Congress is scrambling to assemble and pass appropriations bills to fund the Federal Government before October 1, 2017, the start of the government's fiscal year (FY2018). The House Appropriations Committee has passed all of the 12 appropriations bills that fund the Federal Government.
The full House began discussions of the first funding bills for FY2018 on July 26th. Four of the bills will be considered by the House as a package and will include funding for the Department of Energy, Military Construction, Veterans Administration, Army Corps of Engineers, and Legislative Branch. The Senate Appropriations Committee has only approved three of its 12 appropriation bills, and the full Senate has not acted on any funding measure. We will continue to track the spending bills, in particular for certain programs that may be of interest:
- DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE): The House appropriations bill would reduce funding by about 50 percent, from $2.1 billion in the current fiscal year to $1.1 billion in FY2018. The Senate appropriations bill keeps the funding closer to current levels, with $1.9 billion in its spending measure. Both the House and Senate funding levels are much higher than the President's proposed FY2018 budget amount of $626 million.
- DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E): The House Appropriations Committee did not provide any funding for ARPA-E, consistent with the President's FY2018 budget proposal to eliminate this program. The Senate Appropriations Committee not only restored funding to its current level of $300 million but boosted funding for FY2018 to $330 million.
- Energy Star: The Energy Star program, housed within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was targeted for elimination in the President's FY2018 budget proposal. The House Appropriations Committee provided $31 million for this program in its FY2018 bill, about a 40% cut from current levels. The Senate has not yet acted on the spending bill that would fund Energy Star.
- EPA's Indoor Air Quality and Radiation Program: The House Appropriations Committee provided $30.7 million for EPA's indoor air quality and radiation program in FY2018, a cut of about 9% from current levels, but significantly more than provided in the President's proposed FY2018 budget of $5.6 million.