Issue Date: December 18, 2017
Trump Administration illegally withheld ARPA-E funds, the Government Accountability Office says
U.S. Department of Energy officials instructed the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) not to spend $91 million in funds allocated by Congress, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress’s investigative arm. In its fiscal 2018 budget proposal, the Donald J. Trump Administration said it wanted to close down ARPA-E, which received $307 million from Congress in fiscal 2017. DOE withheld the $91 million in anticipation of Congress going along with the plan, GAO says. However, the executive branch is required by law to spend money allocated by Congress unless it asks for an exception. GAO received a report about the withheld funding in September and asked DOE for more information. In November, DOE said that the funds had been returned to ARPA-E.
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