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S. 2437 (113th): Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

6/5/2014--Reported to Senate without amendment. Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015 - Makes appropriations for FY2015 for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, for science-related programs, and related agencies.

Title I: Department of Commerce - Department of Commerce Appropriations Act, 2015 - Makes appropriations for the Department of Commerce for FY2015 for:

the International Trade Administration; the Bureau of Industry and Security; the Economic Development Administration; the Minority Business Development Agency; economic and statistical analysis programs; the Bureau of the Census; the National Telecommunications and Information Administration; the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), including expenses for restoration of Pacific salmon populations; and departmental management, including for the Office of Inspector General. (Sec. 104) Adopts by reference and makes applicable to FY2015 requirements of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012, that prohibit NOAA from entering into a contract for development of a major program (a program with an estimated life-cycle cost of more than $250 million) unless the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere makes specified determinations, including that: (1) the technical, cost, and schedule risks are clearly identified and the program has developed a plan to manage those risks; and (2) the technologies required for the program have been demonstrated in a relevant laboratory or test environment.

Specifies the life cycle costs for the Joint Polar Satellite System and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R-Series Program.

(Sec. 105) Authorizes the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary in this title) to furnish services to facilitate the use or occupancy of the Herbert C. Hoover Building, Washington, D.C., or other buildings for which the Secretary is responsible.

(Sec. 106) Declares that nothing in this Act shall be construed to prevent a grant recipient from deterring child pornography, copyright infringement, or any other unlawful activity over its networks.

(Sec. 107) Authorizes the Administrator of NOAA to use the resources of federal, state, local, or tribal agencies and other entities to carry out the responsibilities of any statute administered by NOAA.

(Sec. 108) Bars the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) from charging any customer for a copy of any report or document generated by the legislative branch unless the NTIS has given the customer information on how an electronic copy may be accessed and downloaded for free online. Limits any charge for a paper copy to the cost of processing, reproducing, and delivering the report or document.

(Sec. 109) Authorizes the Administrator of NOAA to: (1) enter into grants and cooperative agreements with a federal agency, state or subdivision, local government, tribal government, territory, or possession or any subdivisions; (2) use on a non-reimbursable basis any land, services, equipment, personnel, and facilities provided by any of those entities; and (3) receive and expend funds made available on a consensual basis from any of them.

(Sec. 110) Authorizes the Secretary to waive the requirement for bonds with respect to contracts for the construction, alteration, or repair of vessels, regardless of the terms of the contracts as to payment or title, when the contract is made under the Coast and Geodetic Survey Act of 1947.

Title II: Department of Justice - Department of Justice Appropriations Act, 2015 - Makes appropriations for the Department of Justice (DOJ) for FY2015 for:

general administration, including for information sharing technology, the administration of pardon and clemency petitions and immigration-related activities (including allocations for the Executive Office for Immigration Review), and the Office of the Inspector General; the United States Parole Commission; legal activities, including for the antitrust division, the Offices of the U.S. Attorneys, the U.S. Trustee Program, the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, fees and expenses of witnesses, the Community Relations Service, and the Assets Forfeiture Fund; the United States Marshals Service; Federal Prisoner Detention; the National Security Division; interagency law enforcement activities relating to drug trafficking and money laundering; the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); the Federal Prison System, including for the Federal Prison Industries, Incorporated; the Office on Violence Against Women; and the Office of Justice Programs, including for criminal justice statistics programs, forensic sciences, state and local law enforcement assistance, juvenile justice programs, public safety officer benefits, and community-oriented policing services programs. (Sec. 202) Prohibits the use of funds under this Act to: (1) pay for an abortion, except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term or in the case of rape; or (2) require any person to perform or facilitate the performance of an abortion.

(Sec. 204) Reaffirms the obligation of the Director of the Bureau of Prisons to provide escort services necessary for a female inmate to receive an abortion outside a federal facility.

Sec. 206) Authorizes the Attorney General to extend through FY2014 the Personnel Management Demonstration Project without limitation on the number of employees or the positions covered.

(Sec. 207) Prohibits the use of funds made available under this Act to: (1) transport a maximum or high security prisoner other than to a prison or facility certified by the Bureau of Prisons as appropriately secure; (2) purchase cable television services or rent equipment used primarily for recreational purposes in federal prisons, except for inmate training, religious, or educational purposes; (3) purchase a new or enhanced information technology program having estimated development costs in excess of $100 million without appropriate program management controls and oversight mechanisms in place; (4) begin, continue, finish, process, or approve a public-private competition under the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-76 for work performed by employees of the Bureau of Prisons or of Federal Prison Industries, Inc.; (5) facilitate the transfer of an operable firearm to an individual known or suspected to be an agent of a drug cartel, unless U.S. law enforcement personnel continuously monitor or control the firearm at all times; (6) deny the DOJ Inspector General access to DOJ records and other material; or (7) allow DOJ or DEA to contravene industrial hemp research provisions of the Agricultural Act of 2014.

(Sec. 214) Authorizes the Attorney General to waive certain requirements for grants or activities under programs for adult and juvenile reentry, reentry courts, drug treatment alternatives, and protection of inmates from prison rape.

Title III: Science - Science Appropriations Act, 2015 - Makes appropriations for FY2015 for: (1) the Office of Science and Technology Policy; (2) the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), including for the Office of the Inspector General; and (3) the National Science Foundation (NSF), including for the Office of the National Science Board and the Office of the Inspector General.

Title IV: Related Agencies - Makes appropriations for FY2015 for: (1) the Commission on Civil Rights, (2) the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), (3) the International Trade Commission, (4) the Legal Services Corporation, (5) the Marine Mammal Commission, (6) the Office of the United States Trade Representative, and (7) the State Justice Institute.

Amends the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1996 (as contained in the Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act of 1996) to prohibit the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) from using any funds, federal or non-federal, to give financial assistance to any person or entity that: (1) initiates or participates in a class action suit, or (2) participates in any litigation with respect to abortion or on behalf of a prisoner.

Repeals the prohibition against LSC acceptance of non-federal funds, and against the acceptance by any recipient of LSC assistance of funds from any source but the LSC, unless the LSC or the recipient notifies in writing the source of the funds that they may not be expended for any purpose prohibited by the Legal Services Corporation Act or other specified federal law.

Title V: General Provisions - (Sec. 501) Sets forth restrictions and prohibitions on the use of funds under this Act, including prohibitions against the use of funds to:

promote the sale or export of tobacco or tobacco products or to seek the reduction or removal by any foreign country of restrictions on marketing of such products, except for restrictions which are not applied equally to all tobacco products of the same type; discriminate against or denigrate the religious or moral beliefs of students who participate in DOJ financial assistance programs or their parents or legal guardians; acquire a high-impact information system by the Departments of Commerce and Justice, NASA, or NSF unless such agencies have conducted risk-related reviews; justify the use of torture by any U.S. official or contract employee; pay administrative expenses or to compensate any U.S. officer or employee in connection with requiring licenses for exporting certain firearms components to Canada with a total value not exceeding $500 wholesale in any transaction; include in any new bilateral or multilateral trade agreement the text of certain provisions of the United States-Singapore, Australia, or Morocco Free Trade Agreements; authorize or issue a national security letter in contravention of specified laws authorizing the FBI to issue national security letters; purchase first class or premium airline travel in contravention of federal regulations; pay for premium air travel consistent with federal regulations unless the agency or department has filed its premium travel report with the General Services Administration (GSA) for the previous three fiscal years; pay for the attendance of more than 50 federal agency employees at a conference outside the United States, unless such conference is for the training of law enforcement personnel; pay salaries of personnel to deny, or fail to act on, an application for the importation of any model of shotgun if legal requirements for such importation are met and no application for the importation of such model of shotgun had been denied before January 1, 2011; maintain or establish a computer network unless such network blocks the viewing, downloading, and exchanging of pornography; award contracts, grants, or loan guarantees to any corporation that was convicted of a felony criminal violation in the preceding 24 months, or that has any unpaid assessed federal tax liability, for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability; and pay for the painting of a portrait of a federal officer or employee, including the President, the Vice President, a Member of Congress, the head of an executive branch agency, or the head of an office of the legislative branch. (Sec. 506) Renders any person who mislabels a product sold in or shipped to the United States as "Made in America" ineligible to receive any contract or subcontract funded by this Act. Requires funds made available by this Act to be used for the purchase of items that are manufactured, produced, or assembled in the United States, its territories or possessions.

(Sec. 521) Requires program managers of projects of the Departments of Commerce or Justice, NASA, or the NSF totaling more than $75 million to notify such agencies if project costs have increased by 10%.

(Sec. 522) Authorizes funding for intelligence-related activities during FY2015 until the enactment of the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY2015.

(Sec. 523) Prohibits contracting with or awarding grants in excess of $5 million to a contractor or grantee unless such contractor or grantor certifies compliance with tax return requirements and has not been convicted of a criminal tax offense.

(Sec. 524) Rescinds specified unobligated balances available for the Department of Commerce Departmental Management Franchise Fund.

Requires the rescission, not later than September 30, 2015, of specified unobligated balances available for certain DOJ programs.

(Sec. 527) Prohibits the use of funds under this Act in a manner that is inconsistent with the principal negotiating objective of the United States with respect to trade remedy laws to preserve the ability of the United States to: (1) enforce vigorously its trade laws, (2) avoid agreements that lessen the effectiveness of domestic and international disciplines on unfair trade or safeguards to protect competition, and (3) address and remedy market distortions that lead to dumping and subsidization.

(Sec. 528) Prohibits the use of funds under this Act to: (1) transfer or release to or within the United States Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or any other detainee who is not a U.S. citizen or a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and who is or was held on or after June 24, 2009, at the U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by DOD; or (2) construct, acquire, or modify any facility in the United States, its territories, or possessions to detain or imprison such a detainee.

(Sec. 530) Directs that funds made available in this Act be used to purchase light bulbs that are "Energy Star" qualified or have the "Federal Energy Management Program" designation.

(Sec. 539) Requires executive branch officials to: (1) submit annual reports to their Inspectors General or senior ethics officials on conferences held in FY2015 which cost the government more than $100,000, and (2) notify their Inspectors General or senior ethics officials of the date, location, and number or employees attending a conference costing the government more than $20,000 within 15 days of the date of such conference. Prohibits funding for travel and conference activities that are not in compliance with OMB Memorandum M-12-12, dated May 11, 2012.