Water Infrastructure Positioned as Potential Priority in New Congress
(November 14, 2018) – After a long mid-term election season, last week’s election results produced what most polling had predicted: a takeover of the House of Representatives by Democrats and a strengthening of Republican control of the Senate. This outcome will present the first time that there will be a party split between the two congressional chambers since 2014.
The political makeup of the next Congress suggests that infrastructure will remain an important focus and area for potential bipartisan support. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who will likely regain the gavel as Speaker of the House in January, was recently quoted as saying, “One of my themes is build, build, build. Build the infrastructure of America from sea to shining sea. Not only surface transportation but broadband and water systems."
Pelosi reiterated that theme in her re-election victory speech November 6, and has since spoken with President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) about the need for bipartisan collaboration on infrastructure. Republican leaders, including the President, have also reiterated their continued interest in addressing infrastructure on a bipartisan basis
NACWA’s advocacy will continue to help ensure that clean water policy and funding remain central to the infrastructure discussion, and that the Association’s priorities are advanced on a bipartisan basis. NACWA staff have been engaging in productive conversations with both Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the House – along with other water sector associations – regarding collaboration on advancing priority water infrastructure issues in the next Congressional Session.
While the next two years leading up to the 2020 Presidential election are expected to be politically contentious, NACWA is optimistic that the policy and funding gains made in last year’s Appropriations package, and in the recently passed Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), provide bipartisan momentum moving into the 116th Congress.