On Tuesday May 8th, the House of Representatives passed Congressman Jon Runyan's amendment to H.R. 5326 that would increase funding for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne/Jag) program. The amendment passed with overwhelming bipartisan support by a margin of 325 to 81.
Congressman Runyan's amendment transfers $22.418 Million from the Department of Justice General Administration Fund to the Byrne/Jag program. This transfer would increase the total appropriated to the program to $392.48 Million, which is the same as the amount in the Senate version of H.R. 5326. This amendment is revenue neutral and would not add to our nation's deficit.
"I am pleased that so many of my colleagues, from both sides of the aisle, joined me in supporting local law enforcement efforts," said Congressman Runyan. "These grants provide vital funds to law enforcement agencies in their efforts to keep our communities safe. With Congress attempting to get the federal government's spending problem under control, it is important that we prioritize what we fund. I believe the Byrne/Jag grants should be a funding priority."
The Byrne/Jag grants were established in 2004 with the purpose of streamlining the process of administering grants and justice funding. These grants allow local law enforcement organizations to determine what resources they need to help protect their citizens.
The House of Representatives passed H.R. 5326 on Thursday May 10th. Further action on the bill and Congressman Runyan's amendment will wait for the United States Senate to pass their version of H.R. 5326.