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Elsewhere on the Hill…

The House has taken action on two legislative items of interest to state drinking water programs…

On September 17th, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee marked up and passed HR 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA).  The measure reauthorizes funding for the Corps to “develop, maintain, and support the Nation’s vital port and waterways infrastructure needs, and support effective and targeted flood protection and environmental restoration needs.”  Unlike the Senate version, this bill does not contain any WIFIA-like pilot initiatives.

On September 19th, the House passed a revamped version of the Farm Bill (HR 3102) that dramatically decreases funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by $40 billion over the next ten years.  Despite Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) assertions that “The Senate will never pass such hateful, punitive legislation”, the door is now open for House and Senate Agriculture Committee members to go to conference on the legislation that does include funding for conservation programs.

The Senate has also introduced a new bill…

On September 17th, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced a “Climate Infrastructure” measure that has been referred to the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee.  Although text of the bill is not yet available through THOMAS, the measure (S 1508) authorizes “the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a program of awarding grants to owners or operators of water systems to increase the resiliency or adaptability of the systems to any ongoing or forecasted changes to the hydrologic conditions of a region of the United States.”