Infrastructure Discussions Continue Between Congress, White House; Utility Outreach Encouraged
Building on the positive infrastructure discussions between the White House and Congressional leaders last week, Congress is continuing its work on infrastructure this week with hearings in both the House and Senate. Senate Republicans are also finalizing their new counteroffer to President Biden’s plan, which they are expected to release in the coming days.
The Republican counteroffer is expected to largely reflect the funding levels for water included in the recently passed bipartisan, Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 (DWWIA), S. 914.
Additionally, the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee is planning to markup and advance its clean water infrastructure bill, the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2021, H.R. 1915, sometime in June. The House Energy and Commerce Committee is looking at a similar time frame for its drinking water infrastructure bill.
The path forward on how a comprehensive infrastructure bill comes together this year among the House, Senate and White House still remains unclear. However, water continues to be at the forefront of infrastructure discussions and proposals. NACWA will continue working to ensure that any final comprehensive infrastructure bill ultimately sent to President Biden’s desk includes clean water as a major component and at the highest funding levels possible.
The legislative process around infrastructure legislation is now entering a critical phase, and NACWA strongly encourages its members to continue weighing in with their respective Members of Congress about the importance of including the highest level of water funding possible in an infrastructure bill, especially in the form of direct grants. Information to help with this outreach is available as part of the joint NACWA/AMWA Affordable Water, Resilient Communities campaign and the 2021 Water Week handout.