House passes fiscal year 2022 omnibus appropriations bill

March 10, 2022, 3:00PMNuclear News

After months of negotiations, the House passed a fiscal year 2022 omnibus spending package late Wednesday—the same day that congressional appropriators from both chambers unveiled the long-awaited measure.

Labeled H.R. 2471, the 2,741-page, $1.5 trillion package includes all 12 of the standard annual appropriations bills, providing $730 billion for nondefense programs, a $46 billion (6.7 percent) jump from FY 2021, and $782 billion for defense programs, a $42 billion (5.6 percent) boost. (The bill also includes $13.6 billion to address the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.)

The House also approved, by voice vote, a stopgap bill to extend government funding to March 15 to give the Senate time to review the omnibus bill and send it to the president’s desk for his signature. At this writing, funding for the federal government runs out tomorrow.

What they’re saying: “This bill makes bold investments in critical areas that went underfunded or even neglected in the previous administration, including education, childcare, healthcare, the environment, science and research, and many more,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The committee’s vice chairman, Sen. Richard Shelby (R., Ala.), added, “After many months of work, in close cooperation with Chairman Leahy, we have reached an agreement to fund the government for the remainder of the current fiscal year. Throughout this process, I have insisted upon dollar-for-dollar parity for defense and non-defense increases, preservation of long-standing legacy riders, and the exclusion of partisan poison pills. I am pleased that we have achieved all three goals.”

DOE funding: For Department of Energy programs, H.R. 2471 provides $44.9 billion, an effective increase of $2.9 billion over the 2021 enacted level (after accounting for one-time rescissions of emergency funds in FY 2021).

The Office of Nuclear Energy receives a $147 million increase from 2021 to $1.65 billion. For other NE programs, the omnibus bill appropriates the following amounts:

  • $250 million for the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program, matching the FY 2021 level.
  • $150 million for Advanced Small Modular Reactor RD&D, up $35 million.
  • $59 million for Advanced Reactor Technologies, up $13 million.
  • $115 million for Accident Tolerant Fuels, up $9.2 million.
  • $37 million for TRISO Fuel and Graphite Qualification, up $1 million.
  • $50 million for Used Nuclear Fuel Disposition R&D, down $12.5 million.
  • $33 million for Nuclear Science User Facilities, up $3 million.
  • $25 million for the Transformational Challenge Reactor, down $4.9 million.
  • $48 million for Light Water Reactor Sustainability, up $1 million.
  • No funds for the Versatile Test Reactor project. The president’s budget request was for $55 million.

The DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration is allocated $20.7 billion, besting last year’s total by $923.8 million. Included are $15.92 billion for Weapons Activities, an increase of $575 million; $2.35 billion for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, an increase of $94 million; and $1.9 billion for Naval Reactors, a $234 million increase.

For Environmental Management, H.R. 2471 provides $7.9 billion, $318 million more than in FY 2021. That total includes $333.9 million for Non-Defense Environmental Cleanup, an increase of $14.7 million; $860 million for Uranium Enrichment, Decontamination, and Decommissioning, an increase of $19 million; and $6.71 billion for Defense Environmental Cleanup, an increase of $284 million.

The total net appropriation for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is $131 million, an amount equal to the budget request.

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