WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, cautiously praised Senate passage of its first appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017. The bill provides a total of $37.5 billion in funding for programs at the U.S. Department of Energy and critical infrastructure projects administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation.
“Progress. Senate passage of the first of a dozen appropriations bills months before the September 30 deadline is progress on the road toward funding the operations of our government through regular order without the annual threat of shutdowns and furloughs. This is as good a bipartisan bill that was possible under the caps established by the two-year budget passed last year. We fought off most extraneous policy riders, and defeated an attempt to shut down the Appalachian Regional Commission, which is crucial to the economic development of Garrett, Alleghany and Washington counties. The bill funds the Army Corps of Engineers at a level of $6 billion so it can carry on its important work in the State of Maryland and across the country; the bill funds the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund that is crucial to the Port of Baltimore that generates 15,000 jobs in Maryland; it increases funding to the Appalachian Regional Commission; it continues funding for the Department of Energy’s Super Truck program, which is vital to the heavy-duty truck industry, employing 1,600 people in Western, Md., and it provides $5.4 billion for DOE’s Office of Science, the largest single provider of funding for basic research in the physical sciences in the country and various research labs in our state.
“Senate passage of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill is an important step forward, but there is much work left to be done. I applaud our Democratic and Republican leaders on the Appropriations Committee – especially Maryland’s own Senator Barbara Mikulski – for their hard work and good faith effort to reach bipartisan consensus. Our nation cannot afford any more shutdowns. No more Continuing Resolutions. No more sequestration. We need to put our nation back on a more stable fiscal footing by continuing this spirit of bipartisanship and allowing all the appropriations bills to work through a reasonable amendment process and on to final passage.”
Maryland Army Corps of Engineers Projects in Maryland Funded in E&W Appropriations:
- $600,000 – construction of Assateague Island, MD ecosystem restoration (construction)
- $20,575,000 – Baltimore Harbor channels at 50 feet (operation and maintenance)
- $325,000 – maintenance of Baltimore Harbor (drift removal)
- $1,950,000 – Chesapeake Bay Comprehensive Plan (feasibility study)
- $186,000 – Cumberland, MD and Ridgeley, WV (operation)
- $119,000 – inspection of completed works in MD (operation)
- $2,151,000 – Jennings Randolph Lake, MD & WV (operation and maintenance)
- $62,300,000 – Poplar Island, MD (construction)
- $450,000 – project conditions surveys, MD (operation)
- $78,000 – scheduling reservoir operation, MD (operation)
- $2,000,000 – Wicomico River, MD (maintenance)