This afternoon the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill. The Subcommittee received an allocation of $31.625 billion, approximately $57 million below the FY 2011 enacted level, but $986 million above the FY 2012 House enacted level. The full Appropriations Committee is scheduled to take up the bill tomorrow. No amendments were offered in Subcommittee but amendments are expected to be offered in Committee tomorrow, although probably not on the NNSA portion of the bill. You can read the official Subcommittee summary of the bill here.
According to Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) opening statement (the full text of the bill will not be released until tomorrow), the Subcommittee appropriated $11.05 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration, an increase of $528 million (or 5%) above the FY 2011 appropriation and an increase of $451 million above the FY 2012 House enacted level.
Within NNSA, the Subcommittee appropriated $2.383 billion for the Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Account, an increase of $109 million (or 4.7%) above the FY 2011 enacted level and an increase of nearly $300 million over the FY 2012 House enacted level. The appropriation is $167 million below the President’s FY 2012 request of $2.549 billion.
Sen. Feinstein stated that the Subcommittee’s highest priority within NNSA was to fund nonproliferation and nuclear material security programs in support of the goal of securing all vulnerable nuclear materials within four years. While we will have to wait for the release of the bill text tomorrow for confirmation, the additional funding looks like good news for the Global Threat Reduction Initiative (the key program in the effort to secure vulnerable nuclear materials), which the House cut by $85 million below the FY 2012 request.
On the weapons side, the Subcommittee appropriated $7.190 billion, an increase of $294 million over the FY 2011 enacted level and an increase of $99 million over the FY 2012 House enacted level. The appropriation is $440 million less than the President’s FY 2012 request of $7.63 billion.
The future schedule for the bill is unclear. Most people I talked to at the hearing did not believe the bill would go to the Senate floor, and that final funding levels will be decided in conference between the House and Senate. It’s also not clear whether an agreement can be reached before the end of the fiscal year on September 30.
Stay tuned for more tomorrow when the final bill text is available.