By Dean Franks, senior vice president, congressional relations, ARTBA
The House of Representatives Sept. 13 passed by voice vote the “America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018.” The legislation would authorize funding for $8.3 billion in new or revised port, waterway and disaster prevention projects to be overseen by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In addition to the new projects, the bill would reauthorize key levy and dam rehabilitation programs, and provide $4.4 billion for the safe drinking water state revolving loan fund over the next three years.
House and Senate authorizing committees reconciled the respective versions of the water resources measure despite the fact the Senate has not passed its own plan. This unique approach is deemed necessary due to time constraints on the Senate floor in the coming weeks. With the compromise bill approved by the House, the Senate will only need to pass one bill, likely in a stop-gap funding measure that will be required to keep some government programs operational once fiscal year 2019 begins Oct. 1.
In a Sept. 13 letter, the ARTBA co-chaired Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) urged all House members to support the water infrastructure measure. ARTBA and its colleagues will begin lobbying senators to advance the bill to President Trump to sign into law.