On July 20, in a party line vote, the Senate Appropriations Committee established spending levels for the 12 subcommittees for Fiscal Year 2018. As there is not yet an approved budget resolution the committee chose to use the Fiscal Year 2017 enacted top-line funding levels, which total $1.07 trillion. The Energy and Water Development Subcommittee has been allocated $38.4 billion in funding, which is $629 million above the FY2017 enacted level and $4.1 billion above the president’s request. The House and Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittees have both advanced their FY2018 spending bills during July. There are some significant differences between the House and Senate bills.

The House bill would eliminate the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), while the Senate bill gives ARPA-E $330 million, an 8 percent increase and a record level of funding for the program.

  • The House bill funds the DOE Office of Science at FY2017 levels, while the Senate bill provides a 3 percent increase.
  • Energy efficiency and renewable energy programs are funded at $1.1 billion in the House bill, a nearly fifty percent reduction over last year’s funding of $2.1 billion, while the Senate provides $1.9 billion – a smaller reduction from FY2017 levels.
  • Both bills eliminate the DOE loan guarantee program. 

The House is expected to vote the week of July 31 on a minibus package of four spending bills made up of Energy and Water Development, Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Legislative Branch.

No date is set yet for floor consideration of the Senate bill, but it is expected to be one of the first appropriations bills taken up in that chamber.