Senate Passes $447 Billion Funding Bills

Bump and Update: The Senate passed the $447 government funding bills as part of a $1.1 trillion total appropriations package. Some highlights are here.


Sat. 12/12/09: The last hurdle was cleared today and the Senate will vote tomorrow on the $447 billion 2010 appropriations bill. The bill is composed of six separate measures.

Here's the one on crime funding. While there is prevention money in the bill, there's also a lot of funding for the War on Drugs.

Combating Illegal Drugs: $2 billion, $81 million above 2009, to combat illegal drugs through the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). These funds will provide for 128 new DEA positions to help stop the flow of illegal drugs across the Southwest border and to investigate, disrupt and dismantle major Mexican drug cartels.

The FBI does pretty well too, including lots of money for surveillance: [More...]

Federal Bureau of Investigation: $7.9 billion, $680 million above 2009, to address national security needs, including cyber crime, potential weapons of mass destruction incidents, and surveillance, as well as criminal law enforcement priorities, such as financial fraud. Included in the total is $101 million for the FBI’s overseas
contingency operations, previously funded through supplemental funding requests.

There's also immigration funding:

Department-wide Southwest Border Initiative: $1.5 billion, $338 million above 2009, for activities to combat violence, stop the flow of illegal weapons and drug trafficking, bring dangerous criminals to justice, and improve law enforcement capabilities along the southwest border.

For the Bureau of Prisons:

Federal Bureau of Prisons: $6.2 billion, $108.8 million above the request, to address rising costs, add staff, reduce overcrowding and help inmates successfully reintegrate into their communities.

And targeting sex offenders:

Adam Walsh and Child Exploitation: $353.5 million, $63.6 million above 2009, for Adam Walsh Act activities, which includes sex offender registration requirements, and other sex offender and child exploitation prevention and enforcement programs.

And more cops:

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): $791.6 million to support local law enforcement agencies with hiring, technology, training, body armor, and sex-offender management grants. This includes $298 million specifically for COPS Hiring Grants to hire or retain approximately 1,400 officers. The COPS program has helped train nearly 500,000 law enforcement personnel, community members, and government leaders and has helped put over 121,500 additional officers on the beat nation-wide.

The bill also has this provision on the Guantanamo detainees:

Guantanamo Detainees: Language is included that:

1) Prohibits current detainees from being released into the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, D.C., or any U.S. territory;

2) Prohibits current detainees from being transferred to the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, D.C., or any U.S. territory, except to be prosecuted and only 45 days after Congress receives a plan detailing: risks involved and a plan for mitigating such risk; cost of the transfer; legal rationale and court demands; and a copy of the notification provided to the Governor of the receiving State 14 days before a transfer with a certification by the Attorney General that the individual poses little or no security risk;

3) Current detainees cannot be transferred or released to another country (including freely associated states) unless the President submits to Congress 15 days prior to such transfer: the name of the individual and the country the individual will be transferred to; an assessment of risks posed and actions taken to mitigate such risks; and the terms of the transfer agreement with the other country, including any financial assistance;

4) Requires the President to submit a report to Congress describing the disposition of each current detainee before the facility can be closed.

But, that's not all. In the State and Foreign Appropriations component, there's lots of money to Mexico and elsewhere for the war on drugs.

Western Hemisphere Counternarcotics/Security Assistance Programs: Counternarcotics and security programs support strengthening criminal justice systems and law enforcement agencies and provide assistance for alternative livelihoods in the Western Hemisphere. This includes:

• Assistance for Mexico: $231.6 million, which when combined with $254 million in forward funding for Mexico in the 2009 supplemental, results in a total of $485.6 million for bilateral programs for counternarcotics, law enforcement, and development assistance programs.

• Assistance for Central America: $83 million for regional security and law enforcement programs with the countries of Central America.

• Assistance for Colombia: $522 million for counternarcotics, administration of justice, and alternative livelihoods assistance for Colombia.

So there's some good things in the bill, like $45 million for drug courts, $494 million for programs for at-risk youth and missing, exploited or abused children, and $100 million for Second Chance Act Offender Reentry Programs, but overall, it's a top-heavy with additional funding for our failed war on drug policy.

< Gitmo Detainee Defense Counsel Interview on 9/11 Trials | Lieberman Says No To Health Care Bill >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    A funding bill J (none / 0) (#1)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:36:04 PM EST
    Not THE funding bill.

    There are 13 separate appropriation bills.

    Now that's a (none / 0) (#2)
    by JamesTX on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:44:16 PM EST
    change we can live with! Some token pittances for deference to the liberal base with business as usual at the core.

    I just wonder what would be the result (none / 0) (#3)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:55:26 PM EST
    if none of these passed, other than continuing resolutions.

    I'm ready to see sausage making, and not rhe finished process.

    The defense appropriations bill (none / 0) (#4)
    by andgarden on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 03:08:46 PM EST
    is where all of the controversial stuff goes.

    2 bills... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 06:12:59 PM EST
    2 big billion with a B bills for the DEA...curse you Nixon, curse you!

    And the BOP gets 6.2...quite the racket they've got going.

    Add it all up minus the relative pittance for the good sh*t and you've got a sum of some f*cked up priorities around here.  

    But no talk of priorities, lets just raise taxes.  Quite the racket, I tell ya.

    Running an empire gets expensive (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 06:43:19 PM EST
    Our kids (none / 0) (#15)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 05:39:24 PM EST
    hopefully will revolt when the bill comes due.  

    3 small victories in there. (none / 0) (#7)
    by Ben Masel on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 12:35:41 AM EST
    Two specific to Washington DC: the District goverment can finally implemenmt the Medical Marijuana initiative passed by the voters in 1998.

    The District can now fund vclean needle exchange.

    The Drug Czar's advertising budget, once almost a half billion, whittled down again, now $45 million.

    No attention on it other than here (none / 0) (#8)
    by abdiel on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 02:11:43 AM EST
    is that a good sign that it will pass and Obama will sign off?  

    it's clear, (none / 0) (#9)
    by cpinva on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 03:27:13 AM EST
    to anyone with the ability to do simple math, that we've reached the point of negative returns, in the "war on drugs". the cost of this war now exceeds the market value of the drugs involved.

    at this point, it would be more cost effective for the federal government to directly purchase the drugs, wholesale, from the cartels. what's done with them afterwards (medical pot, pharmaceutical grade coke) can be a subject for the FDA to discuss.

    this plan eliminates the need for the cartels to kill each other, and innocent bystanders, as well as negating any requirement for domestic channels of distribution and marketing. et voila! no dealers, no need for additional jail cells, cops, courts, judges, etc.

    heck, i may have just balanced the budget!

    The state.. (none / 0) (#18)
    by kdog on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 07:53:11 AM EST
    could never buy all the drugs on earth without distributing them to dope-hungry users in some fashion...dope-hungry users would outbid the government...or overthrow it.

    Senate to vote on 1.1 trillion dollar funding bill (none / 0) (#10)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 10:05:30 AM EST
    Like the fact that it includes funding for NASA, steel industry, auto, etc. Armor and surveillance equipment spending for law enforcement will also provide employment in US manufacturing companies.

    There are some goodies in this bill (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 04:56:56 PM EST
    and it's exactly the sort of thing that W would have vetoed. But I hope this isn't the best we can ask for (especially if it's going to go away in a year).

    What is the (none / 0) (#12)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 05:25:29 PM EST
    percentage of bills vetoed by W?  Minute as I recall.  One of his problems is that he rubber stamped a bunch of spending.

    Until the Dems started running Congress (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 05:28:20 PM EST
    Then he vetoed or threatened to veto everything.

    His own party ran Congress until 2006 (none / 0) (#16)
    by abdiel on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 06:26:37 PM EST
    and they gave him everything he asked for.  Why would he ever issue a veto?  


    Note that Clinton did not issue a veto until 1995 when the GOP took over.

    This is a political thing.  If a majority of Dems voted for it, there's no way Obama will veto.


    Define everything (none / 0) (#14)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 05:37:22 PM EST
    He had ten vetoes in his terms.  

    On the bright side, (none / 0) (#17)
    by WS on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 07:47:11 PM EST
    2.5 billion dollars for high speed rail.  Woo Hoo!  

    That's now 10.5 billion for rail in Obama's first year.  Not bad but there needs to be more.  

    Billions for chasing pot-heads (none / 0) (#19)
    by SeeEmDee on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 10:26:30 AM EST
    But how much for Unemployment bennies, or school lunches for kids of out of work parents, or Universal Health Care?

    All that money, hundreds of Billions-with-a-'b' thrown down a monster's maw these past 40 years, and all it sh*ts out are prisons and ruined lives and creates a permanently unemployable criminal underclass with no stake in the society's commonweal, and every reason to resent and undermine it. Talk about 'job security' for those bureaucracies and individuals charged with law enforcement tasks. But no good for society at large.

    We can't afford this drug prohibition nonsense any more, and it's time the pols heard that loud and clear, especially from those who could use the money being p*ssed away on said nonsense right now.