Rep. Dicks blasts cuts to Commerce, Justice

House Appropriations Committee ranking member Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) said Wednesday that proposed GOP cuts to law enforcement and weather forecasting are dangerous and short-sighted. He urged his colleagues to vote against the 2102 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bil, unveiled by Republicans ahead of a subcommittee markup on Thursday.
 
The bill provides $50.2 billion in funding, a cut of $3.1 billion below current levels and $7.4 billion below President Obama’s budget request. The bill’s funding is below 2008 spending levels.

“Once again the Republican leadership has presented us with a completely irresponsible and inadequate subcommittee allocation and, in this case, a bill that makes cuts at the expense of jobs and the safety of our communities,” Dicks said.
 
Dicks said the fact the bill ends the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program is especially bad.
 
“The bill also slashes funding for the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in a way that will widen gaps in weather data coverage and diminish our ability to anticipate hurricanes and other natural disasters,” he said, noting that funds were needed for weather satellite programs.

Dicks said that the cuts to the Prisons Bureau would mean three prisons already built would remain empty.