House Passes FY15 Energy and Water Bill

National Waterways Conference News Alert
11 July 2014

After two days of sometimes contentious debate, amid the threat of a Presidential veto, the House of Representatives passed its FY 15 energy and water spending bill. The $34 billion measure to fund the Department of Energy, the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation passed by a vote of 253-170.

The bill would fund the Corps’ civil works program at about $5.5 billion, with roughly $115 million in investigations, $1.7 billion in construction, $260 million for the Mississippi River and Tributaries, $2.9 billion for operation and maintenance, $200 million for regulatory and $2 million for the Assistant Secretary’s office.   

The Bureau of Reclamation’s water and related resources account would receive $860 million.

Numerous amendments were adopted to increase the civil works funding level, including two to increase the construction account by $500,000 and $1,000,000, intended to support, respectively, small flood control projects and reduce the construction backlog.  In addition, the O&M account was increased by $57.6 million on an amendment by Rep. Hahn (D-CA) intended to bolster the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund which garnered 281 votes in support.             

A pair of successful amendments by Rep. Luetkemeyer (R-MO) prohibit funding for the Missouri River Authorized Purposes Study and for an environmental study under the Missouri River Fish and Wildlife Recovery Program. 

Another amendment drawing the ire of the Administration prohibits funding for the President’s climate change agenda, including a report on the social cost of carbon.

The Bureau of Reclamation’s Water and Related Resources account was increased by $10 million on an amendment by Rep. Noem (R-SD).           

A full list of the amendments that were adopted is attached for your reference.

Senate action on its version of the energy and water bill remains uncertain.  That bill was yanked from consideration last month amid concerns about amendments, and it appears stalled indefinitely.  It appears all but certain that a continuing resolution will fund the government when the fiscal year begins October 1, at least until after the November elections.     

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