Senate Returns from Holiday Break with Path on Reconciliation Package Still Unclear
Just before Christmas, Senator Joe Manchin (R-WV) – a key moderate Democrat whose vote is critical for passage of the President’s Build Back Better Act – announced he could not support the reconciliation package in its current form, abruptly derailing Democratic leadership’s agenda and hopes to pass the bill in the Senate.
With opposition remaining from all Senate Republicans, Democratic leadership adjourned for the year without passing this top priority of their party and President Biden. Leading Democrats have now shifted toward their next steps, including other near-term party priorities such as advancing voting rights legislation and passing a (long-delayed) Fiscal Year 2023 spending bill before current government funding runs out in February.
Two key NACWA priorities are included in the Build Back Better (BBB) Act, including funding to establish a permanent low-income water assistance program at EPA and additional funding for EPA’s CSO/Stormwater/Water Reuse grants program. The fate of these initiatives remains unclear. The Senate is expected to reignite BBB negotiations in the coming weeks and NACWA will remain closely engaged with leaders on Capitol Hill throughout the process to ensure the Association’s priorities are fully considered. NACWA will also explore other legislative avenues to advance these priorities.
Please contact NACWA’s legislative team with any questions or to discuss further.