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Broad Support for Bipartisan Water Infrastructure Legislation
A bipartisan group of senators and stakeholders are voicing support for the draft water resources development legislation, the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 (AWIA 2020), and the draft drinking water legislation, the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020.
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY) and Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE) released the two bills late last month.
“America’s water infrastructure supports our economy and keeps communities safe,” said Barrasso. “Our committee is working together to improve the nation’s dams, ports, flood-prevention infrastructure, reservoirs, and drinking water systems. These draft bills will help create jobs and grow the economy. The draft legislation will help ensure American-made goods are safely shipped from one state to another and that the water Americans are drinking is safe. President Trump has called on Congress to pass comprehensive infrastructure legislation, once we are past the immediate health crisis. Our bipartisan highway infrastructure bill and these draft water infrastructure bills will answer that call. I want to thank the members of our committee for their hard work and look forward to advancing these important bills.”
AWIA 2020 provides roughly $17 billion in new federal authorizations to invest in infrastructure projects across the country. It will cut red tape by setting a two year goal for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) to complete its feasibility studies for potential projects, consistent with the standard set by President Trump. The draft bill was crafted with Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Ben Cardin (D-MD). Capito and Cardin serve as chairman and ranking member of the EPW Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
The Drinking Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 reauthorizes the Safe Drinking Water Act program that support drinking water infrastructure and provide resources and technical assistance to communities facing critical drinking water needs. The draft bill was crafted with Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). Cramer and Duckworth serve as chairman and ranking member of the EPW Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife.
“These two draft pieces of legislation address critical water infrastructure on which everyone in this country relies. From the infrastructure that keeps our drinking water safe and clean, to the levees, dams and ports that support our communities and economy, these vital parts of American infrastructure are many times overlooked and neglected,” said Carper. “As drafted, these bills would improve projects’ resiliency to extreme weather events, increase the transparency and accountability of federally-funded projects and ensure that every community can benefit from federal funding and support – especially the smaller, rural and vulnerable communities that have been disregarded for far too long. By releasing these drafts, the committee will be able to gain critical insights and gather more feedback from stakeholders to improve the bills.”