Appropriations Committee Clears Fiscal Year 2012 Energy and Water Funding Bill
The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations bill. The legislation provides the annual funding for the various agencies and programs under the Department of Energy, including the National Nuclear Security Administration, as well as the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and various regional water and power authorities. The legislation totals $30.6 billion – a cut of $5.9 billion below the President’s request and $1 billion below last year – which brings the total cost of the bill to nearly the 2006 funding level.
“The programs and projects funded in the Energy & Water bill affect every community in our nation. Many of these programs are integral to our quality of life, and the bill rightly prioritized programs with tangible effects on urgent public safety needs and our economic competitiveness,” Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers said.”While providing for critical programs, this bill makes good on our promise to cut spending to more sustainable levels. We’ve made smart and significant spending reductions in areas that have seen massive and unnecessary increases.”
“The Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill supports programs critical to our nation’s security, safety, and economic competitiveness. The bill clearly shows that strong fiscal discipline, a strong national defense, and a strong economy, can be achieved together,” said Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen.
In addition, the Committee today approved an amendment – offered by Subcommittee Chairman Frelinghuysen – to provide over a billion dollars in emergency funding for the Corps of Engineers to address recent Mississippi River and Missouri River flood disasters. The funding will be used for flood fighting activities and restoration of flood prevention systems.
Summaries of the adopted amendments at the full committee mark up follow:
Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) The Manager’s amendment makes technical changes to the bill, and includes additional report language related to various energy programs within the legislation. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) The amendment provides $1.028 billion in emergency funding to the Army Corps of Engineers to repair damage caused by recent storms and floods, and to prepare for future disaster events. The funding is offset by a rescission of the remaining emergency High Speed Rail funding that was originally approved in the failed “stimulus” bill. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
LaTourette (R-OH) The amendment strikes language in the bill that prohibits certain Davis-Bacon wage requirements. The amendment passed on a vote of 26-22.
Nunnelee (R-MS) The amendment requires agencies funded in the bill to use “E-Verify” to confirm the eligibility of new hires to work in the U.S. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Roybal-Allard (D-CA) The amendment allows the Corps of Engineers to receive and use non-federal contributed funds to continue or complete ongoing federal studies. The Corps already has this ability for the design, construction, and operations and maintenance on projects that have received federal funding. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
McCollum (D-MN) The amendment prohibits the government from entering into contracts or agreements with any corporation that was convicted of a felony criminal violation under any Federal law within the preceding 24 months. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
McCollum (D-MN) The amendment prohibits funds for contracts or agreements with entities with unpaid Federal tax liabilities that have not entered into payment agreements to remedy the liability. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Final Passage The bill was approved by the full Committee on a vote of 26-20.