House Approves Serrano's Appropriations Bill
July 11, 2019
Last month, the House passed a $383.3 billion minibus package of fiscal year 2020 appropriations bills (H.R. 3055) that includes the FY 2020 Commerce-Justice-Science, Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA, Interior-Environment, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development spending bills.
As the author of the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) spending bill, which funds critical agencies like the Department of Justice and the Department of Commerce, I am extremely proud of our accomplishments in crafting legislation to expand access to justice, fund critical programs to address climate change, and support the vital funding needs of the Census Bureau. Watch my remarks on the House floor to learn more about the bill:
Every single one of the programs that the CJS bill funds will have a tremendous positive impact in local communities all across the nation, in urban as well as rural areas. I want to share with you some of the key achievements in this bill, including robust funding for programs that are crucial for the Bronx.
- As communities throughout the nation continue facing a worsening opioid crisis, the bill provides $501 million for grant programs to help stem opioid abuse – including for treatment, prescription drug monitoring, drug courts, diversion programs, and at-risk youth funding.
- To help keep our neighborhoods secure from the gun violence epidemic affecting our country, the bill increases funding by $122 million for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms to go after gun traffickers and dishonest gun dealers, increases funding the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System to get more accurate records from the states, increases funding by $25 million for grants under the STOP School Violence Act. The bill also removes several riders that have hampered the ability of the ATF to fully address gun violence.
- Everyone deserves and has a right to justice under our legal system regardless of their economic situation. My CJS bill increases funding for the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division to help increase the investigation and prosecution of civil rights violations. It includes an increase of $135 million for the Legal Services Corporation, to expand the availability of civil legal assistance in underserved communities. It also provides $75 million to implement the First Step Act, which helps reduce harsh prison sentences, improve resources for rehabilitation, and decrease recidivism rates. Lastly, H.R. 3055 provides a $20 million increase for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), to help prevent and address workforce discrimination. By strengthening these programs, we are strengthening civil rights.
- Lastly, the bill not only provides critical funding increase for the Department of Justice Census Bureau to conduct the 2020 Decennial Census, it also helps ensure the citizenship question proposed by the Trump Administration doesn’t make it into the questionnaire. Read more HERE. Along with the Supreme Court decision last week, this is a victory for those of us who believe in a fair and accurate census.
These are only some of the programs funded in this bill. To learn more about H.R. 3055 minibus and the CJS portion, a division-by-division summary is available as a PDF HERE. If you have any questions, you about these programs, please contact my office or visit during constituent hours. Visit: https://serrano.house.gov/
Congressman Jose E. Serrano