Summary: Congressional Action on the FY 2001 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill
The initial Conference Report on the 2001 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill (H.R. 4733) was filed on September 26, 2000. The Report was approved by the House on September 28, and by the Senate on October 2. On October 10, the President vetoed the bill, citing opposition to a provision that would prevent the Army Corps of Engineers from revising the operating manual for the Missouri River, as well as inadequate funding levels for the California Bay-Delta, the Everglades, and Pacific Northwest salmon recovery. The House overrode the veto on October 11, but the Senate chose to delete the Missouri River rider and combine the modified bill with H.R. 4635, the VA/HUD appropriation bill, which it approved and sent back to the House. On October 18, a Conference Report was filed on the combined bill, which was approved by the House and Senate the next day and signed by the President on October 27.
Overall, the 2001 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act provides $24.1 billion in new current budget authority, $2.4 billion above the FY 2000 level and $0.9 billion above the FY 2001 President's Budget. Within this total, $18.7 billion was provided for Department of Energy programs ($0.5 billion above the Budget), $4.5 billion for the Corps of Engineers ($459 million above the Budget), and $0.9 billion for other agencies. In particular, $816.4 million was provided for Department of the Interior programs, $8.6 million below the FY 2000 level but $24.6 million below the FY 2001 President's Budget.
The 2001 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act (Act) provides $776.4 million for Reclamation accounts, $7.9 million above the FY 2000 level but $24.6 million below the FY 2001 President's Budget. The most significant difference with the request is that the Act includes none of the $60.0 million requested for the California Bay-Delta Restoration Program. The Act does, however, provide the $16 million requested for the Rocky BoyÕs Indian Water Rights Settlement (MT).
Funds provided for Water and Related Resources, Reclamation's primary operating account, total $678.4 million, $70.9 million above FY 2000 and $35.4 million above the request. Within this total, the Conferees provided $61.4 million over the amount requested for specific projects, programs, or studies; but partially offset these increases by providing $9.4 million less than requested for other projects, programs, or studies, and by increasing the "allowance for slippage" by $16.6 million.
Increases provided by the Conferees over the amount requested include: $9.0 million for California's Central Valley Project; $8.6 million for several water reuse projects; $5.8 million for the Central Arizona Project; $4.8 million for the Middle Rio Grande Project (NM); $4.5 million for Drought Emergency Assistance; $4.0 million each for the Garrison Diversion Unit (ND) and for the Mni Winconi Project (SD); $2.7 million for a Newlands Water Rights Fund (NV); and $4.4 million for ten water resources investigations. The Conferees provided $2.0 million less than was requested for the Lower Colorado River Operations Program, and a total of $7.4 million less than was requested for Reclamation-wide programs that do not have specific, easily identified constituents. (see attached table of significant changes)
The Conferees provided the amount requested for the Central Valley Project Restoration Fund ($38.4 million), the Loan Program ($9.4 million), and the Policy and Administration account ($50.2 million).
The Conferees provided $39.9 million for completion of the Central Utah Project, $0.7 million above the FY 2000 level and the same as the President's Budget.
The 2001 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act includes provisions:
- extending a prohibition on the use of appropriated funds for environmental analysis of Central Arizona Project water allocations through FY 2001; and
- limiting the funding to be provided from power revenues for the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program to the FY 2001 level plus inflation;
- increasing the ceiling on appropriations for ReclamationÕs Dam Safety Program by $95 million;
- requiring that acquisitions of water for the Middle Rio Grande and Carlsbad Projects be approved by the State of New Mexico;
- making funds provided for purchasing and retiring water rights for the Newlands Reclamation Project (NV) nonreimbursable;
- amending the San Luis Rey Indian Water Rights Settlement Act;
- directing the Secretary to transfer title to the Sly Park Unit of the Central Valley Project (CA), and making certain related costs nonreimbursable; and
- depositing $5 billion in a Treasury account established for gifts to the United States for reduction of the public debt.