Issue: H.R. 4923 Making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Rep. Michael Simpson (ID-2).
Result: Passed in House, 253 to 170, 9 not voting. Republicans scored.
Bill Summary: The legislation provides annual funding for national defense nuclear weapons activities, the Army Corps of Engineers, various programs under the Department of Energy, and other related agencies.
From the Congressional Research Service Summary:
Makes appropriations for FY2015 to the Department of Energy (DOE) for energy and science programs, including: (1) energy efficiency and renewable energy, (2) electricity delivery and energy reliability … (8) the Energy Information Administration … (14) the Title 17 Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program … (15) the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program….
Analysis: According to a June 9 House Appropriations Committee news release: “The bill totals $34 billion — a [paltry] $50 million reduction from the fiscal year 2014 enacted level and an increase of $327 million above the President’s request.” [Emphasis added.]
A principal objection to this appropriations bill is that it continues to fund the unconstitutional programs in the Department of Energy in support of a subversive agenda and in complete disregard of constitutional limits.
According to the Appropriations Committee news release: “Funding for energy programs within the Department of Energy (DOE) is $10.3 billion — an increase of $113 million above the fiscal year 2014 enacted level.”
Since President Jimmy Carter created the unconstitutional department, some constitutional defense functions related to nuclear weapons have been added, giving the department a cloak of respectability. However, the unconstitutional functions and subversive agenda continue unchallenged.
An excerpt from Freedom First Society’s Masters of Deception recounts the history of this misuse of government power:
“The Carter energy policy can be summarized as a campaign to deny America use of its own energy resources, create dependence on foreign suppliers, and create shortages leading to government rationing. However, just as the effort to give away our Panama Canal didn’t begin with President Carter, so the federal government’s war on energy also started much earlier.
“Indeed, actions of the Nixon administration precipitated the 1973 ‘energy crisis,’ with its attendant long lines at gasoline stations. 39 Already in 1973 there was talk of rationing energy, as part of a plan to establish a federal Department of Energy headed by an ‘energy czar,’ who would have the power to decide the fate of every manufacturing and industrial enterprise in America.
“Jimmy Carter merely took the anti-energy campaign one step further. Shortly after President Carter moved into the White House, the New York Times reported: ‘The Federal Energy Administrator, John F. O’Leary, told the American people today that the Carter Administration’s energy policy would call for higher prices, less comfort at home, and some way to take some of the fat out of the driving habits in this country.’ 40
“In August of 1977, Carter signed legislation establishing the Cabinet-level Department of Energy (DOE), and the following year he signed into law his National Energy Act. James Schlesinger (secretary of defense under Nixon and Ford and CFR in 1986) became the nation’s first secretary of energy.
“That same year (1977), a delegation of General Electric executives visited the new secretary in Washington. Edward Hood, G.E. vice president for power generation, reportedly told Schlesinger that without nuclear energy, we will have blackouts and brownouts. According to a G.E. executive, Schlesinger replied: ‘That’s what we want. It’s the only way to teach the people a lesson.’ 41
“The new department would not produce any energy and instead would create a myriad of obstacles to domestic energy production. The Chicago Tribune reported in March of 1979:
‘For more than a century, the United States was the world’s leading oil producer. In fact, before the 1973 Arab embargo, the U.S. had oil to export, and maintained quotas to restrict imports of cheap foreign oil. While the U.S. continues to be the world’s biggest oil consumer, it has slipped to the position of No. 3 behind the Soviet Union and Saudi Arabia.’ 42
“In addition to creating policies that would lead to energy shortages, the new bureaucracy would come at a terrible cost to taxpayers. As the Wall Street Journal reported:
‘[T]he $10.6 billion budget of the proposed new Department of Energy … is about double the value of all the oil the U.S. imported from Saudi Arabia last year…. It is equivalent to about $3 a barrel of domestic crude oil production, which means … that you could decontrol all domestic crude oil prices and still end up paying less for oil than for the federal energy bureaucracy….’” 43
- Dan Smoot, “On The Created Energy Crisis,” The Review of the News, November 28, 1973. Also see Gary Allen, Tax Target: Washington (Seal Beach, Calif.: ’76 Press, 1978), Chapter 9.
- Edward Cowan, “ENERGY CHIEF WARNS COMFORT WILL DROP AND PRICES WILL RISE; 65-DEGREE HOMES FORECAST: O’Leary Says Policy Will Include Change in Driving Habits; Rise in Gasoline Cost Is Hinted,” New York Times, February 14, 1977.
- Alan Stang, “The Carter Energy Act,” American Opinion, October 1977.
- Robert Young, “U.S. slips to No. 3 in production of oil,” Chicago Tribune, March 25, 1979, p. 16.
- “What Baby DOE Will Cost,” Wall Street Journal, June 1, 1977, p. 16.
Too often in the past, House appropriations subcommittees have failed to complete their appropriations measures in a timely manner, and so the House at large was presented with repeated continuing resolutions and omnibus or minibus appropriations legislation on a take it or leave it basis.
In 2014, the House had approved seven of the 12 individual appropriation bills for FY 2015 by the end of July. However, as the September 30th deadline approached for the expiration of prior year appropriations, the House did not use its power of the purse to play hardball and insist that Senate and President accept or refuse these individual appropriations measures.
Instead, the House simply ignored all its previous work and passed a continuing appropriations resolution (see H.J. Res. 124, House Roll Call 509, 9-17-14, scored by FFS) to allow unconstitutional spending to continue thru mid-December at the inacceptable 2014 levels. In a spirit of bipartisan “cooperation,” the Senate and the president immediately approved the resolution.
We have assigned (good vote) to the Nays and (bad vote) to the Yeas. (P = voted present; ? = not voting; blank = not listed on roll call.)