Senate Passes $447 Billion Funding Bills
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.
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