DOE Appropriations Bill Passes House Floor

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Publication date: 
14 July 1995
Number: 
100

On July 12, the House voted to pass H.R. 1905, the Energy and Water
Development Appropriations bill for FY 1996.  This bill provides
funding for the Department of Energy, the Bureau of Reclamation,
the Corps of Engineers, and other programs.

In the portion of the bill relating to DOE, very few changes were
made on the House floor to the version passed by the House
Appropriations Committee on June 20.  The Appropriations Committee
provided a total of $14.76 billion for DOE, 11.3 percent less than
the request of $16.63 billion, and 6.0 percent less than current FY
1995 funding of $15.70 billion.  As reported in FYIs #85 and 86,
the committee report makes the following recommendations (unchanged
by the House floor vote):

       

   FY1996 FY1996 House
                         Approp.             Request        Bill
       
Fusion                   $368.4 (millions)   366.1          229.1
Basic Energy Sciences     733.9              811.5          792.7
Materials Sciences        272.3              348.3          368.4
High Energy Physics       642.1              685.6          677
Nuclear Physics           331.5              321.1          304.5

Within High Energy Physics, the bill provides $6 million to start
preparations for working with the Europeans on the Large Hadron
Collider (LHC). 

Three amendments were passed on the House floor that affect DOE
science funding.  Rep. Mike Ward (D-KY) offered an amendment to
strike committee report language that earmarked $1.0 million within
DOE's Energy Supply, Research and Development Activities for
"research on the potential energy applications of
sonoluminescence."  The amendment passed 276-141, deleting the
earmark for sonoluminescence.

Rep. Scott Klug (R-WI) succeeded in passing two amendments: one
that attempts to terminate the Gas Turbine Modular Helium Reactor
program, and one to restore $45 million for the Solar Technology
Transfer program.

Among amendments that were rejected, Rep. Harold Volkmer (D-MO)
offered one to eliminate $8.0 million designated for conceptual
design of the spallation neutron source, to be built at Oak Ridge
as a less-expensive replacement for the Advanced Neutron Source.
This amendment failed, 148-275.

Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) was expected to offer an amendment
cutting funding for DOE general science and energy research.
However, Andrews was reportedly absent and did not offer the
amendment.

The Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water
Development, John Myers (R-IN), in describing the bill on the House
floor, said:  "The bill effects serious reductions throughout the
Department of Energy.  Unneeded bureaucracy is cut from the budget,
while essential and necessary activities of the Federal Government
are preserved.  General science and research activities are
preserved within funding constraints, while applied research and
commercialization activities- especially those for which private
industry investment is more appropriate- are eliminated or
dramatically reduced....  The appropriation for general science is
$991 million, a $7 million increase over last year's level."

House Science Committee Chairman Robert Walker (R-PA) supported the
bill, stating, "The gentleman from Indiana [Mr. Myers] has, to the
extent possible within his subcommittee's 602(b) allocation,
tracked the energy research and development priorities of the
Committee on Science as outlined in the authorization bills....
This is a bill that does a lot in terms of basic energy sciences
and in high energy and nuclear physics science.  What we have here
is a commitment to the idea that we ought to be doing basic
research in this country, that there is an underlying need to
develop those new knowledge bases that this country will depend
upon in years ahead."

This bill will now abe considered by the Senate Energy and Water
Development Appropriations Subcommittee.

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