The US Congress agreed with AIA COTE Advocacy’s priorities and upheld or increased funding levels for the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy programs in its recently-passed omnibus spending bill. This bill, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, passed in March, will keep ENERGY STAR, the DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office (EERE) and Building Technologies Office (BTO), among many other programs and laboratories, fully funded through September 30, 2018.
The House and Senate Appropriations Committees and their many Subcommittees will be taking up action on the full 2019 US Federal Budget in May and June. AIA COTE Advocacy will be working with AIA Government Relations on matching AIA Members with their Senators and Representatives to weigh on our key programmatic priorities via lobbying efforts in their home districts over the summer. Follow-up activities may include letter-writing campaigns and direct testimony at Congressional hearings, all targeted at getting the attention of members of Congress in key positions.
In its Appropriations Act, Congress provided a total of $32.5 billion ($30.2 billion in discretionary funding and $2.3 billion in new mandatory funding) to support the Department of Energy in FY 2017, a nearly $4 billion increase despite the 70% cut recommended by the Trump Administration. The EPA will also be funded at $8.1 billion - equal to current funding levels - despite a request in the Trump Administration’s budget to cut EPA funding by almost one-third.