The U.S. House today approved H.R. 2354, the fiscal year 2012 Energy, Water, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The legislation provides the annual funding for the various agencies and programs under the Department of Energy, including the National Nuclear Security Administration, as well as the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and various regional water and power authorities.
The legislation totals $30.6 billion -- a cut of $5.9 billion below the President's request and $1 billion below last year -- which brings the total cost of the bill to nearly the 2006 funding level. In addition, the bill provides over $1 billion dollars in emergency funding for the Corps of Engineers to address recent Mississippi River and Missouri River flood disasters. The funding will be used for flood fighting activities and restoration of flood prevention and navigation systems.
House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers applauded the House for passing the bill:
"This bill is proof that we can make common-sense spending reductions without damaging or impairing the programs that help keep our country safe and our citizens at work. While providing vital funding for programs that preserve our public safety, quality of life, economic competitiveness, energy independence and national defense, this bill abides by the promise that we would cut spending where we can to get our budgets back into balance and keep us on track toward economic recovery," Chairman Rogers said.
Energy and Water Development Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen also welcomed House passage:
"The House should be proud of this bill, which protects our national security and American competitiveness and innovation and sharpens oversight of the Department of Energy and the agencies under our jurisdiction. And recognizing the fiscal crisis facing our country, the bill restores funding to levels not seen since 2006, making it a model of restraint," Frelinghuysen said. "I also commend the House Leadership for returning to regular order. This week's open and free-wheeling debate reflects well on this House."