On 10 July, the House of Representatives approved legislation to provide $34 billion in funding in fiscal year 2015 for energy and water programs. H.R. 4923 passed with the support of 253 Representatives, with 170 lawmakers voting against the bill. The vote was largely, but not entirely, along party lines.
The bill would provide $5.07 billion in funding for the Department of Energy Office of Science. This is the same amount as the current funding level. The House plan would increase funding for advanced scientific computing, nuclear physics, and fusion research, but the Biological and Environmental Research program would lose $70.2 million (-11.5 percent).
During floor debate on the measure, Representative Bill Foster (D-IL) offered an amendment to increase funding for the National Undergraduate Fellowship Program by $300,000. The program supports research fellowships in physics for undergraduate students. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.
Funding for the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy increased by $20 million as a result of an amendment offered by Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA). It passed by a vote of 216-205.
Climate change, a topic that is a perennial point of contention, was also the subject for floor debate. Representative David McKinley (R-WV) sponsored an amendment to prohibit funding for the National Climate Assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, and other climate-related initiatives.
To date, the House has passed six of 12 appropriations bills. Due to a disagreement between the parties on how to handle amendments, the Senate has not debated any spending measures since mid-June.
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