White House issues veto threat to House energy funding bill
WASHINGTON, July 8 (Reuters) - The White House on Monday threatened to veto the energy funding bill for fiscal 2014 that is expected to be debated by the House of Representatives this week, citing steep cuts proposed for renewable energy programs.
Also facing the budget knife would be certain Department of Interior and Corps of Engineers projects.
The $30 billion bill was passed by committee last week on a party-line vote and is likely to reach the House floor on Tuesday. It contains billion of dollars less than 2013's enacted levels, as well as the Senate's version for 2014 and recommendations from President Barack Obama's budget.
"The bill would leave U.S. competitiveness at risk in new markets for clean energy industries such as advanced vehicles, advanced manufacturing, energy efficiency for homes and businesses, and domestic renewable energy such as wind, solar, and biomass," the White House said in a statement.
"If the President were presented with H.R. 2609, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill."
Feeling the brunt of cuts would be the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The bill calls for a $2 billion, or a 73 percent cut, in funding from the White House's proposal, to $746 million.
The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, which funds advanced energy projects, would be cut by 87 percent from the president's budget request.
The administration had threatened to veto all of the House Appropriations bills because they are written to levels that assume the sequester stays in place and would impose big cuts on most domestic agencies, taking aim at Democratic spending priorities.
(Reporting by Ros Krasny; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz)