Conaway Supports Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act
Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX) offered the following comments after the house approved the FY 13 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill, H.R. 5325.
The legislation would provide $32.1 billion for the Energy Department, Army Corps of Engineers and federal water projects for fiscal 2013. This represents a cut to non-security spending of $187.5 million below last year’s level and a $275 million increase to critical security spending, consistent with the House-passed budget.
“Today’s Energy and Water Appropriations bill makes a big step forward in the House Republican’s efforts to shrink the unnecessary obligations of government and refocus our limited federal resources on the programs that we need,” said Rep Conaway.
“In addition, this bill ends loan guarantees like the one that lost over $500 billion of taxpayer funds to the now defunct Solyndra.
“Overspending has pushed our economy to the precipice of fiscal catastrophe and nothing short of a legislative about-face will save us. Over the next month, the House will continue to pass appropriations bills that reduce the size of government and get it out of the way of hard working Americans trying to create jobs.”
Department of Energy (DOE) - Funding for DOE within the legislation totals $26.3 billion – a cut of $365 million below last year’s level and $1.8 billion below the President’s request. Within this funding, priority was given to programs that support economic competitiveness, reduce the volatility of gasoline prices, and strengthen the nation’s security.
Army Corps of Engineers – The Army Corps of Engineers is funded at $4.8 billion. There are no congressionally earmarked projects within this bill.
The legislation advances American competitiveness and export ability by providing more than $1.89 billion for navigation projects and studies, including $1 billion in funding from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, to help increase commerce through the nation’s ports and other waterways. The bill also promotes public health and safety by funding flood risk management activities at $1.45 billion – including $451 million for critical dam safety improvements.
The bill does not fund all of the presidentially requested projects for the Army Corps, instead focusing funding on navigation and flood control activities that will have a more immediate impact on job creation and the economy. Due to the large number of ongoing Corps projects, the bill provides $324 million for essential flood control and navigation projects to be prioritized by the Corps. This additional flexibility will help address critical navigation and flood control needs across the country, while improving Administration transparency and maintaining Congressional authority over budget decisions.
Bureau of Reclamation - The legislation contains $988 million – $89 million below last year’s level and $47 million below the President’s request – for the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Reclamation. This funding is intended to help manage, develop, and protect the water resources of the western states.