Washington, D.C. (KELO AM) – Late tonight, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2609, the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2014, by a vote of 227-198. Included in the final passage were two amendments previously offered by Representative Kristi Noem and passed by the House.
“This bill includes policy provisions that will benefit families and communities across our state,” said Rep. Noem. “From furthering development of rural water projects like Lewis & Clark to ensuring the Corps of Engineers doesn’t overreach its authority, this bill is a good example of how we can responsibly use taxpayer dollars to provide essential services to our communities. I’m hopeful the Senate will soon take up its appropriations bill so we can move to conference and send this legislation to the president for his signature.”
Rep. Noem’s first amendment directed $25 million in additional funding for rural water projects, like the Lewis & Clark rural water system. This amendment did not increase spending in the legislation because it redirects money from other portions of the bill to be spent on these crucial water projects.
Noem’s second amendment prohibits the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from charging constituents in South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana a fee for surplus water from the Missouri River. The amendment specifically prohibits the Corps of Engineers from using any of the funds in the bill to issue rules or regulations related to charging a fee for surplus water.