The President has been clear that Republicans in Congress should work with Democrats to finish a budget that cuts wasteful spending while investing in jobs, the economy, and middle class families. Until Congress reaches a budget agreement, the President will not sign individual appropriations bills that simply attempt to enact the House Republican budget into law. That would hurt our economy and make draconian cuts to middle class priorities.
The House Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill demonstrates just how damaging the overall spending limits imposed by House Republican leadership are. The bill would cut $1 billion from the President’s request for the Department of Commerce, requiring a halt to investments in areas designed to help grow the economy, create jobs, and strengthen the middle class. The bill cuts more than $70 million from the International Trade Administration, which prevents placement of Foreign Commercial Service Officers in priority markets to help U.S. companies expand exports. That cut also limits our ability to attract foreign investment. Instead of building on the momentum of resurgent American manufacturing as the President did in this budget, the bill terminates the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Consortia, which is helping the industry identify long-term manufacturing needs, and it cuts $33 million from the President’s request for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP). The MEP program is a federal-state partnership, which consists of centers located across the country that work directly with their local manufacturing communities to strengthen the competitiveness of our nation's domestic manufacturing base.
This bill also makes severe cuts to several areas in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration including programs that protect our coast, help localities manage its fisheries, and perform important work on understanding the climate. The $30 million cut to our Coastal Zone Management program, a federal-state partnership, directly affects the jobs in coastal states that work on issues from managing coastal development to providing public access for recreation. The bill cuts nearly $140 million from the Census Bureau, threatening research programs which would allow us to conduct the 2020 Census at a lower cost. This bill also makes draconian cuts to programs in the Bureau of Industry and Security, which is responsible for enforcing export controls, and to the Economics and Statistics Administration, which produces some of the Nation’s most important economic data, such as GDP.
The bottom line is that the spending levels in the House Republican Budget hurt job creation and the health of our overall economy. We cannot cut our way to prosperity. As the President has said, we must invest in the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising and thriving middle class. The Department of Commerce’s FY 2014 budget request would do just that, by making America once again a magnet for jobs and investing in high-tech manufacturing and innovation, while helping businesses grow.