Subcommittee increases funding for EEOC, Justice programs



June 12, 2007

A House Appropriations subcommittee approved a bill Monday that would provide $53.6 billion to 15 agencies including the Commerce Department, Justice Department, NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The bill would give $5 million to EEOC to reduce its backlog of pending cases. It also would block an effort to outsource the agency’s call center.

The bill also would shield the Bureau of Prisons from having to conduct A-76 outsourcing studies and would effectively enable federal employees to appeal contracting decisions to the Government Accountability Office. The bill would stop NASA from making staff cuts or pursuing a manned mission to Mars.

The measure also would boost funding for local law enforcement by $1.7 billion over President Bush’s fiscal 2008 request. The bill would provide $3.2 billion for this.

“The president’s budget request included many holes that we had to fill,” said Rep. Allen Mollohan, D-W.Va., chairman of the subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, science and related agencies. “The largest of these holes was law enforcement.”

The bill would also restore funding for law enforcement grants, such as the Justice Assistance Grant Program, and to the state prison drug treatment program, that the president sought to scrap.

A full committee vote is expected sometime next week, with a full House vote expected before the July 4 recess.