Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate without amendment (04/21/2016)

(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, and includes increases for the Department of Commerce, DOJ, science programs, and Related Agencies.

Within the Department of Commerce budget, the bill increases funding for the U.S. Census Bureau and decreases funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Departmental Management.

Within the DOJ budget, the bill includes increases 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 includes decreases for DOJ programs, including:

  • the Federal Prison System; and
  • the Office of Justice Programs, including State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance.

For science programs, the bill increases funding for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Science Foundation, while funding the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the FY2016 level.

The bill increases funding for the Legal Services Corporation and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, while funding the other related agencies included in the bill at the FY2016 level.

The bill includes provisions that prohibit funds from being used to:

  • transfer Guantanamo detainees or construct a new facility in the United States to house them, or
  • prevent states from implementing their own laws legalizing medical marijuana or industrial hemp.

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) 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 for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R-Series Program.

(Sec. 105) Permits Commerce to furnish services to facilitate the use or occupancy of Department of Commerce buildings.

(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.

(Sec. 109) Permits Commerce to waive the requirement for bonds with respect to contracts for the construction, alteration, or repair of vessels under the Coast and Geodetic Survey Act of 1947.

(Sec. 110) Prohibits Commerce from using funds for management activities pursuant to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico unless the management is conducted beyond a seaward boundary that is nine nautical miles seaward from the baseline from which the territorial sea of the United States is measured.

(Sec. 111) Permits NOAA to work with federal and non-federal agencies and governments by entering into agreements; using land, services, equipment, personnel, and facilities provided by the entities; or receiving and expending funds made available on a consensual basis.

(Sec. 112) Permits the Economic and Statistics Administration, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the U.S. Census Bureau to use funds to enter into cooperative agreements to assist in improving statistical methodology and research.

(Sec. 113) Prohibits the Department of Commerce Office of General Counsel from using funds provided by this bill during any time period in which the Commerce Office of Inspector General (OIG) has notified Congress that any component of Commerce is not providing the OIG with timely access to records, documents, and other materials, as required by section 536 of this bill.

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,
  • Administrative Review and Appeals, 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) Permits specified percentages of grant and reimbursement funds provided to the Office of Justice Programs to be used for:

  • training and technical assistance,
  • transfers to the National Institute of Justice or the Bureau of Justice Statistics for criminal justice research, evaluation, or statistical purposes; and
  • tribal criminal justice assistance.

(Sec. 213) Permits the Attorney General to waive matching requirements for Second Chance Act adult and juvenile reentry demonstration projects; state, tribal, and local reentry courts; drug treatment programs; and grants to protect inmates and safeguard communities.

(Sec. 214) Waives the requirement that DOJ reserve certain funds provided for offender incarceration for payments for incarceration on tribal lands.

(Sec. 215) 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. 216) Permits funds provided by this bill for the Office of Justice Programs to be used to participate in Performance Partnership Pilot collaboration programs.

(Sec. 217) Permits DOJ to transfer specified unobligated balances from the Working Capital Fund to the FBI Construction account for the construction of the new FBI headquarters in the National Capital Region.

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, and NASA's spending plan.

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, restricted, 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) Establishes timetables and procedures for specified audits by Inspectors General of the departments and agencies funded in this bill.

Requires recipients of grants or contracts funded by this bill to certify that no grant or contract funds will be provided to anyone with a financial interest in the recipient.

(Sec. 515) Prohibits Commerce, DOJ, NASA, or the NSF from using funds provided by this bill to acquire a high-impact information system unless supply chain risks have been reviewed and a mitigation strategy has been developed.

(Sec. 516) 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. 517) Prohibits the use of funds to require export licenses for exporting components, parts, or attachments for certain firearms to Canada.

(Sec. 518) 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. 519) 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. 520) 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. 521) 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. 522) 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. 523) 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 of 1986, and has no unpaid federal tax assessment.

(Sec. 524) Rescinds specified unobligated balances from prior appropriations to DOJ.

(Sec. 525) 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. 526) 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. 527) 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. 528) 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. 529) Requires, to the extent it is practicable, funds provided by this bill to be used to purchase light bulbs that are ''Energy Star'' qualified or have the ''Federal Energy Management Program'' designation.

(Sec. 530) 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. 531) 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. 532) 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. 533) Requires specified agencies funded by this bill to submit spending plans to Congress.

(Sec. 534) 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. 535) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used to pay award or incentive fees for contractors with performance that is below satisfactory or does not meet the basic requirements of the contract.

(Sec. 536) Requires agencies funded by this bill to provide Inspectors General with timely access to records, documents, and other materials.

(Sec. 537) Prohibits DOJ from using funds provided by this bill to prevent specified states, the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico from implementing their own laws authorizing the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.

(Sec. 538) Prohibits DOJ from using funds provided this bill to prevent a state from implementing its own laws authorizing the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of industrial hemp.