Republicans and Democrats Pass the Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 in the Senate 89-2, with two Republicans voting against it.
The Bill would put $35 Billion into state water infrastructure over the next four years. It will happen in gradual increments starting with 2.4 Billion and ending with 3.5 Billion but stating that different places with different populations would get various sums. For example, The Bill would establish an operational sustainability program for smaller water systems such as those located in Tribal lands and authorizes 50 million in funds annually from 2022 to 2026. The Bill will also create separate grants for water systems that serve Mid to large populations. 50% of the funding will go to systems that serve between 50k to 100k residents, and the other half will go to regions that serve over 100k residents. The Bill will also almost double funding to get lead out of the water from 60 to $100 Million per year; an amendment added so a situation like Flint, Michigan, won’t happen again in the US.
The Bill will require the EPA to analyze the spending history that what money distributed to disadvantaged and minority communities under the drinking water and clean water act and send its finding to Congress for review.
Senators passed the Bill 89 to 2, with Senators Ted Cruz (Tx.) and Mike Lee (Utah) voting against it. The Bill was co-sponsored by Democrats Tom Carper (Del.) Ben Cardin (Md.) and Tammy Duckworth (Ill.), along with Republicans Shelly Moore Capito (W.Va), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), and Kevin Cramer (N.D).
Senator Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.Va) said in a statement: This Bill also represents the solid work that comes out of good faith negotiations. I’m hopeful as we move forward on the work with this infrastructure priority that we remember this moment.”
Senator Cruz is one of only two senators to oppose this Bill; both No votes being Republican, but he has not released a statement on why he voted no on the water infrastructure bill.
The Bill is being sent to the House of Representatives for final budget approvals and votes after it is sent o Biden, who is poised to sign it as soon as it hits his desk as he promised at his Speech to the joint sessions of Congress last night.
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