Dems blast GOP for slashing renewable energy spending

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The Democrats also lamented the 81 percent cut to spending on the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program, which was authorized in 2007 legislation and funded under the Obama 2009 stimulus law.

ARPA-E funds so-called high-risk, high-reward research into cutting-edge, breakthrough energy technologies.

“Our economy will be at a disadvantage to capitalize on the benefits of 21st century discoveries, ceding breakthroughs in areas like clean energy to China,” Lowey said.

Kaptur argued that the cut is self-defeating for budget hawks. She argued that fixing the trade deficit with countries like China would boost employment, increase revenue and decrease entitlement spending. 

“We are just beginning to see benefits from ARPA-E. This bill would effectively end that program,” she said. 

The Energy and Water appropriations bill is the fifth to be considered by House appropriators. The House is moving bills that assume automatic sequestration cuts continue to be in effect in 2014. The GOP bills shift some of the cuts from defense into domestic discretionary spending. 

For Energy and Water, the cut is $2.814 billion less than 2013, and $4.06 billion below President Obama’s request.

Republicans on the committee say the bill is balanced and prioritizes nuclear weapons security. They have urged the White House and Congressional leaders to come up with a deal cutting entitlement spending in order to reverse the sequester law.

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