The committee that handles discretionary spending of the U.S. government has appropriated more money for renewable energy programs than was requested by President George Bush.WASHINGTON, DC, US, 2001-06-20 [SolarAccess.com] The committee that handles discretionary spending of the U.S. government has appropriated more money for renewable energy programs than was requested by President George Bush. The Appropriations Committee has approved spending in the fiscal year of US$376.8 million for renewable energy programs, an increase of $100.2 million over the budget request and $1 million over the last fiscal year. In addition to renewables, funding for the Department of Energy was increased over the President’s request in environmental cleanup and nuclear non-proliferation. The committee bill approved Tuesday is $147.7 million above last fiscal year and $1,187 million above the President’s request. Increased funding was also provided to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Civil, the Department of Interior and several Independent agencies. At the DOE, the recommendation of $18,700 million is $640.8 million higher than the President’s request and $444.2 million above fiscal year 2001. Science programs are funded at $3,166 million, an increase of $6.5 million over the budget request and $13.9 million below fiscal year 2001. Nuclear energy programs are funded at $224.1 million, an increase of $1 million over request and $35.8 million below last year. The National Nuclear Security Administration, which includes nuclear weapons, non-proliferation and reactors, is funded at $6,667 million, an increase of $90.2 million over last year, and $109.5 million less than requested. Weapons activities are funded at $5,124 million, an increase of $117.7 million and $176.1 million less than requested. Funding of $7,031.9 million is provided for environmental management cleanup activities, an increase of $699.2 million over request and $253.4 million over last year. The recommendation reflects the Committee’s effort to restore funding in order to maintain cleanup schedules and meet compliance agreements at sites throughout the country. The Committee on Appropriations was created in 1865 to process general appropriations bills that had been controlled in the House of Representatives by the Committee on Ways & Means, which also handles revenue measures. The committee numbers 35 Republican, 29 Democrat and one independent member. Two thirds of federal spending in the U.S. goes to mandatory payments such as social security benefits or interest on the public debt, the remaining one third of the budget that is subject to appropriations represents nearly all of the money required for the ongoing activities of the federal government. The non-mandatory portion of the budget totals $600 billion.