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House Approps approves energy-water spending bill

Jun 22, 2023
House Appropriations Committee sign

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

House appropriators have approved deep cuts to energy programs, an opening bid in the coming spending fight with the Democratic Senate.

Why it matters: House Republicans want to spend below what negotiators agreed to in the debt ceiling deal and include policy riders that could stall out negotiations with the Senate.

  • It could lead to lower numbers for energy and climate programs — and a struggle to keep the government open come September.

Driving the news: The fiscal 2024 energy and water development spending bill, approved by the full House Appropriations Committee today in a 34-24 vote, would rescind $5 billion in Inflation Reduction Act spending and slash Department of Energy programs.

  • The Energy Department would get $48.88 billion overall, a slight boost over fiscal 2023, mostly for defense and nuclear weapons-related programs.
  • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy programs, however, would get cut to under $3 billion — below even fiscal 2022 levels and nearly a half billion dollars under current spending.

Zoom in: ARPA-E, a perennially popular program, would stay at fiscal 2023 levels with $470 million. The Trump administration tried to eliminate it.

  • Other DOE R&D programs would see flat funding or trims, including the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations, which would get its budget more than halved to just $35 million.
  • The Interior Department's water-related programs would get a modest trim to $1.86 billion, per a summary from the GOP.
  • The committee approved a number of amendments, including a proposal to halt DOE's gas stove efficiency rules.
  • Two other amendments approved by voice vote would aim to stop DOE grant money from going to Chinese companies.

Of note: This is but one area where House Republicans are looking to cut energy and climate-related programs.

  • In the agriculture spending bill, for instance, they’re looking to reduce funding for the Rural Energy for America Program by $500 million, per E&E News.
  • Plus, they’ve included red meat riders banning agencies from promoting critical race theory or implementing diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
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