Congressman Tim Ryan Statement in Response to Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Committee Markup

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan released the following statement in response to the Full Committee Markup of Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Bill. Ryan voted against this bill because it severely underfunded critical non-defense programs like the National Science Foundation, Legal Services Fund, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Research, Office of Juvenile Justice, and NASA Aeronautics.

Although Congressman Ryan voted against the overall bill, he was able to secure an additional $15 million to combat the opioid epidemic. This funding directly supports the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program (COAP), a grant program authorized through the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act (CARA). Increased funding for COAP would allow the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to provide more opportunities for grant recipients to help combat the opioid epidemic by:

  • Strengthening opioid misuse prevention efforts
  • Improving collaboration between law enforcement and regulatory agencies through the collection and analysis of relevant data in centralized databases
  • Improving emergency response to drug overdose cases
  • Providing financial and technical assistance to state, local, and tribal governments as they develop diversion programs and alternatives to incarceration
  • Expanding outreach, treatment, and recovery efforts, and supports continuing evaluations of substance use treatment programs

“The scale of the ongoing opioid addiction crisis is staggering. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more Americans die every day from drug overdoses than from car accidents – an average of 144 people per day. The majority of those who need help with addiction issues are not receiving it. These men and women are more than a statistic, they are members of our community, and they need our help. That is why I fought so hard for this additional funding, which is an important step in the right direction to combat this growing crisis,” says Congressman Ryan, a member of the Bipartisan Task Force to Address the Heroin Epidemic, Co-Chair of the Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus, and lead Democratic sponsor of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. “This funding is just another plank in what must be a continued, massive investment in combating addiction. There’s no getting around the fact that our communities need more federal help to provide the treatment, prevention and recovery services that are necessary to help those suffering from this disease.”

Congressman Ryan also secured the inclusion of report language that directs the Department of Justice (DoJ) to study whether immersive, real-life scenario-based training improves law enforcement officer performance, increases police safety, and reduces use of force incidents, deadly force, and citizen complaints. DoJ would have to report to the committee within 180 days. The Department is further encouraged to use this study to devise a curriculum for training, and develop a pilot program for making it available for federal, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies.

"Policing in the 21st century is a physically and mentally stressful job. One with the capacity to take a toll on officers, and their relationships with the communities they serve. In tense situations that officers face every day, effective training could mean the difference between desirable and undesirable outcomes. These immersive training facilities have been impactful for our men and women in military uniform, and should be explored for law enforcement as well. I am confident that this type of hands-on training will help our officers react quickly and appropriately while making decisions that are best for the community, while protecting their own safety at the same time. Better training equals better outcomes, it is that simple,” said Congressman Ryan.  

The Fiscal Year 2018 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill passed the House Appropriations Committee by a vote of 31 to 21. Ryan voted against the legislation.