The House of Representatives has approved a Justice Department budget for the year starting October 1 that increases funding by $22.4 million for the Byrne JAG program, which supports state and local anticrime initiatives. The House also raised committee recommendations by $4 million for drug courts, $18 million for criminal-justice information sharing, $5 million for violence against women programs, and $126 million for the COPS hiring program, reports the National Criminal Justice Association.
Because the same bill that funds the Justice Department pays for NASA, and increases in one area must be offset by cuts in another, some of the money for COPS would come at the expense of NASA. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), chair of the committee that funds both agencies, said the move would put a “spear right through NASA’s heart.” The issue will be resolved in negotiations with the Senate. Earlier, the House voted to cut $1 million from the Justice budget in a protest against the agency’s handling of the botched “Fast and Furious” gun-tracing program.