House panel advances $46 billion energy bill, defying Trump

House panel advances $46 billion energy bill, defying Trump
© Greg Nash
The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday advanced a $46.4 billion spending bill covering energy and water programs, defying requests from President TrumpDonald John TrumpMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Trump camp considering White House South Lawn for convention speech: reports Longtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary MORE to slash spending.
 
The bill was approved by the Democratic-led panel in a mostly party-line 31-21 vote.
 
“This bill rejects the President’s drastic and short-sighted proposed cuts to key energy and water programs, including a 12% decrease to the Department of Energy, a 31% decrease to the Army Corps of Engineers, and a 28% decrease to the Bureau of Reclamation,” said Rep. Marcy KapturMarcia (Marcy) Carolyn KapturEye on gavel, Wasserman Schultz proposes panel on racial inequality in spending Overnight Defense: Army now willing to rename bases named after Confederates | Dems demand answers on 'unfathomable' nuke testing discussions | Pentagon confirms death of north African al Qaeda leader Top Democrats demand answers on Trump administration's 'unfathomable' consideration of nuclear testing MORE (D-Ohio), who chairs the Subcommittee on Energy and Water.
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The bill, for example, upped spending on advanced energy research through ARPA-E, a program Trump wanted to eliminate completely, by $59 million.
 
It also included a $665.7 million increase for the National Nuclear Security Administration under the Department of Energy, which largely went toward nuclear weapons.
 
Republicans on the committee voiced concern that the bill did not spend enough on the nation's nuclear program, that it did not fund the nuclear repository at the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada, and that it was rushing ahead before final spending caps had been agreed upon.
 
“While the bill includes resources to strengthen our energy and water infrastructure, it does so at unsustainable funding levels, and we do not yet have agreement by Republicans and Democrats in the House, the Senate, and the White House on a budget framework," said Rep. Kay GrangerNorvell (Kay) Kay GrangerHelping our seniors before it's too late House approves .3 trillion spending package for 2021 GOP lawmakers comply with Pelosi's mask mandate for House floor MORE (R-Texas), the full committee's ranking member. 
 
Leaders from both parties and both chambers met on Tuesday to hammer out a budget caps deal, and said significant progress had been made, though they failed to agree on a final deal.