May 08 2014
U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) applauds the House Appropriations Committee's approval of the fiscal year 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, which passed on a bipartisan voice vote. The bill funds the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other related agencies. Rogers hailed additional funding to assist struggling coal communities and to fight drug abuse across the nation.
The bill includes $10 million in funding for the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to assist coal mining communities that are suffering significant coal mining job losses.
"I am disappointed that this Administration has not developed a strategic economic development plan to help our families and communities that have been devastated by the loss of good paying jobs in some of our country's most rural regions, like southern and eastern Kentucky where some 8,000 miners have been sent to the unemployment line since 2011," said Rogers who is Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. "Therefore, the committee recommended this funding for the EDA to help coal communities with infrastructure investments, broadband, and export opportunities."
In total, the legislation contains $51.2 billion in discretionary funding. This is a reduction of $398 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. Within the bill, funding for law enforcement, national security, public safety initiatives, and programs with economic benefit to the nation are prioritized, while lower-priority programs are reduced.
"This bill will also ensure that our drug courts are well-funded, our law enforcement agencies have the tools they need for toxic meth lab cleanups, and it ensures prescription drug monitoring programs across the nation are functional," said Rogers. "It also boosts funding for the DEA to address rapidly changing trends in the prescription drug abuse epidemic. New reports say someone dies from an accidental overdose every 15 minutes, so we must be diligent in our efforts to divert this plague on our families."
Specifically, the bill contains $41 million for drug courts, $10 million for meth lab cleanups, and $8 million for prescription drug monitoring programs. It also contains $367 million in DEA prescription drug diversion, which is part of a $41 million dollar boost for the federal agency.
“This bill is a truly comprehensive piece of legislation. It supports American innovation and economic development, and preserves the safety and security needed for our nation to prosper. We have also made sure this funding is provided in a responsible and rational way, combing through every line of the budgets for these agencies, rooting out waste and duplication, and trimming unnecessary spending to produce a lean, efficient and effective bill that comes in nearly $400 million below last year,” said Rogers.
The legislation will now head to the House floor for consideration.