Senators unveil bipartisan water infrastructure bill

Senators unveil bipartisan water infrastructure bill
© Greg Nash

A bipartisan group of senators unveiled a water resources and infrastructure bill on Tuesday that aims to localize the budget for the Army Corps of Engineers.

Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoBipartisan senators propose forcing EPA to set drinking water standard for 'forever chemicals' 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.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, introduced the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 along with Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperBipartisan senators propose forcing EPA to set drinking water standard for 'forever chemicals' Bipartisan senators propose forcing EPA to set drinking water standard for 'forever chemicals' Overnight Energy: Prosecutors drop charges over Flint water crisis | US blames Iran for attack on oil tankers | Air Force diverted M for chemical cleanup costs | Criminal cases referred by Interior at near 25-year low MORE (Del.), the panel's top Democrat.

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“This bipartisan legislation answers the president’s call. Projects included in the bill would make a positive impact in Wyoming by increasing water storage; protecting communities from dangerous ice jam floods; and by upgrading old water systems,” Barrasso said in a statement. “Let’s use this opportunity to pass major water infrastructure legislation that will help keep our nation prosperous.”

Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeSenate rejects effort to block Trump's Qatar, Bahrain arms sales Senate rejects effort to block Trump's Qatar, Bahrain arms sales Shanahan: 'No concerns' about FBI background check for nomination MORE (R-Okla.), chairman of the panel's Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, and subcommittee ranking member Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinProposed bipartisan kidney legislation takes on kidney disease epidemic in America Lawmakers raise security concerns about China building NYC subway cars House votes to boost retirement savings MORE (D-Md.) also signed on to the legislation, which works to ensure clean drinking water across the country. 

“Clean water is not a partisan issue and I have been proud to work with my colleagues to develop legislation that will benefit water resources and infrastructure nationwide,” Cardin said in a statement. “Congress has a responsibility as a strong partner with states and localities to repair our nation’s hidden water infrastructure and open waterways.”

The water infrastructure legislation, which Congress re-ups every two years, was one of several bills Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanIndiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Indiana GOP Rep. Brooks says she won't seek reelection Inside Biden's preparations for first debate MORE (R-Wis.) mentioned in March when he said Congress would pursue an infrastructure overhaul in five or six pieces of legislation.

The Senate bill specifically calls upon the National Academy of Sciences to produce reports evaluating how the Army Corps of Engineers can improve transparency to work with local governments, stakeholders and Congress.

The unveiling of the bill comes ahead of a Wednesday morning hearing in front of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that will focus on its water legislation.

It also comes a week after the House Appropriations Committee introduced a $44.7 billion budget for energy and water resources in fiscal 2019.