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NTU Vote Alert: Amendments to Military Construction & Veterans Affairs and Energy & Water Appropriations Bills

by Nan Swift / /

As the House considers H.R. 2029, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act of 2016, NTU urges all Representatives to support amendments that would reduce waste, increase efficiency, and save taxpayers money. To that end, NTU will consider “YES” votes on the following amendments to be the pro-taxpayer position:

  • Van Hollen (D-MD) and Mulvaney (R-SC) 1 & 2 OCO Amendments: These amendments would strike Title IV of the underlying bill, eliminating $523 million in Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding. This amount is far above both the President’s request and the FY15 enacted level. By shifting base budget spending to OCO to circumvent the Budget Control Act’s spending caps and taking an extremely broad view of what constitutes “contingency,” H.R. 2029  secures OCO’s permanent slush fund legacy to taxpayers’ detriment. A roll call vote on this amendment will be significantly weighted on NTU’s annual Rating of Congress.

  • Hice (R-GA) Federal Employee Accountability Act Amendment: This amendment would extend the Federal Employee Accountability Act to the Veterans Affairs department, prohibiting funding for union work conducted on official time.

  • King (R-IA) Davis-Bacon Amendment: This amendment would prohibit funding in H.R. 2029 from being used to implement, administer, or enforce prevailing wage requirements under the Davis-Bacon Act, saving considerable sums on many projects.

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As the House considers H.R. 2028, the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act of 2016, NTU urges all Representatives to support initiatives that reduce expenditures, promote a true “all of the above” energy policy, and uphold free-market enterprise. To that end, NTU will consider “YES” votes on the following amendments to be the pro-taxpayer position:

  • McClintock (R-CA) Energy Research Amendment: This amendment would eliminate funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Research Development Demonstration and Deployment, Nuclear Energy Research and Development, and Fossil Energy Research and Development programs, yielding $3.2 billion of savings in an even-handed manner. The private sector is better qualified to conduct much of the federally funded research portfolio without government meddling.

  • McClintock (R-CA) FY15 Amendment: This amendment would freeze spending in unauthorized accounts at FY15 levels, saving taxpayers almost $106 million.

  • Hudson (R-NC) 7.7929 % Reduction Amendment: This amendment would enact an 11.1208% across-the-board reduction of non-defense accounts, pegging spending at FY 2008 levels and saving taxpayers approximately $2 billion.

  • Quigley (D-IL) Nuclear-Armed Cruise Missile Acquisition Reform Amendment: This amendment would sustain the current acquisition schedule for the nuclear-armed cruise missile nuclear warhead, saving taxpayers $167.5 million. Given the uncertainty around the program regarding cost and strategy, we should not unnecessarily accelerate this program without further scrutiny.

  • Flores (R-TX) Nuclear Regulatory Commission Amendment: This amendment would cut unneeded funding for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which already has a balance carried over from previous years, by 2.5 percent.

  • Byrne (R-AL) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Amendment: This amendment would eliminate funding for the EERE’s green energy subsidies.

  • Pittenger (R-NC) Title 17 Amendment: This amendment would prohibit the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Title 17 Loan program from issuing any new loan guarantees in FY16, addressing the source of funding for numerous high-priced failed projects like Solyndra and Beacon Power. The DOE has a bad track record when it comes to picking winners and losers in the “green energy” marketplace. In addition, billions in taxpayer funds have gone to back massive loans to international corporations like Ford and Nissan who shouldn’t be getting taxpayer handouts.

  • Sanford (R-SC) Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Amendment: This amendment would prohibit new loans from being administered through the DOE’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program, reducing risk for taxpayers who have been on the hook for past risky loans including those to Fisker Automotive, whose flammable high-end cars cost taxpayers $139 million when the company went under.

Roll call votes on the above amendments to H.R. 2029 and H.R. 2028 will be included in our annual Rating of Congress.

If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift (703) 683-5700