U.S. Congressman Ted Poe announced today he voted for H.R. 2862, the Science, Department of State, Justice, and Commerce appropriations bill.

The bill spends $57.45 billion and provides additional funding for local and state governments to help fight crime. The bill restores more than $1 billion in proposed cuts to state and local law enforcement assistance programs. Also included in the bill is a $542 million increase from last year to help the FBI further fight terrorism.

Congressman Poe supported amendments that strengthened enforcement of illegal immigration. These include a provision that forbids localities from preventing their police officers from asking for or reporting immigration information to the federal government. This amendment is necessary because presently many cities have so-called "sanctuary" policies, which prohibit local police from asking about a person's immigration status or reporting illegal aliens who commit crimes to immigration authorities for deportation. Congressman Poe also supported an amendment that furthers reimbursement of state and local governments for costs associated with incarcerating criminal illegal aliens in their facilities.

Federal and state government partnership is critical to addressing the immigration problem facing this country, Poe said. Passing this amendment will help our people on the front lines to protect our communities without draining their essential resources.

Congressman Poe also voted in favor of two amendments that increased funding for the Community Oriented Policing (COPS) program. The COPS program provides assistance to eligible police departments to help improve community policing efforts and law enforcement support activities. The program requires at least 85% of grant money to be used for the following: (1) to hire or rehire police officers; (2) procure equipment; (3) pay overtime; or (4) build support systems. Poe met with Beaumont City Council members earlier this year who expressed their support for furthering the COPS program.

The COPS program has proven that it works and I am glad that we were able to add additional money to this important program. Poe said.

The bill was passed by a bipartisan vote of 418-7.