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Congress is set to pass a budget doubling down on a years-long trend of increasing clean-energy funding, despite President Trump's repeated attempts to cut spending.

Driving the news: The spending bill the House passed on Tuesday would increase energy research spending nearly 14% compared to this year’s levels and more than 50% compared to 2014.

Why it matters: Federal research and development is a key part of scaling up and making affordable technologies needed to cut greenhouse gas emissions, such as advanced nuclear power and new innovations with solar and wind energy.

The big picture: Democrats, most environmentalists and more and more companies are calling for sweeping government policies, such as prices on carbon dioxide emissions or mandates requiring 100% carbon-free energy. But as debate on those fronts stalls over deep partisan divides, lawmakers — led by Republicans in recent years — have agreed on ramping up research spending.

What they’re saying: The ClearPath Foundation, a conservative clean-energy nonprofit that put together the below budget numbers for Axios, maintains that those big policies aren’t politically feasible. That’s a position shared by many congressional Republicans who are worried about higher energy prices and blowback from far-right advocacy groups.

  • “We think the route is to make clean energy cheaper, not traditional energy more expensive,” said Rich Powell, ClearPath’s executive director.
Expand chart
Data: Congressional Record via ClearPath Foundation; Chart: Axios Visuals

By the numbers: The accompanying chart shows how five key areas within the Energy Department focusing on energy research saw increases since fiscal year 2014, according to federal data compiled by ClearPath.

  • The fiscal year 2020 budget includes a total of $5.5 billion for these areas. This excludes the office of science, which has a far larger budget than these others, but isn’t necessarily focused on energy innovation.
  • Combined, these five areas saw an increase of 51%, or $1.86 billion, between fiscal years 2014 and 2020.
  • Energy storage technology, within the electricity office, saw the biggest percent increase, but has the smallest budget ($56 million in the latest budget). This chart includes just energy storage, given the overall electricity office has a broader focus and could include the Energy Department’s failed efforts in 2017 to bail out economically struggling coal and nuclear plants.
  • From an absolute numbers perspective, the biggest budgets are for the offices of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy ($2.79 billion in fiscal year 2020) and Nuclear Energy ($1.5 billion).

Flashback: Congress has passed these increases despite the Trump administration's budget proposals that regularly suggest slashing spending — and sometimes eliminate certain energy research projects altogether.

Yes, but: R&D spending is just one part of a policy agenda pushing clean energy. In other areas, Congress was less supportive. Lawmakers are unlikely to extend several tax incentives for certain technologies, including storage and solar.

What we’re watching: Democratic presidential candidates are calling for far greater federal funding in clean energy, which will largely mean the Energy Department. Joe Biden’s climate plan, for example, includes an estimated $40 billion a year in such investments.

Go deeper: Why clean energy isn’t enough to tackle climate change

Go deeper

20 mins ago - Health

Treasury begins dispersing $350 billion in COVID relief funding to states and localities

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. Treasury on Monday began giving state and local governments access to $350 billion in emergency funding from the American Rescue Plan, the department announced Monday.

Why it matters: Though the money is aimed at helping state, local, territorial and tribal governments recover from the pandemic's economic fallout, the administration will generally give them wide latitude on how they can use the funds.

Game developers break silence around salaries

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Developers are sharing their salaries on Twitter under the hashtag #GameDevPaidMe to encourage pay transparency in their industry.

The big picture: The hashtag started circulating last year, but has returned periodically as developers fight for better working conditions. Salary sharing is a way to equalize the field. By removing the secrecy, as well as the stigma, around discussing pay, workers have more power to advocate for themselves when negotiating salaries and raises.

47 mins ago - World

Jerusalem crisis: Hamas fires rockets, Israel begins military campaign

Palestinian protesters and an Israeli police officer near the Damascus Gate. Photo: Amir Levy/Getty Images

Days of tensions in Jerusalem escalated into an exchange of fire on Monday, as Hamas fired dozens of rockets toward Israel and the Israeli military responded with strikes of its own and said it was preparing for a military operation that could last several days.

Why it matters: This is the first time Hamas has fired rockets at Jerusalem since 2014, and the most serious escalation between the Israelis and Palestinians in many months. It comes during the most sensitive days on the calendar — the last days of Ramadan and the Jerusalem Day commemoration on Monday — and amid political crises in both countries.