Morning Briefing - May 15, 2019
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May 15, 2019

House Appropriations Plan Restores DOE Cleanup Budget to $7.2B

By ExchangeMonitor

The House Appropriations Committee’s initial fiscal 2020 funding bill for energy and water development operations would sustain funding for the Energy Department’s nuclear cleanup office at nearly $7.2 billion.

While even with current funding, that would be $706 million more than the Trump administration proposed in March for DOE’s Office of Environmental Management.

The White House recommended nearly $6.5 billion for the budget year starting Oct. 1, including hefty cuts for the two DOE offices at the Hanford Site in Washington state. The bill and press release Tuesday from the House Appropriations energy and water subcommittee do not include specific funding levels for the department’s 16 nuclear cleanup sites.

In an announcement Tuesday, House Appropriations said the bill has almost $6 billion for defense environmental cleanup, which is essentially flat with the 2019 enacted level but $487 million above the DOE request. Nondefense environmental cleanup would get $308 million, again roughly equal to 2019 but $61 million more than the administration wanted.

Under the appropriations bill, the Uranium Enrichment Decontamination and Decommissioning Fund would receive $873 million. That would be $32 million above the fiscal 2019 level and $158 million more than the administration’s $715 million request.

Altogether, DOE would receive $37.1 billion under the House Appropriations subcommittee proposal, up $1.4 billion from fiscal 2019 and $5.6 billion above the administration request.

“This bill rejects the President’s drastic, short-sighted cuts across the Department of Energy” and other key agencies, said House Appropriations energy and water development subcommittee Chair Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) in the press release. The subcommittee is scheduled to mark up the bill at noon Eastern time today.