Fleischmann Remarks at FY24 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill Markup
Welcome to the subcommittee markup of the Fiscal Year 2024 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies appropriations bill. I am pleased to be joined by Subcommittee Ranking Member Marcy Kaptur, Full Committee Chairwoman Kay Granger, and Full Committee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro.
The Energy and Water bill is critical for our national security, our energy security, and our economic competitiveness. The recommendation totals $57.958 billion, an increase of $1.256 billion above Fiscal Year 2023 and a reduction of $1.963 billion below the President’s Budget Request.
The defense allocation is $32.513 billion, an increase of $1.113 billion above last year.
The effective non-defense allocation is $25.455 billion, an increase of $143 million above Fiscal Year 2023 and a reduction of $1.63 billion below the President’s Budget Request. The non-defense spending is composed of the 302(b) allocation of $19.865 billion and the reprioritization of $5.58 billion in unobligated funds from the Inflation Reduction Act.
The highest priority of the federal government is to provide for the national defense. The nation’s defense against all adversaries, including China and Russia, rests on a strong nuclear deterrent. Therefore, the bill includes $24 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).
Within that, the bill fully funds all major weapons and infrastructure modernization activities, including the W-93 warhead, the nuclear Sea-Launched Cruise Missile, the B83-1 gravity bomb, and the restart of plutonium pit production capability. NNSA funding also supports Naval Reactors and Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation.
The recommendation includes report language to help the NNSA improve its program and project management to ensure the funds provided are used efficiently and effectively.
We continue our commitment to the remediation of contaminated sites by funding Defense Environmental Cleanup at $7.07 billion, an increase above Fiscal Year 2023.
The bill also advances our nation’s energy security.
Remaining a leader in nuclear energy technologies will ensure reliable energy here at home and will help allies around the globe. The recommendation includes $1.78 billion for the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy base program. It also redirects a total of $3.6 billion in previously appropriated funds to higher priorities. Specifically:
- $2.4 billion to develop a domestic capability for producing low-enriched uranium, including high-assay low-enriched uranium that will be necessary for upcoming advanced reactors; and
- $1.2 billion to support the ongoing advanced small modular reactor demonstration project.
The bill provides more than $200 million for the full spectrum of critical minerals production technologies. These investments will lay the foundation to reduce our reliance on foreign sources and, instead, make use of our vast domestic resources and bring production capabilities back to America.
This Energy and Water bill also strengthens our economic competitiveness.
The Army Corps of Engineers is funded at $9.57 billion, including full funding of Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund activities and ongoing Inland Waterways Trust Fund construction projects to ensure goods can be moved safely to and from global markets.
Funding for the Bureau of Reclamation totals $1.8 billion, which is $390 million above the President’s Budget Request, and prioritizes projects that increase water supply and support drought response.
For both the Corps and Reclamation, Members again were able to influence funding priorities by making Community Project Funding requests. This year, the bill includes a total of $944.5 million for these projects.
The bill continues strong funding for the DOE Office of Science, including fusion energy science, to enhance America’s role as the global leader of scientific discovery and to lay the foundation for future scientific breakthroughs.
Unfortunately, our economic competitiveness is threatened by inflation. The bill addresses some of the causes of inflation by rescinding more than $5.5 billion in excess spending from prior years, reprioritizing new funding to programs that can truly use it, and countering Biden Administration rulemakings that would stifle the private sector and exacerbate inflation, such as the WOTUS rule and onerous new standards for distribution transformers.
In closing, I would note that this subcommittee received almost 5,000 Member requests, including requests for programmatic funding levels, Community Project Funding, and bill and report language. Each request was carefully reviewed, and we worked hard to accommodate Member requests from both sides of the aisle as much as possible within the overall priorities of the bill. I would like to thank the staff on both sides of the aisle for their hard work throughout this process.
Now I’d like to turn to my Ranking Member, Ms. Kaptur, for her opening remarks.