Trump poised to sign bipartisan water infrastructure bill

Trump poised to sign bipartisan water infrastructure bill
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE is poised to sign a bipartisan water infrastructure bill after it passed the Senate 99-1 this week. 

America’s Water Infrastructure Act, the most comprehensive infrastructure legislation passed this Congress, will authorize over $6 billion in federal spending on ports, harbors and waterways.

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It will also deauthorize spending on water projects that have been deemed inefficient.

Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeOvernight Defense: Officials brief Congress after Iran shoots down drone | Lawmakers fear 'grave situation' | Trump warns Iran | Senate votes to block Saudi arms sales | Bombshell confession at Navy SEAL's murder trial The 7 GOP senators who voted to block all or part of Trump's Saudi arms sale Senate votes to block Trump's Saudi arms sale MORE (R-Utah) cast the only "no" vote on the bill.

“President Trump called on Congress to take action on the country’s water infrastructure and we have done that today,” Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoTrump proposal nixes review of long-term climate impacts Bipartisan senators propose forcing EPA to set drinking water standard for 'forever chemicals' Trump hails D-Day veterans in Normandy: 'You are the pride of our nation' MORE (R-Wyo.) said in a statement on Wednesday.

The bill authorizes billions of dollars for an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fund that provides money to improve drinking water infrastructure at the state level. It also extends a federal program aimed at improving the drinking water in Flint, Mich.

“This legislation invests in the critical water infrastructure we don’t see every day, but that American families in every state rely on, such as drinking water systems, dams, reservoirs, levees, and ports," Environment and Public Works Committee ranking member Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperSenate investigation finds multiple federal agencies left sensitive data vulnerable to cyberattacks for past decade Senate set to bypass Iran fight amid growing tensions The '90-10 rule' in higher education is a target on veterans' backs MORE (D-Del.) said in a statement. "When it comes to local infrastructure projects, it ensures the voices of our country’s local governments are being heard by the federal government to ensure needs are being met and taxpayer dollars are being used efficiently.”

The legislation further addresses the water needs of marginalized communities by requiring each regional EPA office to tap at least one employee as the point person for minority, tribal and low-income communities.

It also includes a provision that requires the government to prioritize low-income communities for lead testing programs. 

The chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, Sen. John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenMcConnell ups pressure on White House to get a budget deal Senators introduce bill to prevent border agency from selling personal data Overnight Energy: Bipartisan Senate group seeks more funding for carbon capture technology | Dems want documents on Interior pick's lobbying work | Officials push to produce more electric vehicle batteries in US MORE (R-N.D.), released a statement lauding the act for its provisions seeking to enhance water infrastructure in tribal communities.

He pointed out that the legislation authorizes funding for water projects on tribal land and directs the secretary of the Army to investigate whether Native American tribes have been displaced by the construction of certain dams in Oregon.

The act also includes billions of dollars in de-authorizations toward the aim of being "fiscally responsible."

The bill authorizes funds but does not appropriate them.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellEXCLUSIVE: Trump on reparations: 'I don't see it happening' Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids — Trump issues order to bring transparency to health care prices | Fight over billions in ObamaCare payments heads to Supreme Court Hillicon Valley: Senate bill would force companies to disclose value of user data | Waters to hold hearing on Facebook cryptocurrency | GOP divided on election security bills | US tracking Russian, Iranian social media campaigns MORE (R-Ky.) tweeted on Wednesday that America’s Water Infrastructure Act is "a major step toward meeting the challenge of improving our nation’s infrastructure."

"From dams, levees, and flood control to safer drinking water and sewage systems, this legislation meets all sorts of pressing needs," he wrote.