FYI: The AIP Bulletin of Science Policy News

House FY 2010 Department of Energy Funding Bill

Richard M. Jones
Number 83 - June 30, 2009  |  Search FYI  |   FYI Archives  |   Subscribe to FYI

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The House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee has completed work on its version of the FY 2010 funding bill, and sent it to the full Appropriations Committee for its scheduled consideration on July 7. At that time, the report accompanying this bill will be released. The legislation will go to the full House on July 15, with two days of anticipated debate.

The House leadership wants to gets its versions of the twelve FY 2010 appropriations bills finished by the start of the August recess. Disagreements between the political parties about the funding levels in these bills and the process under which they are being considered have led to complaints on both sides of the aisle. The rules of the House make it more likely that the House will meet its target date. The Senate is a different matter, and no one is predicting that all of the appropriations bills will be enacted by the October 1 start of FY 2010.

The price tag for the House FY 2010 Energy and Water Development bill is up less than 1 percent over this year’s appropriation (not including the economic stimulus money), and is $1.1 billion below the Administration’s request. FY 2010 funding for the Department of Energy would be slightly less than it is now.

Although the committee report with detailed funding and policy recommendations has not been released, the subcommittee has issued two documents that broadly outline its funding and policy recommendations. Figures and selections from these documents follow:

Office of Science:

The FY 2009 appropriation was $4,773.0 million
The FY 2010 request is $4,942.0 million, an increase of $169.0 million or 3.5 percent.
The subcommittee bill recommends $4,944.0 million, an increase of 3.6 percent or $171.0 million.

A statement by Rep. Edward Pastor (D-AZ), who was responsible for the drafting of the bill notes:

“The bill fully funds the authorization of the America COMPETES Act through fiscal year 2010, to help the United States continue its global leadership in many areas of science, and attain leadership in others to help solve the world’s energy and scientific challenges. It adds $20 million to the Fusion Energy Sciences Program, taking the United States a step closer to the goal of large-scale clean energy independent of weather and foreign sources.”

Weapons Activities:

The FY 2009 appropriation was $6,380.0 million
The FY 2010 request is $6,384.0 million, an increase of $4.0 million or 0.1 percent.
The subcommittee bill recommends $6,320.0 million, a cut of 0.9 percent or $60.0 million.

The statement explains:

“Preventing the threat posed by nuclear weapons is a task not only for Nuclear Nonproliferation, but for Nuclear Weapons Activities as well. Accordingly, the bill increases the weapons dismantlement rate by more than 40% from the request. It also increases $40 million from the request for safeguards and security throughout the nuclear complex.

“The Committee recommends $6.3 billion, a decrease of $64 million from the request. It does not fund the Administration’s request for the B61-12 nuclear bomb, because the Executive Branch has yet to meet the requirement for nuclear strategy, stockpile, and complex plans that we first directed in fiscal year 2008.”

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
rjones@aip.org
301-209-3095