Democrats Obstruct Subcommittee Consideration of Energy R&D Bill

Jun 11, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Energy Subcommittee Chairman Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) today released the following statement after Democratic members used procedural tactics to delay and ultimately obstruct Subcommittee consideration of a draft bill to reauthorize research and development (R&D) programs at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Chairman Lummis: “It’s disappointing that rather than work with us to address their concerns, Committee Democrats instead used procedural tactics to obstruct today’s subcommittee markup. Democrats blocked draft legislation that focuses R&D funding within the Department of Energy to drive innovation, economic growth and job creation. The draft bill provides a $250 million increase in funding for basic research. The bill provides deficit reduction by making cuts to outdated, wasteful and duplicative programs within DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.  

“Democrats chose to play parliamentary games rather than work with the Majority to develop policy that would promote energy independence and reduce energy costs for Americans. Reauthorization of federal programs with no prioritization or reforms perpetuates out of control government.”

The bill is supported by several non-profit research institutes, including: Concurrent Technologies Corporation, Desert Research Institute, MRIGlobal, Sanford-Burnham Research Institute, Southern Research Institute, Southwest Research Institute, SRI International, University of Dayton Research Institute, and Woods Hole Research Institute. A copy of their letter supporting the draft bill can be found here.

Background on legislative process: During the 113th Congress, the Science Committee conducted 15 oversight hearings on energy programs within its jurisdiction. The Committee took input from these hearings in drafting the legislation. The Subcommittee held a legislative hearing on October 30, 2013. The full committee also held a hearing with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on April 10, 2014. The Committee hosted bipartisan briefings from DOE and numerous stakeholders. A copy of the draft bill was provided to the Minority last week - earlier than what is required by House Rules. Republican and Democratic staff reviewed the draft line-by-line on Monday for over three hours. Subcommittee consideration is not a prerequisite of the legislative process. Subcommittee markups provide Members on both sides of the aisle with an additional opportunity to address their concerns and offer amendments.