Corps of Engineers Funding Moving as Part of First “Minibus” Appropriations Package
June 7, 2019
The House of Representatives will begin floor consideration of the fiscal 2020 appropriations bill this week, starting with a five-bill “minibus” package based on the Labor-HHS-Education spending bill (H.R. 2740). The Energy and Water Development appropriations bill, which includes the budget for the Army Corps of Engineers’ water resources program, has been incorporated as Division E of the package.
To begin with, there’s nothing “mini” about the legislation. The 667-page bill makes a whopping $2 trillion in appropriations ($990 billion of it discretionary, $1.02 trillion mandatory, and the latter mostly Medicaid).
|Budget Authority in the First FY 2020 “Minibus” Appropriations Package (Million $)|
|E||Energy and Water Development||46,413||0||0||0||46,413|
The House Rules Committee has required that all proposed amendments to the package be submitted by 10 a.m. today. The full list of amendments submitted, with links to amendment text, is here (just keep scrolling down and down and down) and must be compared to page and line numbers in this version of the bill text. Rules will meet at 5 p.m. on June 10 to begin culling the amendments into an orderly number, and House consideration of the amendment process may spill over into the following week.
There are a lot of amendments to the Energy and Water division of the bill that propose various across-the-board spending cuts or deal with the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall (funding for which is banned by section 108 of the draft bill), which we won’t get into. Relevant amendments to the Energy and Water portion of the bill submitted to Rules (which may or may not be made in order for consideration by the House) include:
- Blunt Rochester (D-DE) amendment #8 – Adds and removes $1 million from the Army Corps of Engineers Investigations account for the purpose of instructing the Army Corps of Engineers to review all existing projects for which they are in arrears with project partners across the country, such as the Indian River Inlet project in Delaware.
- Wilson (R-SC) amendment #11 – States that none of the funds can be used to plan or develop an alternative to the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam that would result in a pool level lower than 114.5 feet, which was the physical level of the pool on the date of enactment of the 2016 WIIN Act, December 16, 2016.
- Duncan (R-SC) amendment #22 – Prevents the Army Corps of Engineers from tripling the shoreline management real estate license fees charged to homeowners on Corps lakes in southeastern states.
- Rouda (D-CA) amendment #23 – Adds and removes $5 million from the Corps of Engineers construction account for the purpose of highlighting the need to reauthorize Section 1043 of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 and to include necessary changes to the pilot program in its reauthorization.
- Bera (D-CA) amendment #27 – Increases funding for the National Levee Safety Inventory by $3 million.
- Craig (D-MN) amendment #31 – Increases by $1 million the funding for the Army Corps of Engineers Investigations Account intended to be directed towards the National Flood Risk Management and Flood Damage data Programs to address flood planning for disaster prone regions. Increases by $1 million the funding for the Army Corps of Engineers Operations and Maintenance account intended to be directed towards the Corps Water Management System (CWMS) to assist river flow tracking during flooding.
- Craig (D-MN) amendment #32 – Reduces and restores funding for the Beneficial Use of Dredged Material Pilot Program for the Army Corps of Engineers.
- Norton (D-DC) amendment #36 – Provides $10 million to the Anacostia Watershed Restoration Program with an offset.
- Richmond (D-LA) amendment #39 – Increases the Army Corps of Engineers Operations and Maintenance accounts by $4,000,000 and decreases the Administration Expenses account by the same amount.
- Richmond (D-LA) amendment #40 – Increases and decreases funding to the Army Corps of Engineers Operation and Maintenance Accounts by $75,000,000 for dredging activities.
- Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) amendment #46 – Prohibits the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from issuing a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit for dredging for oil and gas activities within the Everglades.
- Welch (D-VT) amendment #54 – Increases and decreases by $40 million funding within the Army Corps Construction account (Division E) to fund dam rehabilitation work authorized by Section 3202 of the 2018 America’s Water Infrastructure Act.
- Schiff (D-CA) amendment #59 – Prevents the Army Corps from using the pesticide glyphosate in the Los Angeles River.
- Smith (R-NJ) amendment #60 – Adds findings regarding the Davis-Bacon Act. Requires GAO to conduct a study of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its practices and protocols for finding misclassification to ensure quality workmanship at federal construction projects across the country and to protect the agreed-upon day’s pay for a day’s work for local tradesmen, women and laborers.
- Buchanan (R-FL) amendment #61 – Supports reimbursement of Port Manatee for Federally authorized project costs of the Manatee Harbor South Channel.
- Huffman (D-CA) amendment #63 – States that none of the funds in this act can be used for the Army Corps of Engineers to finalize the environmental impact statement for the proposed Pebble Mine project.