Rooney Supports Critical Funding for Counterterrorism and Law Enforcement
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Rooney (FL-17), a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Chairman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, highlighted targeted funding increases for critical national security programs, law enforcement activities and coastal programs in the Fiscal Year 2017 Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill that was approved in Committee today.
The bill includes additional funding over last year for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to maintain its critical functions as well as boost activities in critical anti-cybercrime, counterintelligence and counterterrorism programs.
“As ISIS and other terrorist groups continue to increase their use of social media to recruit new members and spread their message of violent extremism, we must be even more vigilant in our efforts to track and address these growing threats,” Rooney said. “This bill ensures our counterterrorism and intelligence communities are appropriately funded to investigate a growing number of complex transnational criminal organizations and to keep our country safe from threats ranging from domestic radicalization to cyberterrorism.”
Within the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Committee prioritized anti-opioid enforcement efforts by funding four new heroin enforcement groups to combat growing heroin abuse and its availability in the U.S. Additionally, we provided $103 million for grant programs to help stem this abuse – the full amount recently authorized by the House-passed Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act of 2016.
The multi-issue also bill includes the following funding and language requests made by Rep. Rooney as a member of the Appropriations Committee:
- Monitoring fentanyl: Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin and up for 100 times more potent than morphine, has contributed to an alarming increasing in fatal heroin overdoses. Rooney language included in the bill directs the Department of Justice and the DEA to include fentanyl monitoring, interdiction and testing in their efforts to counter heroin abuse.
- $42 million for Drug Courts and $7 million for Veterans Treatment Courts: Drug Courts, like the Charlotte County Drug Court, and Veterans Treatment Courts are cost-effective, multi-stakeholder models that help address the unique challenges of drug offenders and our returning service members. The training curriculum for Veterans Treatment Courts aims to serve veterans struggling with addiction, serious mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries, all of which can result in higher rates of drug abuse, domestic violence and other criminality.
- $299 million for the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Program: The COPS program advances the practice of community policing in America’s state and local law enforcement agencies and the bill includes $75 million specifically for activities that improve police-community relations.
- $476 million Byrne Justice Assistance Grants (Byrne/JAG:) Byrne/JAG is the cornerstone federal justice grant program supporting state and local law enforcement, and in Florida, Byrne/JAG funding has been critical to the state’s tackling of prescription drug abuse. Rooney secured an increase of $5 million, totaling $20 million, for the Officer Robert Wilson III Preventing Violence Against Law Enforcement and Ensuring Officer Resilience and Survivability (VALOR) Initiative which helps prevent violence against law enforcement officers and enhances nationwide dynamic force-on-force scenario-based training.
- $31.5 million for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS): The network of eleven regional coastal observing systems that are part of NOAA’s IOOS cover the entire coastal line of Florida and include all the components needed to gather data and provide forecasts for flood protection, safe marine operations, fisheries operations, and water quality assessments.
- $55.4 million for Habitat Conservation and Restoration at NOAA: Habitat restoration benefits South Florida’s economies through improved habitat conditions that support recreational and commercial uses, as well as increased resiliency of coastal resources.