The House approved the fiscal 2010 Commerce, Justice and science subcommittee spending bill today by a 259-157 vote, with $27.7 billion for the Justice Department.
The DOJ budget as approved by the House is 3 percent more than President Obama’s fiscal 2010 budget request and 6 percent more than fiscal 2009 budget. The bill also covers funding for science and the Commerce Department.
The House spent several hours today participating in roll call votes brought by Republicans who were protesting the Democrats’ decision to limit the amount of amendments they could make to the bill. The Republicans wanted to consider more than 100 amendments to the bill on the floor, but the Rules Committee decided earlier this week that amendments had to be printed in advance.
“It was an outrageous abuse of the legislative process,” Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) told Congressional Quarterly yesterday.
The House approved two amendments to the Justice Department budget yesterday, which increased funding for the Office of Violence Against Women legal assistance program by $4 million and directed $2.5 million in DOJ money to local police agencies to improve criminal background-check databases. Today, the House passed an amendment that increased funding for DNA testing programs by $5 million.
The bill also walls off funds for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility until Obama submits a plan for transferring the detainees.