House GOP releases first 2013 spending bill

The Energy and Water bill is one of the less controversial of the 12 bills, however. It contains a 0.3 percent increase from 2012 of $88 million. This represents a cut of $965 million below President Obama’s budget request.

Larger cuts are expected to come later in the year in the Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services and Department of State funding bills.

The office of House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said the bill reflects the GOP’s focus on addressing high gas prices and protecting nuclear facilities from attack.

The bill includes $207 million above last year’s level for fossil energy technologies and creates a new $25 million shale oil program.

The bill increases funding for nuclear security by $275 million increase from 2012. 

As in previous years, the bill provides $25 million in funding for Yucca Mountain nuclear waste activities despite the fact the Obama administration has abandoned plans to store high-level nuclear waste there. 

Ranking member Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) said the allocation for Energy was “decent” but warned deeper cuts will be coming in the remaining bills.

“"Despite the dangerously low overall allocation, Republicans fund the Energy and Water bill above last year’s level and within the range of what would have been expected if Republicans had stuck to the agreement they voted for in the [Budget Control Act,” he said. “This subcommittee's relatively decent allocation raises serious concerns about what funding levels will be assigned to the remaining bills.”

Dicks also said that some priorities such as energy efficiency, which gets a $374 million cut, are underfunded.