White House objects to Commerce, Justice bill

The White House on Wednesday formally outlined its objections to the cuts and policy riders in a House bill that would fund the Commerce and Justice departments for 2015.

Members of the House began debating the $51.2 billion bill on Wednesday evening. 

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The administration said a host of programs are underfunded in the bill and made a pitch for its discretionary stimulus plan that would provide funds above the $1.014 trillion budget cap agreed to by Republicans and Democrats in December.

“H.R. 4660 inadequately funds areas critical to the Nation's economic growth, security, and competitiveness in the global marketplace, including investments in climate research, assistance to small manufacturers, and support for commercial space flight, census research, and access to justice,’ the White House statement of policy said.

It also blasted policy riders in the bill dealing with guns and the prison at Guantanamo Bay.

In particular, the White House lamented what it said are inadequate funds needed by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to address climate change.

It said the elimination of funding for the Total Solar Irradiance Sensor would hinder climate data collection.

The White House also wants more funds for the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), NASA Commercial Crew program, Office of U.S. Trade Representative, International Trade Administration and COPS local policing program.

On riders, the administration said it is especially opposed to a provision that it would allow the importation of "curio and relic" firearms simply because they are old.