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Omnibus $1.3T Spending Bill Boosts Energy, EPA Spending, With EPA Budget Flat

Precisely 10 months after unveiling a plan to make deep spending cuts across the federal government, President Trump on Friday signed a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill into law on Friday, despite an eleventh-hour veto threat, which increases spending for most energy-related agencies.

"There are a lot of things that I'm unhappy about in this bill," Trump said. "I will never sign another bill like this again."

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 passed the House on a 256-167 vote on Thursday. The Senate followed suit, 65-32, in an early morning vote on Friday. The bill's passage averted at least a partial government shutdown, which would have started on Saturday.

Under the bill, the Department of Energy (DOE) will receive $43.2 billion in funding for fiscal year (FY) 2018, a 14.3% increase from the $37.8 billion it received in FY2017. The bill also increases funding to the Department of Interior (DOI) by 7.4%, to $13.1 billion in FY2018, up from $12.2 billion in the year prior.

Meanwhile, funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will remain essentially flat at $8.1 billion. EPA received $8.2 billion in FY2017.

One of the 12 annual appropriations bills that fund the federal government -- the Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill, which includes funding for the DOI and EPA -- totals $35.2 billion under HR 1625, a $3 billion increase from FY2017. The bill includes $1.3 billion to the DOI's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and $1.1 billion to the U.S. Geological Survey, which are increases of $80 million and $63 million from FY2017 funding, respectively.

Although the BLM funding includes $60 million for greater sage-grouse conservation plans, an earlier version of the bill included a provision barring the DOI secretary from proposing a rule to protect the ground-dwelling bird.

Meanwhile, the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill, which funds the DOE, the Army Corps of Engineers and other related agencies, totals $43.2 billion, a $5.4 billion increase from FY2017. That includes $248 million in funding to protect the nation's energy infrastructure from cyber and other attacks.

Energy programs at the DOE will receive $12.9 billion, or $1.6 billion more than they received in FY2017. Research and development programs devoted to fossil fuels technologies will total $727 million, up $59 million from the prior fiscal year.

Last May, Trump proposed slashing nearly one-third of funding to the EPA, while making smaller cuts to the DOE and DOI. Trump wanted to give $5.7 billion to the EPA, $11.7 billion to the DOI and $28 billion to the DOE.

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