H.R 2578 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016

Highlights:

The Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016 provides FY2016 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 FY2016 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies funding above FY2015 levels, including increases for the Department of Commerce, DOJ, science programs, and Related Agencies.

Within the Department of Commerce budget, the bill includes:

  • increases for the Bureau of Industry and Security, the Bureau of the Census, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology; and
  • decreases 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 Federal Prison System, and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS); and
  • decreases for the Office on Violence Against Women and 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 funds the National Science Foundation and the Office of Science and Technology Policy at or slightly below FY2015 levels.

The bill includes increases for the Legal Services Corporation and the Marine Mammal Commission, while funding the other related agencies included in the bill at the FY2015 level.

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 on firearms; and
  • preventing states from implementing their own laws legalizing medical marijuana.

Full Summary:

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016

Provides FY2016 appropriations for the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice (DOJ), science agencies, and several related agencies.

Department of Commerce Appropriations Act, 2016

TITLE I–DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Provides appropriations to the Department of Commerce for:

  • the International Trade Administration,
  • the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative,
  • 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 for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), including: Scientific and Technical Research and Services, Industrial Technology Services, and Construction of Research Facilities.

Provides appropriations for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), including:

  • 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 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) States 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 funds from being used to enforce or carry out activities under the Foreign Trade Zone regulation requiring uniform treatment for zone participants.

(Sec. 109) Prohibits Commerce from using funds to manage fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico, unless the management activities are subject to state boundaries that are nine nautical miles seaward from the baseline from which the territorial sea of the United States is measured.

(Sec. 110) 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. 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 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. 113) Permits the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of the Census to use funds to enter into cooperative agreements to assist in improving statistical methodology and research.

Department of Justice Appropriations Act, 2016

TITLE II–DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Provides FY2016 appropriations to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for:

  • General Administration, including Salaries and Expenses, Justice Information Sharing Technology, Administrative Review and Appeals, and the Office of Inspector General;
  • the U.S. Parole Commission;
  • 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;
  • the U.S. Marshals Services, including for Construction and Federal Prisoner Detention;
  • 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, including for Buildings and Facilities and Federal Prison Industries, Incorporated.

Provide 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.

(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 Director 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) Permits the Attorney General to use specified ATF funds for retention pay for employees who would otherwise be subject to a pay reduction upon termination of the Personnel Management Demonstration Project.

(Sec. 207) Prohibits the FBI or the U.S. Marshals Services 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. 208) Prohibits federal prisons from using funds provided by this bill to purchase or rent audiovisual equipment, services, and materials used primarily for recreational purposes, except for inmate training, religious, or educational purposes.

(Sec. 209) Prohibits funds provided by this title from being used for major information technology projects 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. 210) Requires DOJ to follow reprogramming procedures for any deviation from the program amounts specified in this title or the accompanying report, or any use of deobligated funds provided by this title in previous years.

(Sec. 211) 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. 212) Prohibits U.S. Attorneys from holding dual or additional responsibilities that exempt them from statutory residency requirements.

(Sec. 213) Permits specified percentages of grant and reimbursement program funds provided by this title for the Office of Justice Programs to be used for training and technical assistance, transferred to the National Institute of Justice or the Bureau of Justice Statistics for criminal justice research and statistics, and used for tribal criminal justice assistance.

(Sec. 214) 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. 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) Requires DOJ to provide the DOJ Inspector General with timely access to records, documents, and other materials.

(Sec. 218) Exempts funds appropriated or administered by the Office on Violence Against Women from penalties required by the Prison Rape Elimination Act for states that have failed to adopt national standards for the detection, prevention, reduction, and punishment of prison rape.

(Sec. 219) 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, 2016

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:

  • Permit funds for any announced prize to remain available until the prize is claimed or the offer is withdrawn;
  • Establish the terms and conditions for the transfer of appropriations provided by this bill;
  • Require NASA to submit its spending plan at the theme, program, project, and activity level;
  • Require the spending plan or subsequent changes to be subject to reprogramming procedures; and
  • Permit specified expired funds to remain available through FY2025 for the closeout of all Space Shuttle contracts and associated programs.

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 thresholds for the transfer of appropriations provided by this bill to the NSF.

TITLE IV–RELATED AGENCIES

Provides appropriations for the Commission on Civil Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. International Trade Commission, the Legal Services Corporation, the Marine Mammal Commission, 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. Provides that, for the Department of Commerce, this section applies to 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 and uses 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 United States Government, unless the transfer is pursuant to an appropriations Act.

(Sec. 513) Provides 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 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 FY2016 until the enactment of the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY2016.

(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 provided by this bill from being used in a manner that is inconsistent with the principal negotiating objective of the United States with respect to trade remedy laws.

(Sec. 528) 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. 529) 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. 530) 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. 531) 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. 532) 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. 533) 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. 534) Requires Commerce, DOJ, NASA, and the NSF to submit spending plans to Congress.

(Sec. 535) Requires the agencies funded by this bill to report specified details regarding conference spending to the Inspectors General.

(Sec. 536) 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. 537) Requires all departments and agencies funded in this bill to link all contracts that provide award fees to successful acquisition outcomes.

(Sec. 538) 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. 539) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used for contract, memorandum of understanding, cooperative agreement, grant, or loan activities if the proposed recipient has been convicted of a felony criminal violation.

(Sec. 540) Prohibits funds provided by this bill from being used for contract, memorandum of understanding, cooperative agreement, grant, or loan activities if the proposed recipient has unpaid federal tax liabilities.

(Sec. 541) Prohibits DOJ or the DEA from using funds provided by this bill 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.

(Sec. 542) Prohibits DOJ from using funds provided by this bill to prevent specified states, the District of Columbia, or Guam from implementing their own laws authorizing the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.

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