Statement of Administration Policy provides the Administration's views
on the Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies
Appropriations Bill, FY 2002, as reported by the Committee. We look
forward to working with Congress to ensure that the Nations's priorities
are met while encouraging the economic growth that is the essential
guarantee of continued fiscal strength. While we appreciate the Committee's
efforts, we note that the bill does not support many Presidential
priorities or recommended spending reductions and would like to share
some specific concerns with the allocation of those funds.
of Justice (DOJ)
Administration's initiatives in DOJ are focused on shifting resources
toward crime-fighting activities that have been shown to be effective,
activities that further protect our children from the ravages of
drugs and delinquency, as well as reforming the Immigration and
Naturalization Service (INS) to be more effective for, and respectful
of, prospective Americans. To this end, the Administration proposed
some fee increases to better match the benefits of programs with
who pays for those programs, and eliminated a substantial number
of earmarks that place parochial interests over those of the general
Administration appreciates the Committee's funding of the Weed and
Seed program, the Violence Against Women Act, southwestern border
prosecutors, and gun violence reduction prosecution grants. However,
the Administration is disappointed that the bill fails to support
the President's key initiatives in three areas. The Administration
urges the Committee to fully fund the requested $75 million for
Project ChildSafe, that would protect children from gun-related
accidents and crimes by allowing DOJ to work closely with State
and local governments to purchase and distribute child safety gunlocks.
We also urge the Committee to fund the requested $29 million for
Project Sentry, that would allow the hiring of new assistant U.S.
Attorneys to work with communities in prosecuting juvenile gun-related
crimes and setting up safe school task forces. We also ask the Congress
to fund the $11 million increase requested for the Residential Substance
Abuse Treatment program, that is part of the President's drug treatment
initiative and would provide financial and technical assistance
to State and local governments that implement substance abuse treatment
programs for prisoners.
Administration appreciates the Committee's inclusion of the proposed
cruise ship inspection fee and the increase in the current airline
inspection fee. However, the Administration has serious concerns
regarding the funding for INS. The bill does not include the President's
request for $45 million to reduce the backlog of immigration applications.
In addition, the bill shifts $275 million from discretionary appropriations
to various mandatory fee accounts, which could result in substantial
increases in application backlogs.
applaud the Committee's continued support and interest in efforts
to combat terrorism. The bill would establish a second Deputy Attorney
General (DAG) position, who, together with the Director of the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), would be responsible for developing
a national strategy and budget for preventing and responding to
domestic terrorist attacks. Given the President's tasking of FEMA
to coordinate all consequence-management programs for domestic incidents,
as well as the Vice President's on-going review of our domestic
preparedness programs, we do not believe the second DAG position
is necessary. We would appreciate the opportunity to work with the
Congress to address this issue.
Administration is concerned about the level of earmarking in the
bill, especially the Justice Department portion of the bill, that
contains nearly $700 million in earmarks for 269 projects. The Committee
appears to have earmarked almost all available funding within several
grant programs, including Juvenile Justice Discretionary Grants,
COPS grants for Safe Schools and Law Enforcement Technology, and
Byrne Discretionary Grants. The Administration is very concerned
about this practice because it does not efficiently and effectively
serve the interests of the general public. Funding for juvenile
justice and law enforcement technology should be awarded through
merit-based competition, and other funds should be redirected to
unfunded Administration initiatives such as Project Sentry and Project
Administration urges the Senate to support compassionate payments
to claimants under the Radiation Exposure and Compensation Act,
as proposed in the budget resolution.
of Commerce (DOC)
Administration appreciates that the funding included in the Committee
bill follows the President's recommendations for most DOC programs.
In general, the Committee has reduced programs where warranted --
such as properly scaling grant activities -- and provided appropriate
increases for areas, such as statistical, export licensing, and
technical activities that require additional funds to meet specific
needs that fall within DOC's purview.
the Administration opposes the significant new funding provided
by the Committee for the Advanced Technology Program (ATP). The
Administration believes that Federal subsidies are generally not
required for many of the activities previously funded by this program
because they overlap with traditional private-sector investments.
While some of the Nation's largest and most innovative firms have
benefitted from ATP projects, many smaller firms have successfully
raised private funding for comparable efforts. The Administration
has proposed suspending funding for new ATP awards until it can
be ensured that unwarranted subsidies are not provided.
Administration urges the Committee to fully fund the Pacific Coastal
Salmon Recovery Fund, that assists Northwestern States, localities,
and Tribes. We have concerns that funding for base fisheries science
and management and for weather service warnings and forecasts in
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) would
be cut by a total of $60 million from the request, while the bill
provides over $240 million in earmarked and unrequested funding
addition, the Committee mark would eliminate the Expert Review Team
in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). We
urge the Senate to continue funding this activity that supports
development of information-technology security standards and related
NIST activities to protect government systems.
Administration appreciates the Committee's support for the Department
of State, including full funding for the Capital Investment Fund
and Representation Allowances. While the bill provides funding to
support the current services requirements of the Department's operations
and the information resource management initiative, the Administration
is concerned that it provides funding for only one-third of the
human resources initiative to improve diplomatic readiness and hire
additional personnel. The President's request is necessary to ensure
the Department's ability to recruit, hire, train and deploy the
additional people needed to carry out State Department's mission
around the world and to retain the current work force by meeting
quality-of-life and quality-of-work needs. In addition, the Administration
is concerned that the provision limiting spending on machine-readable
visa fee revenues would constrain a program important to our border
security and we urge the Senate to remove the limitation.
the Administration understands that the Committee has maintained
funding for embassy security in the Diplomatic and Consular Programs
and Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance accounts at
approximately last year's level, the failure to provide requested
increases of $233 million for additional security personnel and
construction will severely hamper a multi-year effort to improve
security for our personnel serving in American embassies overseas.
Within the funds that are provided for construction, funding is
earmarked for projects not on the list of the most urgent, security-driven
projects for FY 2002, making it more difficult to meet the Department's
security improvement goals. The Administration is also concerned
that funding does not appear to be provided for the protection of
U.S. Agency for International Development employees, and we would
like to work with the Congress to find a way to make sure that their
needs are addressed.
the Administration is appreciative of the efforts the Committee
has made with respect to international organizations and peacekeeping,
the Administration places a high priority on the peacekeeping funding
request and urges the Committee to restore the nearly $200 million
in reductions from the FY 2001 level and the FY 2002 request to
allow us to meet our assessments.
the funding level of $415 million recommended by the Committee provides
an increase over FY 2001, the additional $13 million requested by
the President is important to the Administration's Middle East broadcasting
initiative, which is designed to provide objective news and information
in this critical region. In addition, the funding is necessary to
avoid reductions in force in Voice of America and reductions in
broadcasting hours of Radio Free Asia and Radio Liberty.
in Conflict Diamonds
Administration is concerned that the Committee version of the bill
includes S. 787, the Conflict Diamonds Act of 2001. The Administration
supports the goal of this legislation to prevent the sale of diamonds
from conflict-ridden regions of Africa from being used to finance
these conflicts and their attendant atrocities while protecting
the ability of sovereign governments in Africa to continue their
economically vital, legitimate trade in diamonds. However, we cannot
support inclusion of S. 787 within this bill.
several provisions of S. 787 are likely to hinder the Nation's ability
to develop an international certification system through the "Kimberly
process." This process was initiated in Kimberly, South Africa,
in June 2000 by diamond producing and consuming countries as well
as the diamond industry. The participants are designing a certification
system that will enable legitimate diamond trade to continue while
excluding from trade diamonds from conflict regions. They will report
recommendations to the U.N. Secretary General in December 2001.
This process is now at a critical juncture and the Administration
is concerned that S. 787 could hinder efforts to reach a consensus.
The Administration is willing to work with the Congress to assure
that the diamond trade is legitimate and that an international certification
system can be put into place.
Policy Concerns and Infringements on Executive Authority
Administration strongly opposes provisions in the Committee bill
concerning Jerusalem on both foreign policy and constitutional grounds.
As the President has stated, the status of Jerusalem will be ultimately
determined by the interested parties. These provisions are counter-productive
to efforts to bring an end to the cycle of violence and to create
a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Other provisions in
the Committee bill regarding the conduct of foreign affairs raise
constitutional concerns, including the unconstitutional conditions
in section 610 on the President's authority to command the armed
forces and section 611 regarding Vietnam that would unconstitutionally
constrain the President's authority with respect to the conduct
and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Administration recognizes the important role that the SEC plays
in maintaining the fairness and transparency of our securities markets.
We believe that the President's request, which is $76 million below
the level of funding provided by the Committee, provides adequate
funding for the Commission to carry out its mission.
Office of the President (EXOP)
the Administration appreciates the Committee's consideration of
the Administration's proposal to consolidate the current 18 separate
appropriations for Offices and Councils in EXOP into one account,
it is disappointed that it was not adopted. This proposal would
enable the President to manage his office more effectively and align
resources consistent with his needs. It would also ensure that the
new EXOP Chief Financial officer (CFO) has the ability to fulfill
the requirements of the CFO Act. We look forward to continuing to
work with the Congress on this proposal.
Communications Commission (FCC)/E-rate and Maritime Administration
Administration recommends inclusion of the language proposed in
the President's budget that would direct FCC to modify the E-rate
program to enable local education administrators to utilize E-rate
discounts to meet their specific needs more effectively and to support
student achievement more fully.
Administration is concerned that the Committee did not support the
President's proposal to transfer funding and management of the Maritime
Security Program (MSP) to the Department of Defense. MSP supports
U.S. national security, and the program would be more effectively
managed through the Department of Defense. The Administration also
notes that the Committee provided $100 million, $70 million above
the level enacted in FY 2001, for the Maritime Administration's
Title XI loan guarantee program. This program, which provides Federal
support for ship construction and shipyard modernization, was proposed
for termination in the FY 2002 Budget. The Administration is attempting
to reduce corporate subsidies and believes that corporations involved
in shipbuilding can secure loans from private lenders without this
Administration strongly opposes an amendment that may be offered
on the Senate Floor that is identical to a provision included in
the House-passed version of the bill, and purports to prevent the
Executive Branch from expressing to the courts its view on the Treaty
of Peace with Japan in several pending cases brought by former members
of the United States armed forces. This amendment could put at risk
the highly successful foreign policy decision that has formed the
basis of the U.S. presence in Asia for the past fifty years. This
amendment would also be unconstitutional because it violates separation
of powers' principles. By preventing the courts from hearing the
Executive's interpretation of the Peace Treaty, such a provision
would force the courts to decide cases that implicate sensitive
questions of U.S. relations with a major ally without having the
benefit of the Executive's expertise. Further, the outcome impedes
the courts from performing their constitutional role of adjudicating
cases, and it accords the courts a role in foreign policy decision-making
that they should not properly exercise. The amendment also would
impair the Executive's ability to carry out core constitutional
responsibilities relating to treaties.