Chairwoman Kaptur Statement at Full Committee Markup of FY 2020 Energy and Water Development Funding Bill

2019-05-21 16:05
Statement

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Chair of the Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Appropriations Committee's markup of the fiscal year 2020 Energy and Water Development bill:

 Thank you, Chairwoman Lowey, and I am pleased we are here to consider the Energy and Water bill, a bill essential to sustaining life on earth.

This bill makes critical investments toward combating climate change, advancing science and innovation, creating water infrastructure in states and territories and investing in critical nuclear security systems.

This bill rejects the President’s drastic and short-sighted proposed cuts– including a 12% decrease to the Department of Energy, a 31% decrease to the Army Corps of Engineers, and a 28% decrease to the Bureau of Reclamation – and instead increases investments to these important programs to meet national priorities as our nation’s population is projected to grow from 325 million to 400 million by 2050.

Meeting the needs of the future requires that our nation be at the forefront of global energy innovation, enable American companies to ship goods efficiently, and provide water and electricity to 31 million American and millions of acres of valuable farmland. These programs are the spine of modern existence for millions of Americans.

Let me briefly walk through the bill:

  • The mark provides $7.4 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers, an increase of $357 million above 2019 and $2.5 billion above the budget request.
     
  • $1.63 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation, an increase of $83 million from 2019, and $523 million above the budget request.
     
  • $37.1 billion for the Department of Energy, an increase of $1.4 billion from 2019 and $5.6 billion above the budget request.
     
  • Within DOE:
    • The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program receives $2.65 billion, an increase of $273 million (12%) from 2019 and $2.3 billion above the request.
       
    • This bill provides an increase for the Weatherization Assistance Program, which helps ensure that low-income households across this country have energy-efficient, more livable homes.
       
    • The Electric Grid resilience and security programs receive a total of $350 million, an increase of $74 million from 2019 and $11 million above the request.
       
    • ARPA-E receives $425 million – the first time it is funded at over $400 million – an increase of $59 million above 2019 and a rejection of the President’s proposal to eliminate the program.
       
    • The Office of Science receives $6.87 billion, an increase of $285 million above 2019 and $1.3 billion above the request.
       
    • Environmental Cleanup receives a total of $7.2 billion, equal to 2019 and $706 million above the request to clean up our nation’s nuclear legacy.
       
    • The bill includes $25 million for interim storage to ensure a near-term approach to managing nuclear waste.
       
    • As I’ve said before, the nuclear deterrent is a national priority. Our bill responsibly funds the nuclear stockpile while rejecting the President’s costly and poorly-defined recommendations in his Nuclear Posture Review.  The National Nuclear Security Administration receives $15.9 billion, an increase of $666 million above 2019. Within NNSA:
       
      • Nuclear Nonproliferation receives $2.1 billion, an increase of $145 million above 2019 and $82 million above the request; and
         
      • Weapons Activities receives $11.8 billion, an increase of $661 million above 2019. The bill fully funds all ongoing life extension programs and prioritizes the science necessary to maintain our nuclear stockpile without underground testing.
         
  • Finally, this bill prohibits funds to be used for a border wall and does not allow the President to bypass congressional intent to divert valuable Corps funding from previously approved appropriations.
     
  • Whether we agree or disagree on the need for a wall as the means to assure border security, I hope this Committee can agree that funds for a wall should not be taken from Corps projects that protect communities across this country.

In short, this bill invests in energy innovation, promotes economic prosperity, and prepares our country to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

I am grateful to say that as we prepared for this legislation, our subcommittee held eight hearings and received over 4,400 requests from members from both sides of the aisle.  I’m pleased that we were able to satisfy 95 percent of these member requests in whole or in part.

I want to thank Chairwoman Lowey and all our Subcommittee members for their active engagement during the hearing process and during the process of drafting this legislation and for their respect of regular order.

I also want to thank my Ranking Member, Mr. Simpson, and full committee Ranking Member, Ms. Granger, for their partnership, and our wonderful and collegial majority and minority staff for their hard work on this bill, including Jaime Shimek, Scott McKee, Farouk Ophaso, Mike Brain, Mark Arnone, Marcel Caldwell, and Angie Giancarlo. And thank you to Matt Kaplan on my personal staff. All have done outstanding work.

 

116th Congress