WASHINGTON, May 30 -- Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill. (11th CD), issued the following news release:
Today, Congressman Bill Foster (IL-11) voted for H.R. 4660, the FY 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The legislation increases funds for programs that invest in basic science research, such as the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the National Institute on Standards and Technology, and programs that help fight heroin abuse.
"As a scientist and a businessman, I have a deep understanding of the importance of federal investment in research, and I am proud to support legislation that increases funding for vital science programs. Over half of U.S. economic growth since World War II has been driven by science and technology. At a time when we are still recovering from the worst recession since the Great Depression, we must ensure that the next big innovations, and the jobs they create, occur here in the U.S.," said Foster. "Additionally, this legislation funds important Justice Department programs that help combat the surging heroin epidemic. I have heard too many stories from families from all walks of life who have lost a loved one to heroin abuse. I will continue to work to pass effective measures in Congress to combat this tragic epidemic. Although there were some provisions of the bill that I did not support, including several Republican-sponsored amendments that passed on a near party line vote, I am hopeful that they will be removed as this bill moves forward."
H.R.4660 prioritizes funding for scientific research and development at a number of federal agencies and allocates $25.3 billion, an increase of $482 million from 2014, for Science Agencies. Investment in the National Science Foundation, a major source of funding for university research, is increased by $232 million to $7.4 billion. The measure also provides $855.8 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology, with $130 million allocated for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to help small businesses improve their manufacturing processes.
This bill also allocates $28.1 billion, an increase of $374 million from 2014, for the Justice Department and funds important programs that help fight the spread of heroin. Funding for the Drug Enforcement Agency is increased by $35 million, with additional funding for investigative efforts dealing with prescription drugs and heroin. Additionally, $16 million is provided for Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, which helps states implement prescription drug monitoring programs to reduce drug diversion and prevent the abuse of prescription pain killers. The measure also provides $428.5 million, an increase of $11.5 million, for Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution Programs, and $378 million for the Byrne-JAG program, which funds state and local initiatives such as drug prevention and treatment programs.
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