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Senate panel advances $35.4B bill funding energy, water programs

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday advanced a $35.5 billion bill funding energy and water programs for fiscal 2016, which begins Oct. 1.

The bill provides $1.2 billion above current levels, but $666 million less than what President Obama’s requested.

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The Army Corps of Engineers, which funds the nation’s water infrastructure, would receive $5.5 billion. Energy efficiency programs would receive nearly $2 billion. Science research efforts would receive $5.1 billion. Environmental cleanup efforts would get $6 billion. Nonproliferation and nuclear weapons programs would get $12.3 billion. The Bureau of Reclamation, which funds water supply projects, would receive $1.1 billion.

The bill doesn’t contain funding for a nuclear waste depository on Nevada’s Yucca Mountain. Republicans have wanted to fund the project, while the Nevada delegation and President Obama oppose the project.

Sen. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenGOP sees immigration as path to regain power The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults now eligible for COVID vaccines The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - All US adults can get vaccine; decision Friday on J&J vax MORE (R-N.D.) offered an amendment that would defund a pending Environmental Protection Agency rule that would redefine which bodies of water are covered under the Clean Water Act. Hoeven quickly withdrew the proposal, after Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderThe Republicans' deep dive into nativism Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation - CDC news on gatherings a step toward normality MORE (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, warned it could kill the bill. Hoeven appeared intent on proposing it at another point during the appropriations process.

The House approved its version of the bill earlier this month in a 240-177 vote. The White House has threatened to veto that measure.