Senate votes to open floodgates, passes bipartisan $35 billion water infrastructure bill

Gopher_In_NYC

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Here we go, waste no time and there are things we can agree on , even Josh Hawley voted for it.

April 29, 2021, 5:13 PM EDT

The Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a $35 billion bill designed to bolster states' water infrastructure with a bipartisan 89-2 vote.

The only two senators to vote against the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act were Republicans Mike Lee of Utah and Ted Cruz of Texas.


One of the bill's authors, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said the legislation will "foster economic growth, build climate-resilient infrastructure, and help ensure that all Americans have access to clean, safe water."

The bill dedicates billions of dollars to upgrade drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects across the country.

Legislators pointed to the 2014 lead contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, and water outages in Texas this past winter as evidence of the need for urgent action.

"Millions of Americans do not have consistent access to clean drinking water. Many more live in areas where a single storm or natural disaster could devastate weak and archaic infrastructure, leading to an outright catastrophe," the bipartisan Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works said in a statement supporting the bill.

The legislation includes nearly $30 billion in funding for clean water and drinking water revolving loan funds and an additional $6 billion in grant funding.

"Passing this bill in a bipartisan way like we did today shows the American people that their elected officials in Congress can work collaboratively together on infrastructure," said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives, where it’s unclear when it will be considered. Lawmakers there have been focused on a larger infrastructure package.

President Joe Biden spoke about the need to bolster the country's water infrastructure system during his address to Congress Wednesday night.

"Today, up to 10 million homes and more than 400,000 schools and child care centers have pipes with lead in them, including for drinking water," Biden said, calling the situation "a clear and present danger to our children’s health."
 
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