Week ahead: Energy budget in the spotlight

Week ahead: Energy budget in the spotlight
© Greg Nash

Energy and environment officials will be on the hot seat in the coming week as lawmakers examine President TrumpDonald TrumpStowaway found in landing gear of plane after flight from Guatemala to Miami Kushner looking to Middle East for investors in new firm: report GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips MORE's fiscal 2019 budget request.

It'll be the second week of hearings following three with Energy Secretary Rick PerryRick PerryRepublicans eager to take on Spanberger in Virginia Republicans are the 21st-century Know-Nothing Party College football move rocks Texas legislature MORE and Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeWatchdog: Trump official boosted former employer in Interior committee membership Overnight Energy & Environment — Biden makes return to pre-Trump national monument boundaries official Want to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump MORE.

The pair were grilled not only on Trump's proposed cuts to their departments but on a host of controversial policies. Zinke found himself on the defensive over Interior's elephant trophy hunting policies.

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Perry is returning to Capitol Hill for a Tuesday hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on his budget request. The Trump administration is seeking to slightly increase the department's budget to $30.6 billion, but that figure includes big cuts to some civilian programs, like the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy.

The remaining budget hearings for the week feature non-Cabinet officials.

House Appropriations Committee subpanels will be examining the budget requests for the Energy Department's National Nuclear Security Administration, the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the applied energy programs at the Energy Department. 

Meanwhile, subcommittees of the House Natural Resources Committee will turn their focus to the Interior Department's American Indian and insular affairs programs and the Bureau of Reclamation and the federally-owned power administrations in two separate hearings.

The House Energy and Commerce's subcommittees on the environment and on the energy planning a Tuesday hearing on the budget of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

In case all of the budget action isn't enough, Friday is also the deadline for Congress to pass spending legislation and avoid another government shutdown.

Lawmakers are closer this time than they have been in the run-ups to previous deadlines, but there are no guarantees.

The final bills are likely to reject many of the big cuts Trump proposed to government programs last year.

Because the spending bill is also the last major piece of legislation likely to pass before the midterms, lawmakers are scrambling to throw in other measures.

The bill could include some important policy provisions, like a measure making it easier for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to repeal the Obama administration's Clean Water Rule, or one changing the EPA's 2015 ozone regulation.

Elsewhere on Capitol Hill, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Wednesday. 

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will meet Thursday to discuss three bills related to water infrastructure and droughts.

The House Natural Resources Committee will vote Wednesday on four bills related to land management, national parks and fishing

 

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