Despite accounting for more than 60% of the Department of Commerce’s 2016 budget, NOAA received little attention from lawmakers from the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies during a hearing examining the Department of Commerce’s budget request.
Questions largely focused on district specific fisheries related topics. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), voiced his concerns about the decrease in salmon management activities, such as hatchery and stock enhancement programs. He questioned the agency’s ability to effectively respond to decreased numbers of fish releases under such a tight budget. In response, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker promised to connect congressional staff members with NOAA officials who would be better suited to assist them with these concerns.