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H.R. 5393 (114th): Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jun 7, 2016.


(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Highlights:

The Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017 provides FY2017 appropriations to the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice (DOJ), science agencies, and several related agencies.

The bill funds agencies with a wide range of responsibilities for issues such as: addressing violent crime, drug trafficking, financial fraud, terrorism, espionage, and cybercrime; conducting the census; forecasting the weather; managing fisheries; exploring space; advancing science; providing legal services for the poor; enforcing employment discrimination laws; and overseeing patents, trademarks, and trade policy.

The bill increases overall FY2017 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies funding above FY2016 levels.

Compared to FY2016 levels, the bill increases funding for DOJ and science programs while decreasing funding for the Department of Commerce.

Within the Department of Commerce budget, the bill:

increases funding for the Economic Development Administration and the U.S. Census Bureau; and decreases funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and Departmental Management. Within the DOJ budget, the bill increases funding for:

Legal Activities; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). The bill decreases funding for the Federal Prison System and the Office of Justice Programs, including a decrease for State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance.

For science programs, the bill increases funding for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and decreases funding for the National Science Foundation.

The bill decreases funding for the Legal Services Corporation.

The bill includes provisions that restrict or prohibit the use of funds for:

the transfer of Guantanamo detainees or the construction of a new facility in the United States to house them; the enforcement of certain restrictions and reporting requirements for firearms; bilateral activities with China by NASA or the Office of Science and Technology Policy; exports to the Cuban military or intelligence services or their families; issuing certain trademarks related to property confiscated in Cuba; and relinquishing the responsibility of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration for Internet domain name system functions. Full Summary:

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017

Provides FY2017 appropriations for the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice (DOJ), science agencies, and several related agencies.

Department of Commerce Appropriations Act, 2017

TITLE I--DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Provides appropriations to the Department of Commerce for:

the International Trade Administration, the Bureau of Industry and Security, the Economic Development Administration, the Minority Business Development Agency, Economic and Statistical Analysis, the Bureau of the Census, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Provides appropriations to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for:

Scientific and Technical Research and Services, Industrial Technology Services, and Construction of Research Facilities. Provides appropriations to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for:

Operations, Research, and Facilities; Procurement, Acquisition, and Construction; Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery; the Fishermen's Contingency Fund; and the Fisheries Finance Program Account. Provides appropriations for Departmental Management, including:

Salaries and Expenses, Renovation and Modernization, and the Office of Inspector General. (Sec. 101) Permits funds provided by this bill to be used for advanced payments (prior to the receipt of goods, services, or other assets) that are not otherwise authorized only if designated Commerce officials certify that the payments are in the public interest.

(Sec. 102) Permits funds provided by this bill to be used for hiring passenger motor vehicles, employment of temporary or intermittent experts and consultants, and the purchase of uniforms.

(Sec. 103) Permits the transfer of funds between Commerce accounts, subject to specified limitations and requirements. Requires Commerce to notify Congress prior to the acquisition or disposal of any capital asset not provided for in an Act providing appropriations to Commerce.

(Sec. 104) Extends requirements for NOAA to make and report to Congress on determinations regarding the identification and management of technical, cost, and schedule risk; the reliance on demonstrated technologies; and compliance with relevant policies, prior to entering into a contract for a major program with a life cycle cost of more than $250 million.

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

(Sec. 105) Permits Commerce to: (1) furnish services to facilitate the use or occupancy of Department of Commerce buildings, and (2) credit specified reimbursements received for the services to the appropriation or fund which bears the cost of the services.

(Sec. 106) Specifies that grant recipients may continue to deter child pornography, copyright infringement, or any other unlawful activity over their networks.

(Sec. 107) Permits NOAA to use, with consent and reimbursement, resources of other federal, state, local, and international entities to carry out the responsibilities of any statute administered by NOAA.

(Sec. 108) Prohibits the National Technical Information Service from charging for copies of reports or documents generated by the legislative branch unless the service has provided information on how a copy may be obtained for free online. Requires any charge to be limited to the service's cost.

Department of Justice Appropriations Act, 2017

TITLE II--DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Provides FY2017 appropriations to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Provides appropriations to DOJ for General Administration, including:

Salaries and Expenses, Justice Information Sharing Technology, the Executive Office for Immigration Review, the Office of the Pardon Attorney, and the Office of Inspector General. Provides appropriations to the U.S. Parole Commission.

Provides appropriations for Legal Activities, including:

General Legal Activities, the Antitrust Division, U.S. Attorneys, the U.S. Trustee System Fund, the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, Fees and Expenses of Witnesses, the Community Relations Service, and the Assets Forfeiture Fund. Provides appropriations to the U.S. Marshals Service for:

Salaries and Expenses, Construction, and Federal Prisoner Detention. Provides appropriations to DOJ for:

the National Security Division; Interagency Law Enforcement; the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); and the Federal Prison System. Provides appropriations to the Office On Violence Against Women for Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution Programs.

Provides appropriations to the Office of Justice Programs for:

Research, Evaluation, and Statistics; State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance; Juvenile Justice Programs; and Public Safety Officer Benefits. Provides appropriations for Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) programs.

(Sec. 201) Provides additional funds to the Attorney General for official reception and representation expenses.

(Sec. 202) Prohibits funds provided by this title from being used to 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 incest.

(Sec. 203) Prohibits funds provided by this title from being used to require any person to perform or facilitate the performance of an abortion.

(Sec. 204) Establishes the obligation of the Bureau of Prisons to provide escort services to an inmate receiving an abortion outside of a federal facility, except where this obligation conflicts with section 203 of this bill.

(Sec. 205) Sets forth requirements and procedures for transferring and reprogramming DOJ funds provided by this bill.

(Sec. 206) Prohibits the FBI or the U.S. Marshals Service from using funds provided by this title to transport prisoners classified as maximum or high security, other than to a facility certified by the Bureau of Prisons as appropriately secure.

(Sec. 207) Prohibits federal prisons from using funds provided by this bill to purchase or rent cable television services, audiovisual equipment, or electronic media or equipment used primarily for recreational purposes. Includes exceptions for inmate training, religious, or educational programs.

(Sec. 208) Prohibits funds provided by this title from being used for a new or enhanced information technology program with estimated development costs exceeding $100 million unless the Deputy Attorney General and the Department Investment Review Board certify to Congress that the program: (1) has appropriate program management controls and contractor oversight mechanisms in place, and (2) is compatible with DOJ enterprise architecture.

(Sec. 209) Requires DOJ to follow reprogramming procedures for any deviation from the program amounts specified in this bill or the report accompanying the bill, or for any use of deobligated funds provided by this title in previous years.

(Sec. 210) Prohibits the use of funds provided by this bill for a public-private competition for work performed by employees of the Bureau of Prisons or Federal Prison Industries, Incorporated.

(Sec. 211) Prohibits U.S. Attorneys from holding dual or additional responsibilities that exempt them from statutory residency requirements.

(Sec. 212) Specifies percentages of grant and reimbursement funds provided to the Office of Justice Programs that may be used for: (1) training and technical assistance; and (2) criminal justice research, evaluation and statistics.

(Sec. 213) Permanently prohibits funds, other than funds for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System established under the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, from being used to transfer an operable firearm to a known or suspected agent of a drug cartel if law enforcement personnel do not continuously monitor or control the firearm.

(Sec. 214) Establishes limitations and requirements for the obligation of specified funds from the Department of Justice Working Capital Fund and the Assets Forfeiture Fund. Requires DOJ to submit to Congress a spending plan including the planned distribution of Assets Forfeiture Fund joint law enforcement operations funding during FY2017.

Science Appropriations Act, 2017

TITLE III--SCIENCE

Provides appropriations to the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Provides appropriations to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for:

Science; Aeronautics; Space Technology; Exploration; Space Operations; Education; Safety, Security, and Mission Services; Construction and Environmental Compliance and Restoration; and the Office of Inspector General. Includes administrative provisions for NASA that establish requirements and procedures for the availability of funds for an announced prize, the reprogramming and transfer of funds provided by this bill, NASA's spending plan, and the transfer of unexpired balances of funds that were provided for Commercial Spaceflight Activities.

Provides appropriations to the National Science Foundation (NSF) for:

Research and Related Activities, Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction, Education and Human Resources, Agency Operations and Award Management, the Office of the National Science Board, and the Office of Inspector General. Establishes requirements for the transfer or reprogramming of funds provided by this bill to the NSF.

TITLE IV--RELATED AGENCIES

Provides appropriations for related agencies, including:

the Commission on Civil Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. International Trade Commission, the Legal Services Corporation, the Marine Mammal Commission, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and the State Justice Institute. Specifies restrictions, terms, and conditions on the use of funds by the Legal Services Corporation.

TITLE V--GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sets forth permissible and prohibited uses for funds provided by this and other appropriations Acts.

(Sec. 501) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used for publicity or propaganda purposes that are not authorized by Congress.

(Sec. 502) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from remaining available for obligation beyond the current fiscal year, unless expressly permitted in the bill.

(Sec. 503) Limits expenditures for consulting services to contracts where the expenditures are a matter of public record and available for public inspection, unless otherwise provided by law.

(Sec. 504) Provides that if any provision of this bill or the application of the provision is held invalid, the remainder of the bill is not affected.

(Sec. 505) Establishes restrictions and requirements for the reprogramming of funds provided by this bill.

(Sec. 506) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used to award contracts or subcontracts to a person who has been found to have intentionally affixed a ''Made in America'' label to any product that was not made in America. Requires promotional items purchased using funds provided by this bill to be manufactured, produced, or assembled in the United States or its territories or possessions, to the extent it is practicable.

(Sec. 507) Requires Commerce, DOJ, the NSF, and NASA to provide quarterly reports to Congress regarding the status of balances of appropriations at the account level.

(Sec. 508) Requires costs incurred by agencies for personnel actions due to funding reductions in this bill to be absorbed within the budgetary resources available to the department or agency. Provides transfer authority between appropriation accounts to carry out this provision, subject to reprogramming procedures. Specifies that this section applies to Commerce actions taken for the care and protection of loan collateral or grant property.

(Sec. 509) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used to promote the sale or export of tobacco or tobacco products or to seek the reduction or removal of foreign restrictions on the marketing of tobacco products, except for restrictions which are not applied equally to all products of the same type.

(Sec. 510) Establishes obligation limits for funds from the Crime Victims Fund.

(Sec. 511) Prohibits DOJ from using funds provided by this bill to discriminate against or denigrate the religious or moral beliefs of students or the parents of students participating in programs for which financial assistance is provided.

(Sec. 512) Prohibits the transfer of funds provided by this bill to a department, agency, or instrumentality of the U.S. government, unless the transfer is pursuant to an appropriations Act.

(Sec. 513) Specifies that funds included in this this bill to implement E-Government Initiatives are subject to reprogramming procedures and requirements.

(Sec. 514) Prohibits Commerce, DOJ, NASA, or the NSF from using funds provided by this bill to acquire certain information systems unless the supply chain risk and other specified risks have been reviewed, a risk mitigation strategy has been developed, and the agency has determined that the acquisition is in the national interest.

(Sec. 515) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used to support or justify the use of torture by any official or contract employee of the U.S. government.

(Sec. 516) Permanently prohibits the use of funds to require export licenses for exporting components, parts, or attachments for certain firearms to Canada.

(Sec. 517) Permanently prohibits the use of funds to deny certain import applications for firearms, parts, or ammunition that are curios or relics. (Curios or relics are firearms which are of special interest to collectors by reason of some quality other than is associated with firearms intended for sporting use or as offensive or defensive weapons.)

(Sec. 518) Prohibits the use of funds provided by this bill to include specified patent provisions from the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, the United States-Australia Free Trade Agreement, or the United States-Morocco Free Trade Agreement in any new bilateral or multilateral trade agreement.

(Sec. 519) Prohibits the use of funds provided by this bill to authorize or issue a National Security Letter (NSL) in violation of specified laws authorizing the FBI to issue an NSL. (An NSL is a written directive, comparable to an administrative subpoena, used by law enforcement and intelligence agencies to demand certain information from third parties such as telecommunication providers, financial institutions, and consumer credit reporting agencies.)

(Sec. 520) Requires congressional notification regarding Commerce, DOJ, NSF, or NASA projects that total more than $75 million and are expected to have cost increases of at least 10%.

(Sec. 521) Deems funds provided by this bill for intelligence or intelligence related activities as authorized by Congress during FY2017 until the enactment of the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY2017.

(Sec. 522) Prohibits contracts or grant awards above $5 million unless the prospective contractor or grantee certifies that the organization has filed all federal tax returns, has not been convicted of a criminal offense under the Internal Revenue Code and has no unpaid federal tax assessment.

(Sec. 523) Rescinds specified unobligated balances from prior appropriations to DOJ.

(Sec. 524) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used to purchase first class or premium airline travel in violation of specified federal travel regulations.

(Sec. 525) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used to pay for the attendance of more than 50 department or agency employees at any single conference outside the United States, unless it is a law enforcement training or operational event where the majority of federal attendees are law enforcement personnel stationed outside the United States.

(Sec. 526) Prohibits funds from being used to transfer or release any individual detained at U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (Guantanamo) who is not a U.S. citizen or member of the Armed Forces into the United States, its territories, or possessions.

(Sec. 527) Prohibits funding from being used to construct, acquire, or modify any U.S. facility (other than the facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba) to house any individual detained at Guantanamo.

(Sec. 528) Requires the Office of Management and Budget to direct departments and agencies funded by this bill to track undisbursed balances in expired grant accounts and include specified details in annual performance and accountability reports.

(Sec. 529) Prohibits NASA or the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) from using funds provided by this bill to: (1) engage in bilateral activities with China or a Chinese-owned company unless the activities are authorized by a law enacted after enactment of this bill, or (2) host official Chinese visitors at NASA facilities. Includes an exception if NASA or OSTP have made a specified certification to Congress regarding an activity.

(Sec. 530) Permanently prohibits funds from being used to deny the importation of shotgun models if no application for the importation of models in the same configuration had been denied prior to January 1, 2011, on the basis that the shotgun was not particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.

(Sec. 531) Prohibits the use of funds made available in this bill for a computer network that does not block pornography, except for law enforcement purposes.

(Sec. 532) Requires specified agencies funded by this bill to submit spending plans to Congress.

(Sec. 533) Prohibits the use of funds provided by this bill to implement the Arms Trade Treaty regulating international trade in conventional arms until it is ratified by the Senate.

(Sec. 534) Prohibits the use of funds provided by this bill to relinquish the responsibility of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration for Internet domain name system functions.

(Sec. 535) Requires agencies funded by this bill to provide Inspectors General with timely access to records, documents, and other materials.

(Sec. 536) Requires Commerce, NASA, NSF, and the OSTP to report monthly to Congress on official travel of employees to China.

(Sec. 537) Prohibit the use of funds provided by this bill to facilitate, permit, license, or promote exports to the Cuban military or intelligence service, officers of the Cuban military or intelligence service, or an immediate family member, with the exception of goods permitted under the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Enhancement Act of 2000.

(Sec. 538) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used to approve the registration, renewal, or maintenance of the registration of a mark, trademark, trade name, or commercial name that is the same or substantially similar to a mark, trade name, or commercial name that was used in connection with a business or assets that were unlawfully confiscated in Cuba unless the original owner or a bona-fide successor-in-interest has expressly consented.

(Sec. 539) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used to enter into a civil settlement agreement on behalf of the United States that requires any party-defendant to the agreement to make a donation to a non-party.

(Sec. 540) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used to require a person licensed for importing, manufacturing, or dealing in firearms to report information to DOJ regarding the sale of multiple rifles or shotguns to the same person.

(Sec. 541) Requires Commerce to develop and conduct a nonnative predator fish research and removal pilot program to study the effects of removing striped bass, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, black bass, and other nonnative predator fish species from the Stanislaus River, California, to benefit native anadromous fish.

(Sec. 542) Requires Commerce, in consultation with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, to expand the use of conservation fish hatchery programs to enhance, supplement, and rebuild salmonid fish and other species listed as endangered species or threatened species.

(Sec. 543) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used for "Operation Choke Point." (A DOJ investigation of banks and payment processors involved in fraudulent transactions.)

(Sec. 544) Requires at least 10% of the funds provided by this bill for specified programs to be allocated for assistance in persistent poverty counties. Defines a "persistent poverty county" as county that has had at least 20% of its population living in poverty over the past 30 years, as measured by the decennial censuses and the most recent Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates.

(Sec. 545) Prohibits the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) from using funds provided by this bill to collect additional information from employers, including data on employee earnings and hours worked, pursuant to the notice published by the EEOC in the Federal Register on February 1, 2016.

(Sec. 546) Permits states, in civil actions, to obtain all appropriate relief against any party for the purpose of restoring the original autonomous sovereignty reserved to the states by the Constitution. Requires courts to promptly hear and determine the civil actions and to provide states with any necessary preliminary relief.

(Sec. 547) Establishes a spending reduction account for the amount by which spending proposed in this bill exceeds the subcommittee's allocation under the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Specifies that the amount is $0. (Under the Rules of the House of Representatives, any savings included in the spending reduction account are not available for further appropriation during consideration of the bill.)