In the week and a half since the House and Senate passed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, we at Clean Water Council have had a chance to reflect on what this important legislation, which awaits President Obama’s signature, says about CWC, our members, and the Congressmen and Congresswomen we lobby on those members’ behalf.
First, enactment of the law reflects more than a year’s worth of hard work on the part of the CWC. The coalition lobbied strenuously for some key provisions, such as the Water Infrastructure Financing Innovation Act (WIFIA), which will provide financing capabilities for states and localities for water infrastructure projects, and reforms to the State Revolving Fund. Thanks to our persistence, both were included in the final law, and the case we made for ensuring that WIFIA and SRF’s be implemented separately so that one program wouldn’t replace or infringe on the other, prevailed. We see this as a huge victory for CWC, our members and all those who, like us, see the acute need for more – and more effectively administered – water infrastructure funding.
Second, we are taking note of those Congressmen and Senators who opposed WRRDA (voting No in the House: Amash (MI), Gohmert (TX), Heulskamp (KS), and Salmon (AZ)); and voting NO in the the Senate: Burr (NC), Coburn (OK), Flake (AZ), Johnson (WI), Lee (UT), McCain (AZ), and Roberts (KS)). Given the clear and widespread need for water infrastructure throughout the U.S., we find ourselves asking: what could these lawmakers reasonably find more important than providing clean and drinkable water to constituents and navigable waters for their businesses? So far, the response we’ve gotten, through their parsed political smoke and mirrors, indicates these lawmakers prioritize their allegiance to a sinking conservative think-tank over their constituents’ need for clean and navigable water for their homes and businesses. The CWC proudly commends the 503 members of Congress who chose to put Americans and American businesses ahead of shortsighted politics and priorities that only matter inside the Washington beltway.
Finally, over the coming weeks, check back with us for a breakdown of WRRDA’s most important and impactive provisions. Expect succinct and clear explanations of the law, how it will operate and the ways in which it will benefit America’s underground and navigation infrastructure for all 50 states. You will find this analysis here on our blog as well as state-specific information on our Clean Water Council website, www.cleanwatercouncil.org.