Thursday, May 3, 2012

Corps Of Engineers Construction And Defense Cleanup Budgets Gridlocked

Competing Senate and House appropriations measures funding civil construction by the Army Corps of Engineers, and environmental cleanup of sites contaminated by the Department of Defense are stalling fiscal 2013 budgeting for yet another federal agency’s construction planning. The Senate Appropriations Committee has proposed 1% increases in both Corps of Engineers civil construction and DOE defense site cleanup programs, while the House version seeks cuts of 4% in Corps civil construction funding and 2% in environmental cleanup spending.

Additional gridlock factors include the absence from the House bill of the Senate committee’s pilot program for consent based process of siting a new locale for interim spent reactor fuel rod disposal. House committee amendments have added two provisions left out of the Senate version – a measure to block DOE from requiring renovated federal buildings to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, and a provision precluding further guidance on the definition of federally regulated waters for pollution control purposes.

Once again, it seems the desire to create political party election campaign talking points is taking precedence over the need to fund government programs important to national economic recovery in general, and the resurgence of the construction industry in particular.

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