Morning Briefing - May 13, 2019
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May 13, 2019

House Panel to Mark Up DOE 2020 Budget Wednesday

By ExchangeMonitor

The House Appropriations energy and water development subcommittee is scheduled Wednesday to mark up a $46.5 billion spending bill that will include the panel’s proposed fiscal 2020 budget for the Department of Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

In a subcommittee markup, appropriators typically reveal only a summary of their proposed bill before voting to send the measure along to the full Appropriations Committee. Lawmakers often will not release all the details of their planned budget until the full committee markup, which was not scheduled at deadline for Weapons Complex Morning Briefing.

The 2020 Energy and Water Development appropriations bill will contain about 4% more funding than the $44.5 billion Congress approved for DOE and other federal agencies in the 2019 fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.

The Energy Department, with its active nuclear weapons, legacy nuclear-weapon cleanup, and civilian radioactive waste programs, accounts for most of the annual Energy and Water Development spending bill — 75% of the total in 2019.

For 2020, the Donald Trump administration asked Congress to cut DOE’s budget by 10% year over year to about $31.5 billion. The White House seeks an 8% annual increase, to $16.5 billion, for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) nuclear weapons portfolio, to be paid for by cuts elsewhere in the agency.

For the Environmental Management office’s national portfolio of nuclear remediation programs, the administration requested a 10% cut to less than $6.5 billion for 2020. Within DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy, the White House is seeking $116 million to prepare the agency’s application with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to license Yucca Mountain in Nye County, Nev., as a permanent repository for civilian- and defense-nuclear waste.

For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission itself, the White House seeks about $920 million. That would be down about $10 million from the current appropriation.

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), chair of the House Appropriations energy and water subcommittee, did not embrace these proposals in April budget hearings with Energy Secretary Rick Perry and the leadership of the National Nuclear Security Administration.