White House Releases Budget Proposal for FY22
The White House released its Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Federal Budget on May 28. The long-awaited proposal, which was previewed back in April, lays out the President’s proposal for how to advance its priorities through annual spending in the federal fiscal year which begins October 1, 2021.
The President’s Budget is a proposal to Congress, which ultimately holds the responsibility of drafting annual spending bills. Of interest to NACWA members, the Budget proposes notable increases in year-over-year funding for water infrastructure, as well as directs new spending to related areas including environmental justice and climate change.
Specifically, the budget would increase the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) by 14 percent compared to FY21, to reach $1.9 billion, and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) by 20 percent, to reach $1.3 billion, and requests that not less than 10 percent of the CWSRF and 20 percent of the DWSRF be used by states to provide grants, principal forgiveness, and negative interest loans.
Additionally, WIFIA would see a 21 percent boost and the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Grants would increase 50 percent, to $60 million in FY22. EPA’s Workforce Grants program would stay level at $3 million. On environmental justice (EJ), EPA requests major increases nearing $1 billion in environmental justice spending at U.S. EPA and creation of a new EJ National Program led by a Senate-confirmed Assistant Administrator.
Beyond EPA, priorities include a proposed Advanced Research Projects Agency-Climate, or ARPA-C; significant increases for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; and urging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to focus on increasing infrastructure and ecosystem resilience to climate change.
Congress has had a slow start to developing FY22 Appropriations Bills, but the U.S. House is ramping up efforts in hopes of completing its work before the August recess. NACWA recently submitted the Association’s FY22 U.S. EPA funding priorities to Congress. Passing individual bills will be more challenging in the Senate, and another end-of-year omnibus approach to a final FY22 spending deal is likely come late fall. Contact Kristina Surfus, NACWA Managing Director of Government Affairs, to discuss.