Summary: S.1662 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate without amendment (07/27/2017)

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

Highlights:

This bill provides FY2018 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 decreases overall FY2018 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies funding below FY2017 levels. Compared to FY2017 levels, the bill increases funding for DOJ while decreasing funding for the Department of Commerce and science programs.

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

  • the enforcement of certain restrictions and reporting requirements for firearms,
  • bilateral activities with China by NASA or the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and
  • preventing states from implementing their own laws legalizing medical marijuana or industrial hemp.

Full Summary:

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2018

Provides FY2018 appropriations for the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice (DOJ), science agencies, and several related agencies.

Department of Commerce Appropriations Act, 2018

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 an electronic copy of the report 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) 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. 111) 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.

Department of Justice Appropriations Act, 2018

TITLE II--DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Provides FY2018 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, 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,
  • the 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) Specifies that: (1) section 203 of this bill does not remove the obligation of the Bureau of Prisons to provide escort services to an inmate receiving an abortion outside of a federal facility, and (2) nothing in this section diminishes the effect of section 203 intended to address the philosophical beliefs of individual employees of the Bureau of Prisons.

(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 cable television services, or to rent or purchase audiovisual 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 or for any use of deobligated funds provided by this title in previous years.

(Sec. 210) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used 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) Permits DOJ to use specified funds made available for grant and reimbursement programs for tribal criminal justice assistance without regard to the authorizations for the grant or reimbursement programs.

(Sec. 214) Permits DOJ, upon receiving a request from a grantee with a fiscal hardship, to waive matching requirements for Second Chance Act adult and juvenile reentry demonstration projects; state, tribal, and local reentry courts; and drug treatment programs.

(Sec. 215) Waives the requirement that DOJ reserve certain funds provided for offender incarceration for payments for incarceration on tribal lands.

(Sec. 216) 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. 217) Permits funds provided by this bill for the Office of Justice Programs to be used to participate in Performance Partnership Pilot collaboration programs.

Science Appropriations Act, 2018

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

(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 or executive order.

(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. Requires specified funds to be used for grants to Indian tribes to improve services and justice for victims of crime.

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

(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) Requires NOAA to expedite the implementation of the seafood import monitoring program using specified effective dates.

(Sec. 514) Establishes timetables and procedures for specified audits by Inspectors General of the departments and agencies funded in this bill.

(Sec. 515) Prohibits Commerce, DOJ, NASA, or the NSF from using funds provided by this bill to acquire certain information systems unless the agency has:

  • reviewed the supply chain risk for the information systems against criteria developed by NIST and against international standards and guidelines,
  • reviewed the supply chain risk from the presumptive awardee against available and relevant threat information provided by the FBI and other agencies, and
  • developed a mitigation strategy for any identified risks.

Requires: (1) the FBI to develop best practices for supply chain risk management; and (2) Commerce, DOJ, NASA, and the NSF to incorporate the practices into their information technology procurement practices to the maximum extent practicable.

(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 funds from being used to require export licenses for exporting components, parts, or attachments for certain firearms to Canada.

(Sec. 518) Prohibits funds from being used 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 funds provided by this bill from being used 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 FY2018 until the enactment of the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY2018.

(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, and has no unpaid federal tax assessment.

(Sec. 524) Rescinds specified unobligated balances from prior appropriations to DOJ and Commerce and requires the departments to submit reports to Congress regarding the rescissions.

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

(Sec. 530) 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. 531) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used to deny or fail to act on application for the importation of any shotgun model if: (1) all other requirements of law with respect to the proposed importation are met, and (2) no application for the importation of models in the same configuration had been denied by DOJ 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 funds provided by this bill from being used 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) Prohibits DOJ from using funds provided by this bill: (1) in contravention of a provision of the Agricultural Act of 2014 that permits an institution of higher education or a state department of agriculture to grow or cultivate industrial hemp for research purposes; or (2) to interfere with any activity under a state law that authorizes the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of industrial hemp.

(Sec. 537) Requires NOAA, as part of fisheries science and management activities, to obligate funding for the placement of at sea monitors on vessels before obligating funding for observer-related costs associated with standardized bycatch reporting methodology requirements.

(Sec. 538) 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.