Fleischmann Remarks at Rules Committee Hearing on H.R. 4394, The Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act

Oct 2, 2023

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to present to the Committee the Fiscal Year 2024 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.

Mr. Chairman, before I review the bill, I’d like to thank you, Ranking Member McGovern, and other Members of the Committee for all the hard work you do to ensure a fair and orderly process. I’d also like to thank Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Granger and Ranking Member DeLauro for their leadership on this bill. I’d like to especially thank my Ranking Member, Ms. Kaptur, for being a tremendous partner throughout this year’s process.

The Subcommittee received almost 5,000 Member requests and worked hard to be as accommodating as possible within the overall priorities of the bill.

The Energy and Water bill advances our national security, our energy security, and our economic competitiveness in a fiscally responsible manner. It totals just under $58 billion, an increase of $1.3 billion above Fiscal Year 2023 and a reduction of $2 billion below the President’s Budget Request.

Of that total, $32.5 billion is for defense-related programs, an increase of $1.1 billion above last year. Specifically, the bill includes $24 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration to ensure we maintain a strong nuclear deterrent in an ever-changing and increasingly dangerous geopolitical environment. The bill fully funds all major weapons and infrastructure modernization activities, supports our nuclear naval fleet, and supports nuclear nonproliferation efforts here and around the globe.

The bill has an effective non-defense total of $25.5 billion, an increase of $143 million above Fiscal Year 2023 and a reduction of $1.6 billion below the President’s Budget Request.

At the Department of Energy, funding priorities include continued strong funding for:

  • Nuclear Energy, including domestic uranium enrichment capabilities and small modular reactors;
  • the Office of Science, including fusion energy sciences; and
  • the full spectrum of production technologies to reduce our reliance on foreign sources of critical minerals.

Programs that have significant amounts of previously appropriated but still unspent funds generally receive less new funding.

On the water side of the bill, 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. These investments will help ensure goods can be moved safely to and from global markets.

Funding for the Bureau of Reclamation totals $1.8 billion and prioritizes projects that increase water supply and support drought resilience.

Finally, 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 $945 million for these projects.

Thank you for your time and attention. I respectfully ask for a rule that provides for orderly consideration of this bill.