Energy & Water Appropriations
In the midst of Appropriation season, the President, in a rare move, provided Congress with a ‘revised budget’ which included funding for both the Great Lakes and the Florida Everglades under the original budget proposed by the Administration.
Everglades: Trump had originally requested $63 million – New Figure $200 million
Great Lakes: Trump had originally requested $30 million – New Figure $300 million
Today the House Appropriations Committee is marking up the FY20 Energy & Water bill, with Interior-EPA getting marked-up Wednesday. Both bills are expected to see floor time in June. Below is a table from the House draft report which shows the Committee’s funding levels in the right-hand column, the President’s request in the middle, and the current year’s allocation on the left:
House E&W Draft Bill Figures
The package is a total of $46.4 billion, $2.5285 billion above the budget request, with $135,000,000 for Investigations, 6 new study starts; $2,337,000,000 for construction, 6 new construction starts; $3,923,000,000 for O&M and $37,500,000 for Flood Control & Coastal Emergencies. The language intends to make the greatest use of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund and the Inland Waterways Trust Fund.
Good news: The coastal programs we are tracking show are consistent with the prior year or show increases in federal spending, with the ever-more important Planning Assistance to States program taking home $9 million (the same as FY19 enacted), compared to the President’s request of $5 million. Other programs such as CODS (Coastal Ocean Data System) and the CIRP (Coastal Inlet Research Program) are slated to receive more than ever before. The beneficial use (CAP 204) program got doubled to $20 million.
Schedule: The House Appropriations Committee markup of the Defense and Energy-Water bills is Tuesday, May 21, at 10:30 a.m. in 2359 Rayburn.
Schedule: The House Appropriations Committee markup of the Interior-EPA and Commerce-Justice-Science bills is Wednesday, May 22, at 10:30 a.m. in 2359 Rayburn.
With Hurricane Season only days away, advocates are urging lawmakers to support improvements to weather forecasting. With our climate changing so quickly, models that scientists have developed in the past are useful mostly for considerations or ‘what-ifs’ as predictive-models still struggle to predict future conditions. Take away? Climate change is a moving target, and there are costs associated with tracking it.
Congress is eyeing the previous Disaster Reform bill, The Disaster Recovery Reform Act, which makes up to 6% of FEMA’s disaster relief fund available for pre-disaster mitigation.
Schedule: The hearing is Wednesday, May 22, at 2 p.m. in 2167 Rayburn.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has told reporters that he will not let his members go home for the weeklong Memorial Day recess until a vote has been held on a supplemental disaster aid bill.
Alternative Finance - A bill has been introduce to provide for the issuance of Green Bonds and to establish the United States Green Bank.
Stay tuned for details about a Coastal Resilience Conference we are holding in Philadelphia with some big names sponsoring the event. If you’re ready to implement or thinking about implementing coastal resilience but are concerned about the price tag, this is one you won’t want to miss.