On December 17, just three days before short-term Continuing Resolution (C.R.) funding for the Federal government was to expire, the House passed the FY20 Energy and Water Development (E&WD) and Related Agencies Appropriations Act by a vote of 297-120. The bill funds the Corps of Engineers, U.S. Department of Energy programs that include national nuclear security and energy research and development, and the Bureau of Reclamation.
The FY20 E&WD bill funds the Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works mission at $7.65 billion, $652 million above the FY19 enacted level and $2.69 billion above the President’s budget request.
The Corps’ Operations & Maintenance (O&M) account is funded at $3.79 billion, which is $1.86 billion above the President’s record-level FY20 budget request.
Very significant in the bill is the adjustment by Congress of the Construction cost-share for Chickamauga Lock, this time to 65% General Revenue funding/35% Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) (from 50%/50%) for one fiscal year (FY20). This change enables efficient funding of all ongoing construction projects to advance their delivery date and lower final project costs. The change is notable because we continue to push for general revenue funding to cover 75% of lock and dam projects and IWTF to cover 25%. The change is a small step in the right direction.
Thank you to the Waterways Council Inc for their partnership moving the needle on lock and dam funding.