Department of Energy nuclear weapons programs would get almost exactly the funding they requested for fiscal year 2022, if the House’s first draft of the Department of Energy’s budget bill becomes law, but Republicans on Monday continued to signal they will not support any Democrat-authored spending bills as written.

The House Appropriations Energy and Water subcommittee marked up its draft 2022 energy and water appropriations act

on Monday afternoon, sending it to the full Appropriations Committee without any amendments. The full committee is scheduled to mark up the bill Friday  morning, along with the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Bill. 

For DOE’s semiautonomous National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the subcommittee bill proposes about $20.2 billion, a little more than the request of roughly $20.1 billion and some $420 million more than the 2021 appropriation of about $19.7 billion. The bill does not reflect any conclusions from the Biden administration’s yet-to-be-completed Nuclear Policy Review, which at deadline the administration planned to publish in January.

The subcommittee’s bill would provide exactly the requested $15.8 billion or so for NNSA Weapons Activities, the account that handles nuclear-weapons modernization and infrastructure upgrades. 

In the markup Monday, Rep. Mike Simpson(Idaho), the ranking Republican on the subcommittee, said that “short changes our national security needs” with “[a]n increase of less than 1 percent for the Weapons Activities [that] does not even keep up with inflation.”

Weapons Activities received a roughly $15.3 billion appropriation for 2021. According to the Future-Years Nuclear Security Program that the prior Trump administration included with NNSA’s 2021 budget request, the account needs a 2.5 percent year-over-year increase from the 2021 appropriation, rather than an 0.9 percent increase it would receive under the subcommittee’s bill. In raw dollar terms, the split between the Trump administration’s projection and the first Biden request is more than $450 million. 

On the other hand, the NNSA’s nonproliferation account would get more than requested, under the subcommittee’s bill: just under $2.5 billion. That is about 3.5 percent, or $76 million, more than requested. That would be a raise of roughly $80 million, compared with the 2021 appropriations.

NNSA Naval Reactors, supporting manufacture of nuclear cores of Navy warships and submarines, plus nuclear fuel fabrication, would get a little more than $1.85 billion. That is only about $300,000 fewer than requested and more than 10 percent, or roughly $140 million, above the 2021 appropriation of about $1.7 billion.

Usually, the Energy and Water Development subcommittee does not release the detailed spending report for its bill until a day before the full Appropriations Committee’s markup. The bill report contains a line-by-line breakdown of the subcommittee’s spending proposal, listing programs by name and explaining any recommended changes relative to the White House’s request.