Energy Water Appropriations Bill Fails in the House

first_imgLast week, the Fiscal Year 2017 Energy & Water Appropriations bill was voted down by the House of Representatives by a vote of 112-305. The measure included record increases in funding for operations and maintenance of ports and inland waterways infrastructure that are priorities for the American Soybean Association (ASA).The bill was expected to pass in the House after a similar version in the Senate passed by a vote of 90-8. The failure in the House resulted from a combination of opposition from Democrats on spending and policy priorities, and opposition from Republicans to the inclusion of an amendment that would codify into a law a 2014 executive order that prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.On a more positive note, an amendment that did pass on the House floor by voice vote was offered by Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) to fund $10 million in Pre-Construction Engineering Design (PED) for the Navigation Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP), which encompasses construction of new, bigger locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi River System.The inclusion of the controversial sexual orientation discrimination amendment and subsequent defeat of the Energy & Water bill reinforces that getting the appropriations bills completed this year will be difficult. The House Leadership has not indicated what the next step will be for the failed Energy & Water bill. It is increasingly likely that Congress is again headed toward a year-end omnibus appropriations bill or Continuing Resolution.last_img

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