Chairwoman Lowey Statement at Full Committee Markup of FY 2021 Energy and Water Development Funding Bill
WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the Committee's markup of the fiscal year 2021 Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies bill:
I congratulate Chairwoman Kaptur and Ranking Member Simpson for the bill before us. I also thank the Subcommittee staff for their great work.
The strong funding in this bill is critical to our nation’s ability to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing economic crisis. It revitalizes America’s energy and water infrastructure and fosters energy innovation while supporting a balanced and responsible approach to national security.
This bill rejects the Administration’s shortsighted decision to cut critical Army Corps of Engineers funding. Instead, we invest in modernizing our aging infrastructure, maintaining our economically important rivers and waterways, and protect communities from flooding made worse by climate change.
The bill advances new studies and construction efforts and provides the resources needed to continue projects across every state and territory.
And to ensure that funds in the bill actually help the American people, it bars the use of funds for President Trump’s wasteful border wall.
The threats of climate change are real, and this bill takes proactive steps to support renewable and sustainable energy sources by providing $2.85 billion for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy activities.
In addition, the bill rejects the Administration proposal to eliminate ARPA-E and instead invests in cutting edge research that has the potential to radically improve economic prosperity, the health of our environment, and our national security.
Finally, the bill’s support for the Department of Energy nuclear responsibilities maintains the safety, security, and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear deterrent while addressing the challenges of nuclear proliferation and terrorism. Significantly, the bill also provides $27.5 million for interim storage of nuclear waste and would prohibit funding for an unnecessary restart of nuclear weapons testing. Overall, these measured investments and this prohibition strengthen our national security.
The bill represents a serious commitment to ensure a clean energy future, reduce risk to our infrastructure, and secure our safety and prosperity. These investments hedge against the need for even greater resources in the event of infrastructure failures, natural disasters, severe weather events, or attacks on our security.
With this bill, we can get Americans back to work, rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, and embrace a clean energy future. I urge support.