Should Congress reauthorize water infrastructure funding?

This bill has Passed the Senate
Bill Summary

This bill reauthorizes through FY2026 or establishes a variety of programs for water infrastructure. Specifically, it supports programs to provide safe drinking water or to treat wastewater, such as sewer overflows or stormwater. For example, the bill reauthorizes and revises the clean water state revolving fund (SRF) and the drinking water SRF. Sponsor: Sen. Tammy Duckworth (Democrat, Illinois) View full bill text ➔

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Opponents say

 "We need a new formula that provides money based on where people live today, not where people lived decades ago. The formula we have now isn’t just unfair, it is damaging." Source: Sen. Marco Rubio (Republican, Florida)

"A reservation of water could reduce or eliminate drinking water for communities across the west. It could eliminate irrigation water for almonds or grapes in California... The perils are endless." Source: Sen. Mike Lee (Republican, Utah)

• "Texas has seen tremendous population growth, and yet, the Democrat's bill used a horribly outdated funding formula - one based on 1980s population data - to allocate funds to the states. This approach is simply unfair and would enrich states like New York and Illinois, which are states that lost Congressional seats based on the 2020 Census, at the expense of Texans." Source: Sen. Ted Cruz (Republican, Texas)

Proponents say

  "This legislation aligns with the Administration’s goals to upgrade and modernize aging infrastructure, improve the health of children and small and disadvantaged communities, develop new technologies, and help address cybersecurity threats and mitigate dangers from climate change. Across the country, pipes and treatment plants are aging, undermining the reliable delivery of safe drinking water and allowing polluted wastewater to endanger public health and the environment…An estimated six to ten million homes still receive drinking water through lead pipes and service lines." Source: President Joe Biden (Democrat

  "More than 40 percent of this bill’s investments are targeted to help disadvantaged communities. The bill authorizes more than a billion in new funding to reduce lead in drinking water. And particularly for our country’s rural areas, tribal populations, and low-income neighborhoods, our bill invests another billion into programs to connect households to drinking water and wastewater systems and services…The legislation grows the Tribal Drinking Water Program by 20 percent and reforms programs to help tribal education agencies remove lead from their drinking water systems." Source: Sen.  Tom Carper (Democrat, Delaware)

  "The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act will advance infrastructure to help local communities keep their drinking water safe and clean. With investments to identify and prevent water loss, test water quality, increase resilience in infrastructure, and recruit the next generation of our water workforce, the priorities laid out in the bill speak to the bipartisan goal of ensuring neglected water systems are not merely tended to, but made stronger. This bill is not a band-aid—it provides essential assistance to our country’s aging water systems and the communities they serve." Source: Sen.  Shelley Capito (Republican, West Virginia)