Congressman Introduces Legislation Meant To Save Over $1 Billion In Inactive Funds

Jason Hopkins | Energy Investigator

Alabama Republican Rep. Gary Palmer introduced a bill in Congress that calls on the government to rescind $1.6 billion in funds from the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC) Fund — money that has sat idle for years.

“The government is borrowing millions of dollars every day while we have $1.6 billion sitting in an account that cannot be used,” Palmer said in a prepared statement. “Since 2015, the Government Accountability Office and officials within USEC have advocated for the rescission of this money. Now is the time for Congress to act.”

The issue spans more than two decades.

The Energy Policy Act of 1992 established USEC to provide uranium enrichment services to the U.S. government and utilities that operate nuclear facilities. Previously a government corporation, the USEC Privatization Act of 1996 transitioned it into the private sector, which meant it no longer needed taxpayer funding. However, $1.6 billion has remained unused.

This is not the first time someone has shed light on this massive amount of wasted money. Since at least 2015, the Government Accountability Office has recommended Congress take action. The Strong Families Act — legislation that also called on the USEC funds to be rescinded — was put forward in 2017. However, no action has been taken since its introduction in the Senate.

Palmer’s bill, H.R. 6704, only one sentence long, simply calls for Congress to “permanently rescind unobligated amounts in the United States Enrichment Corporation Fund.” The legislation has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce where it awaits action. (RELATED: GOP Hits Green Democrat For Hypocritical Investments)

Palmer — who represents Alabama’s 6th Congressional District — was first elected into office during the 2014 GOP wave year and has since garnered a reputation for conservative legislating. The congressman currently touts a 91 percent rating in Conservative Review’s Liberty Scorecard.

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