June 3, 2015

Contact: Chris Schloesser/Marc Rehmann

(202) 225-8699

Edwards Statement on Commerce-Justice-Science Bill

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (MD-4) today issued the following statement regarding her vote against H.R. 2578, the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Act. The legislation passed the House by a vote of 242-183.

“I am deeply disappointed in how the Republican Party’s 2015 funding bills continue to fail American families,” Edwards said. “This bill proposes massive cuts to critical community police services, law enforcement grants, and slashes earth science funding.

“Right here in Maryland, this bill is detrimental to our state’s economy with its cuts to the Census Bureau located in Suitland, hindering the agency’s ability to ensure an efficient and cost-effective 2020 Census. The GOP funding bill causes irreparable harm to Maryland’s rich science sector by underfunding research and development at NSF, NOAA, and NASA, especially in the critical areas of earth science and climate research. Republicans cut $90 million from NASA’s Earth Science program, which will impact our ability to forecast both long-term changes and shorter-term weather events, such as violent and destructive storms. These cuts damage NASA’s ability to function as a true multi-mission agency.

“The bill also strips programs crucial to minority communities like legal initiatives such as Legal Aid and the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Program. Further, this bill expands ideological policy riders that benefit special interests and undermine gun safety laws that prevent gun violence and that the majority of Marylanders support. As the co-founder of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, I remain deeply troubled that this bill fails to provide the funding needed to reduce the unacceptably high number of unmet requests to protect victims of domestic violence.”