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 BarrassoDems slam EPA plan for fighting drinking water contaminants Overnight Energy: Zinke joins Trump-tied lobbying firm | Senators highlight threat from invasive species | Top Republican calls for Green New Deal vote in House Senators highlight threat from invasive species 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 CarperDems slam EPA plan for fighting drinking water contaminants EPA to announce PFAS chemical regulation plans by end of year Overnight Energy: Zinke joins Trump-tied lobbying firm | Senators highlight threat from invasive species | Top Republican calls for Green New Deal vote in House 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 InhofeAllies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump On The Money: Trump to sign border deal, declare emergency to build wall | Senate passes funding bill, House to follow | Dems promise challenge to emergency declaration Trump to sign border deal, declare national emergency MORE (R-Okla.), chairman of the panel's Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, and subcommittee ranking member Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinBipartisan Senators reintroduce legislation to slap new sanctions on Russia Baseball legend Frank Robinson, first black manager in MLB, dies at 83 Biden speaking to Dems on Capitol Hill as 2020 speculation mounts: report 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 RyanThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Sanders set to shake up 2020 race McCabe: No one in 'Gang of Eight' objected to FBI probe into Trump Unscripted Trump keeps audience guessing in Rose Garden 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.