Alexander: Omnibus Includes Record Funding for Office of Science, Corps of Engineers, and Nuclear Weapons Programs

Bill also makes significant investments in supercomputing, nuclear energy research, and environmental cleanup

Posted on March 21, 2018

WASHINGTON, March 21 — Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said the Fiscal Year 2018 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill, announced today provides record funding in a regular appropriations bill for the 3rd consecutive year for the Office of Science. The legislation also includes record levels of funding for the Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Nuclear Security Administration.

“The amount of funding we provided this year demonstrates Congress’ commitment to basic energy research, building and maintaining our nation’s water infrastructure, and strengthening our national security by maintaining our nuclear weapons stockpile.” Alexander said. “This year Senator Feinstein and I did the same thing we do every year, which is we work together to get a result, set priorities and reduce wasteful spending.”

“The spending bill provides $6.26 billion for the Office of Science, which is $868 million more than last year.  Supporting government-sponsored research at our 17 national laboratories is one of the most important investments our country can make to encourage innovation, help our free enterprise system create good-paying jobs, and ensure American competitiveness in a global economy.”

Alexander continued: “I’m also glad we were able to provide a substantial amount of new funding to support supercomputing at our national labs which can be used by federal agencies to combat issues like waste, fraud, and abuse; finding terrorists and criminals; and helping the National Institutes of Health find cures and treatments for diseases.”

“This bill also provides $6.8 billion—a new record funding level in a regular appropriations bill—for the Army Corps of Engineers to maintain and rebuild our nation’s waterways. Maintaining our locks and dams is the only way for inland waterway shippers to move things like grain, steel, fertilizer and coal up and down rivers.

Alexander concluded: “This bill includes record funding levels for our nuclear weapons programs.  President Trump has said we should modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, and I agree. The bill includes $14.7 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration.”

A total of $7.1 billion is included to clean up former Cold War sites, which is $698 million more than last year. 

The legislation also rejects the budget proposal to eliminate the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) and provides $353 million to continue this agency’s important research. ARPA-E was created by the 2007 America COMPETES Act that Alexander helped write, and was signed into law by President Bush, to invest in high-impact energy technologies.

The Fiscal Year 2018 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill includes the following priorities:

  • $6.26 billion for the Office of Science, which is $868 million more than last year and a 16 percent increase in the Office of Science’s funding level over last year.
  • $810 million for Advanced Scientific Computing Research, which is an increase of $163 million over last year.
  • Provides $14.7 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration, which is a record level of funding for the agency
  • Provides $6.8 billion for the Corps of Engineers, which is a record level of funding in a regular appropriations bill
  • Spends all of the estimated Inland Waterway Trust Fund revenues and matches those dollars to fund lock and dam projects, including up to $78 million for Chickamauga Lock
  • Includes $1.4 billion for the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, for the most critical maintenance needs at our nation’s ports and harbors

A summary of the legislation is here.

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