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Jaime Herrera Beutler secures win for Pacific salmon in House-passed spending bill

Responsible bill also provides relief to fishing businesses and protection for trafficking and domestic violence victims, reduces spending by $398 million

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Washington, June 2, 2014 | comments
Jaime voted with a strong majority of her Democrat and Republican colleagues last Friday morning to advance a responsible spending bill that protects salmon recovery, coastal fishermen and efforts to assist trafficking and domestic violence victims.
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Jaime voted with a strong majority of her Democrat and Republican colleagues last Friday morning to advance a responsible spending bill that protects salmon recovery, coastal fishermen and efforts to assist trafficking and domestic violence victims.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 321-87 to approve the FY 2015 Commerce, Science, and Justice Appropriations Bill that funds the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other related agencies.  As a member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, Jaime helped shape this bipartisan legislation that reduces total discretionary funding by $398 million from Fiscal Year 2014 levels.

“I’m pleased that we were able to work on so many Southwest Washington priorities while reducing overall spending,” said Jaime. “Whether it’s continuing the recovery of Pacific salmon, assisting our coastal economies or protecting our communities, this bill focuses on the things that matter to this region.”

Funding for Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund: Jaime was successful in maintaining the $65 million for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF) that she fought for earlier this month. PCRSF provides critical funding for recovery and sustainability projects to improve wild salmon and steelhead habitats on the Columbia River and throughout the western U.S.  Since the program’s inception, over 11,800 PCSRF projects have been implemented, providing fish passage and restoring habitat to strengthen salmon recovery efforts.

Relief for west coast fishing businesses: The final bill included a Jaime-sponsored amendment that provides businesses within the groundfish fishery one year of relief from NOAA’s “cost recovery fee.” By suspending both the cost recovery fee in the West Coast Trawl Rationalization Program and planned expenditure for one year, the bill saves fishermen $2.4 million without any cost to taxpayers.  Jaime was joined by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Jared Huffman (D-CA) in successfully sponsoring this amendment that was approved unanimously on the U.S. House floor.

Strengthens Justice and Law Enforcement Programs: The bill provides $45,365,000, an increase of $31,115,000 from FY14, to combat human trafficking—creating a special task force within the FBI to combat sex trafficking and broadening collaboration between across all agencies under Department of Justice.

The bill also increases funds for drug courts based on their proven effectiveness in reducing recidivism, substance abuse, and crime among non-violent offenders; strengthens mentally ill offender programs; increases funding to strengthen domestic violence programs; and increases funding to address the backlog in processing sexual assault kits nationwide. 

 

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