Congress passes resolution assuring $10 million for hydro R&D

The Senate approved a House-passed “continuing resolution” Sept. 27 to fund the federal government at existing levels into March 2009, clearing the measure for the president’s signature.

The continuing resolution (H.R.2638), which passed 78-12, contains $10 million for the Department of Energy’s hydropower research and development program, the same amount Congress appropriated for DOE’s Water Power Energy R&D Program for the 2008 fiscal year, ending Sept. 30.

Due to Congress’ failure to approve most major appropriations bills during the current session, the House initiated the stopgap spending measure, passing it Sept. 24. (HNN 9/26/08) The White House indicated it would accept the measure as passed.

Although Senate and House committees had endorsed $30 million and $40 million for the hydropower R&D program for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2008, those appropriations were not expected to see floor action before this week’s adjournment. (HNN 7/11/08)

The $630 billion resolution ensures at least $10 million for hydro R&D, a program that has been zero-funded in years past. As the continuing resolution provides for appropriations only until March 6, 2009, additional funds could be appropriated for the program by a new Congress and approved by a new president.

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