Chairwoman Lowey Statement at Subcommittee Markup of FY 2020 Energy and Water Development Funding Bill

2019-05-15 10:00

Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee's markup of its fiscal year 2020 bill:

I congratulate Chairwoman Kaptur and Ranking Member Simpson for the bill before us, and I thank the staff for their hard work.

This week, we continue our work on an orderly appropriations process that gets the people’s business done on time. House Democrats are fighting to give every American a better shot at a better life. Our bills break with the senseless austerity of recent years in favor of robust funding for initiatives that truly make a difference in the lives of working families. With increased investments through this Committee, we can rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, protect our environment, and foster safe communities.

This year’s Energy and Water Development bill accomplishes this goal by investing $46.6 billion to address climate change, improve infrastructure, and strengthen national security, an increase of $1.8 billion above the Fiscal Year 2019 enacted level.

We must invest robustly to bring American infrastructure into the 21st century. That is why this bill increases funding levels for the Army Corps of Engineers Construction account to advance construction on key projects and help address the Corps’ backlog.

Robust increases are included for the Operation and Maintenance account as well as the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to ensure we are maintaining our nation’s ports and harbors.

The six new studies and six new construction projects for the Army Corps will fund flood control, navigation, and ecosystem restoration.

As we focus on modernizing infrastructure, we must also recognize that the impacts of climate change are accelerating the need to update and replace significant infrastructure. Rising sea levels and more frequent extreme weather events are increasing damage to our electric infrastructure and risks to ports and waterways.

Acting on climate change is urgent, and this bill invests in research and development of renewable and sustainable energy sources. The bill provides $2.65 billion for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to advance America’s energy strategy, which will help achieve energy independence and manage threats caused by our changing climate.

Given that the President’s budget proposed to slash this important program by 86%, this bill represents a serious commitment by Democrats to ensure a clean energy future.

The bill also includes $6.87 billion for the Office of Science and $425 million for ARPA-E to expand scientific understanding and secure our nation’s leadership in energy innovation.

Besides its domestic mission, the Department of Energy is also responsible for maintaining the safety, security, and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear deterrent and addressing the threat of nuclear proliferation and terrorism. The bill increases funds for defense nuclear non-proliferation by $145 million to help secure nuclear material.

This bill would make our country safer and reestablish American leadership in a global clean energy economy. I urge my colleagues to support it.

116th Congress