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More Spending Increases Dominate Energy and Water Funding Bill


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, July 15, 2010 -

More Spending Increases Dominate Energy and Water Funding Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Appropriations Ranking Republican Jerry Lewis today opposed legislation considered in an Energy and Water Appropriations subcommittee mark up, saying that it is loaded with too much spending at a time when the country cannot afford it. The bill would fund federal agencies under the subcommittee’s jurisdiction for the next fiscal year, and contains over $34.6 billion in spending, which is $1.2 billion over last year’s level. In addition, many of the programs funded in the bill have already received more than $44 billion in taxpayer dollars from last year’s “stimulus” bill – more than $7 billion of which still sitting unused.
 
“It is impossible to imagine any responsible and sustainable budget scenario for the nation with the kind of spending that is in the Energy and Water Appropriations bill. We should be rolling back the massive increases in funding for these programs, including the hundreds of billions included in the ‘stimulus’ bill, not piling on yet another billion-plus to already bloated government agencies,” Lewis said.
 
Subcommittee Ranking Member Rodney Frelinghuysen echoed Lewis’s statements, saying that spending for many of the agencies and programs in the bill could be cut significantly – saving billions in taxpayer dollars and while still maintaining effective and necessary programs and services.
 
“Today’s mark-up provided us with an opportunity to show that we were serious about fiscal responsibility. Unfortunately, this Energy and Water Appropriations bill is just more Washington ‘business as usual.’ The American people deserve better than runaway spending, higher taxes, and more borrowing against our children’s future,” Frelinghuysen said.
 
To address high spending levels and other concerns in the bill, Republicans offered the following amendments today in the subcommittee mark up:
 
1.)    Ranking Member Lewis (R-CA) and Rep. Rehberg (R-MT) offered an amendment to cut the overall total of the bill by 3.5% or $1.2 billion. This cut would bring the total spending in the legislation back to last year’s level, and would demonstrate a significant commitment to reducing unnecessary government spending.
 
The amendment was defeated by Subcommittee Democrats on a vote of 6-10.
 
Rep. Pastor (D-AZ), Rep. Edwards (D-TX), Rep. Berry (D-AR), Rep. Fattah (D-PA), Rep. Israel (D-NY), Rep. Olver (D-MA), Rep. Davis (D-TN), Rep. Salazar (D-CO), Rep. Murphy (D-PA), and Chairman Obey (D-WI) all voted to oppose the amendment.
 
Subcommittee Ranking Member, Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Rep. Wamp (R-TN), Rep. Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Rehberg (R-MT), Rep. Calvert (R-CA), Rep. Alexander (R-LA), and Ranking Member Lewis all voted in favor of the amendment.
 
2.)    Rep. Calvert (R-CA) offered an amendment (after the failure of the Lewis amendment) to cut the overall total of the bill by 1.75% or $606 million. Even though the amendment would reduce the bill by a small percentage, it would have demonstrated the Subcommittee’s commitment to cutting some of the massive spending increases approved by the Democrat Congress over the last three years. 
 
The amendment was defeated by Subcommittee Democrats on a vote of 6-10.
 
Rep. Pastor (D-AZ), Rep. Edwards (D-TX), Rep. Berry (D-AR), Rep. Fattah (D-PA), Rep. Israel (D-NY), Rep. Olver (D-MA), Rep. Davis (D-TN), Rep. Salazar (D-CO), Rep. Murphy (D-PA), and Chairman Obey (D-WI) all voted to oppose the amendment.
 
Subcommittee Ranking Member, Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Rep. Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Rehberg (R-MT), Rep. Calvert (R-CA), Rep. Alexander (R-LA), and Ranking Member Lewis all voted in favor of the amendment.
 
3.)    Subcommittee Ranking Member Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) offered an amendment to rescind approximately $7 billion in “stimulus” funding from agencies within the bill. These funds have been languishing unspent and unobligated since the “stimulus” bill was enacted, and could be put to better use by slowing the nation’s rapidly growing budget deficit.
 
The amendment was defeated by Subcommittee Democrats on a vote of 6-10.
 
Rep. Pastor (D-AZ), Rep. Edwards (D-TX), Rep. Berry (D-AR), Rep. Fattah (D-PA), Rep. Israel (D-NY), Rep. Olver (D-MA), Rep. Davis (D-TN), Rep. Salazar (D-CO), Rep. Murphy (D-PA), and Chairman Obey (D-WI) all voted to oppose the amendment.
 
Subcommittee Ranking Member, Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Rep. Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Rehberg (R-MT), Rep. Calvert (R-CA), Rep. Alexander (R-LA), and Ranking Member Lewis all voted in favor of the amendment.
 
4.)    Rep. Simpson (R-ID) offered an amendment to cut $250 million from the bill for renewable energy loan guarantees that were not requested by the Administration. The program already has nearly $4 billion in unused and unobligated funds remaining from the “stimulus” legislation, and the new funding in the bill would be unnecessary and duplicative.  
 
The amendment was defeated by Subcommittee Democrats on a vote of 6-10.
 
Rep. Pastor (D-AZ), Rep. Edwards (D-TX), Rep. Berry (D-AR), Rep. Fattah (D-PA), Rep. Israel (D-NY), Rep. Olver (D-MA), Rep. Davis (D-TN), Rep. Salazar (D-CO), Rep. Murphy (D-PA), and Chairman Obey (D-WI) all voted to oppose the amendment.
 
Subcommittee Ranking Member, Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Rep. Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Rehberg (R-MT), Rep. Calvert (R-CA), Rep. Alexander (R-LA), and Ranking Member Lewis all voted in favor of the amendment.
 
Rep. Alexander (R-LA), and Ranking Member Lewis all voted in favor of the amendment.
 
5.)    Subcommittee Ranking Member Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) offered an amendment to provide $100 million to continue the licensing application process for the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository.  Without the funds, the future use the facility would be put in jeopardy. The proposed fiscal year 2011 bill is directly counter to the Energy and Water Appropriations legislation passed last year, as well as a recent decision by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that ruled that the Administration does not have the authority to unilaterally withdraw the Yucca Mountain license application. The $100 million is offset by a reduction in weatherization programs, which still have nearly $5 billion in unspent funds leftover from the “stimulus” legislation.
 
The amendment was defeated by Subcommittee Democrats on a vote of 6-10.
 
Rep. Pastor (D-AZ), Rep. Edwards (D-TX), Rep. Berry (D-AR), Rep. Fattah (D-PA), Rep. Israel (D-NY), Rep. Olver (D-MA), Rep. Davis (D-TN), Rep. Salazar (D-CO), Rep. Murphy (D-PA), and Chairman Obey (D-WI) all voted to oppose the amendment.
 
Subcommittee Ranking Member, Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Rep. Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Rehberg (R-MT), Rep. Calvert (R-CA), Rep. Alexander (R-LA), and Ranking Member Lewis all voted in favor of the amendment.
 
6.)    Rep. Simpson (R-ID) offered an amendment to halt the fee placed on consumers for the Nuclear Waste Fund until the Administration produces an acceptable plan for managing nuclear waste. Consumers who use electricity produced by nuclear power pay into the fund, which currently contains over $26 billion in unused funds. Yet, the Administration has no plan for the use of the money due to continued delays for a nuclear waste repository -- including inaction on the Yucca Mountain facility. This year, more than $750 million will be collected from ratepayers –money could be put to much better use by the families if they were allowed to stop paying the unnecessary fee.  
 
The amendment was defeated by Subcommittee Democrats on a vote of 6-9.
 
Rep. Pastor (D-AZ), Rep. Edwards (D-TX), Rep. Berry (D-AR), Rep. Fattah (D-PA), Rep. Israel (D-NY), Rep. Olver (D-MA), Rep. Salazar (D-CO), Rep. Murphy (D-PA), and Chairman Obey (D-WI) all voted to oppose the amendment.
 
Subcommittee Ranking Member, Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Rep. Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Rehberg (R-MT), Rep. Calvert (R-CA), Rep. Alexander (R-LA), and Ranking Member Lewis all voted in favor of the amendment.
 
7.)    Rep. Rehberg (R-MT) offered an amendment to cut the total spending in the bill by 1.75%, with excepting nuclear energy loan guarantee accounts from the reduction. 
 
The amendment was defeated by Subcommittee Democrats on a vote of 6-10.
 
Subcommittee Chairman Visclosky (D-IN), Rep. Edwards (D-TX), Rep. Pastor (D-AZ), Rep. Berry (D-AR), Rep. Fattah (D-PA), Rep. Israel (D-NY), Rep. Olver (D-MA), Rep. Davis (D-TN), Rep. Salazar (D-CO), Rep. Murphy (D-PA), and Chairman Obey (D-WI) all voted to oppose the amendment.
 
Subcommittee Ranking Member, Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Rep. Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Rehberg (R-MT), Rep. Calvert (R-CA), Rep. Alexander (R-LA), and Ranking Member Lewis all voted in favor of the amendment.
 
8.)    Rep. Rehberg (R-MT) offered an amendment requiring the Secretary of Energy to explain the Department’s scientific basis for cancelling the Yucca Mountain geological repository program. 
 
The amendment was defeated by Subcommittee Democrats on a vote of 6-10.
 
Subcommittee Chairman Visclosky (D-IN), Rep. Edwards (D-TX), Rep. Pastor (D-AZ), Rep. Berry (D-AR), Rep. Fattah (D-PA), Rep. Israel (D-NY), Rep. Olver (D-MA), Rep. Davis (D-TN), Rep. Salazar (D-CO), Rep. Murphy (D-PA), and Chairman Obey (D-WI) all voted to oppose the amendment.
 
Subcommittee Ranking Member, Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Rep. Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Rehberg (R-MT), Rep. Calvert (R-CA), Rep. Alexander (R-LA), and Ranking Member Lewis all voted in favor of the amendment.
 
 
 
 
 

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