House rejects significant cuts to energy and water bill

In a 129-292 vote, members rejected a proposal from Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) that would have cut the Department of Energy and all other spending in the bill by 5 percent, saving $1.5 billion. Members also rejected Blackburn's proposal to cut 1 percent across the board in a 150-272 vote.

Members also rejected two proposals from Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) to cut funding from the Energy Department's advanced research funding program, and to cut several hundred million dollars from fossil energy R&D. Those amendments failed 81-341 and 68-353, respectively.

The rejection of Flake's latter amendment on fossil energy R&D was especially notable, as Flake on Thursday argued that supporting his amendment is a good way for Democrats to vote against subsidies to big oil companies. Nonetheless, just 22 Democrats voted for it and 163 voted against it.

Two amendments from Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) were also rejected; Broun has offered numerous proposals to cut spending further throughout the year, most of which have been turned down.

Broun's proposal to cut all funding for energy efficiency and renewable energy R&D was rejected 69-354, and his proposal to cut all funding for vehicle technologies R&D was voted down 90-332.

The House even rejected an amendment prohibiting funds in the bill for use in maintaining the kids section of the Department of Energy's website. This amendment, from Rep. Sandy Adams (R-Fla.), was rejected in a 181-233 vote over objections from every Democrat and a few dozen Republicans.

Adams mocked the website Thursday night, saying it was comprised of sudoku puzzles and other basic content and therefore has no reason to be maintained given the budget crisis.

With these and other amendment votes, the House was expected to pass the spending bill by early Friday afternoon. Friday vote results from other amendments follow:

Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), prohibit use of $2 million for international activities at the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy of the Department of Energy in China; accepted by voice vote.

Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), prohibit use of any funds in violation of the executive order, "Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations"; accepted by voice vote.

Tom Cole (R-Okla.), prohibit the use funds for implementation of any rule requiring contractors to disclose political contributions; accepted 249-169.

Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), reduce $16 million in fossil R&D and move to solar energy R&D; failed 158-264.

Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), prohibit the use of funds to implement Bacon-Davis prevailing wage rules; failed 183-238.

Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), transfer $10 million from administration to solar energy R&D; accepted 212-210.

Lois Capps (D-Calif.), prohibit funds for use by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to issue an impact statement for Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plants; failed 152-269.

Steve Scalise (R-La.), transfer $1 million from Corps of Engineers Expenses to Corps of Engineers Construction; accepted 271-148.

Jeff Landry (R-La.), prohibit funding for salaries of recess-appointed officials; accepted 227-193.

Andy Harris (R-Md.), prohibit use of funds for the International Program in the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy account, saving $6 million; accepted 236-185.

Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), prohibit use of funds for loan guarantees to do research on carbon capture and sequestration technology; failed 68-351.

-- This story was updated Monday at 4:13 p.m. to correct details related to the Hastings amendment.

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