. “I am committed to giving them the tools they need to clean up the streets, protect our families, and fight the crime that is destroying communities.”


This year’s bill makes critical investments in scientific research and technology to improve America’s competitiveness, following the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” report. The bill provides funding for research that will create new products and processes that support job creation, including $712 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and $6.6 billion for NSF, which includes $850 million for NSF’s education and training programs, a $100 million increase above the President’s request. The bill also includes almost $3 billion for research and technology development that is critical to our understanding and prediction of changes in the earth’s climate and oceans.

The bill also includes increased funding for CJS science agencies, including $17.5 billion for NASA, fully funding the President’s request for Space Shuttle operations ($4 billion) and Space Station operations ($2.2 billion). The spending bill also provides $4.2 billion for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which includes $450 million to implement the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative’s (JOCI) recommendations for greater stewardship of our oceans. Approximately $30 million was also provided to restore critical climate sensors to NOAA weather satellites.

“If America is going to be more competitive, we must focus on funding and policies to develop new technologies that lead to new products and industries that create new jobs,” said Senator Mikulski. “We need federal science agencies that foster innovation, make America more competitive, and help us better understand our planet.”


The 2008 CJS spending bill emphasizes congressional oversight, accountability and fiscal stewardship. Insisting on discipline and vigorous oversight, the bill requires agencies to notify the Committee immediately after learning of program cost overruns greater than 10 percent. The Committee will work with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to begin biannual reports of programs and projects greater than $100 million as an early warning system to identify cost overruns and mismanagement. The bill also requires that Inspectors General conduct random audits of grant funding. This will help address overruns concerns like those raised within NOAA’s satellite programs and the dramatic backlogs reported at agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO).

Chairwoman Mikulski instituted criteria for all congressionally-designated projects in this year’s spending bill, requiring that they be specifically focused on the mission and mandate of the organization. The CJS bill substantially reduces earmarks, and all projects in the bill comply with the requirements of the Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act(S. 1), as passed by the Senate.

SpaceRef staff editor.