Idaho Congressmen Raul Labrador and Mike Simpson split Friday in a vote on a new energy bill. Labrador voted against it but Simpson joined the majority to pass the measure.
The $30.6 billion bill covering Energy Department and Army Corps of Engineers programs was nearly $6 billion less than the White House wanted. The bill steers $1 billion away from high-speed rail projects and diverts the money instead toward flood relief along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. The measure also provides $1.3 billion for renewable energy programs, about $481 million below the current level.
The bill also blocked the administration from closing the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste program in Nevada. The White House wants to terminate the program. The government has spent more than $15 billion on Yucca, which has still not opened for storage of spent nuclear fuel.