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 BarrassoTo stave off a recession, let's pass a transportation infrastructure bill Overnight Defense: GOP wary of action on Iran | Pence says US 'locked and loaded' to defend allies | Iran's leader rules out talks with US GOP senator: Iran is behind attack on Saudi Arabia 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 CarperInstead of raising the gas tax, stop wasting money on frivolous projects To stave off a recession, let's pass a transportation infrastructure bill Overnight Energy: Trump tweets he's revoking California's tailpipe waiver | Move comes as Trump visits state | California prepares for court fight | Climate activist Greta Thunberg urges lawmakers to listen to scientists 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 InhofeThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump declares 'case closed' as text messages raise new questions Top House Democrat: Trump did 'on camera' what Romney warned about GOP senators attack whistleblower's credibility MORE (R-Okla.), chairman of the panel's Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, and subcommittee ranking member Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinSenate Democrats aim to repeal rules blocking Trump tax law workarounds Congress briefed on Iran after Saudi oil attacks Senate Democrats hesitant to go all-in on impeachment probe 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 RyanAmash: Trump incorrect in claiming Congress didn't subpoena Obama officials Democrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic 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.