WASHINGTON (AP) – It is rare for a regular water bill to cause so much political uproar, but on Thursday senators raised the issue, with bipartisan infrastructure legislation serving as a prelude to an agreement on President Biden’s ambitious US Labor Plan.
2021 The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act provides about $ 35 billion over five years to improve leaking pipes, upgrade equipment, and is widely supported by lawmakers in their states. This time, however, it can be much more. Biden’s total $ 2.3 trillion bid structure for road construction, bridges and other infrastructure investments.
Senators overwhelmingly approved the 89-2 rating, which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, of the DN.Y., called “a great example” of what is possible in Congress.
“Let it be a signal to our Republican partners that Senate Democrats want to work together on infrastructure when and where we can,” he said.
Still, after Biden addressed a joint session of Congress summing up his broad proposals for reinvesting in US infrastructure, the road ahead is expected to be long, politically intimidating.
With Congress significantly divided, with և Democrats ունեն having only a majority in the Senate, in the Senate, Biden ում Congress leaders will soon have to decide how they intend to legislate their overriding legislation.
The White House is appealing to Republicans as Biden sues GP lawmakers for their contribution to the package and for winning their votes. “We welcome the ideas,” he said in a joint speech.
But most Republicans oppose Biden’s overall agenda as the government takes a big step. The American Working Plan Together ծրագիրը The American Family Plan, a major contribution to preschool and community college և free child tax benefits, is $ 4 trillion.
Bill’s bill is a possible example, but it is also a divisive one.
The $ 35 billion effort is far less than the president’s $ 111 billion in eight years. But that’s in line with what a small group of Republican senators nominated last week in retaliation for Biden’s infrastructure package.
One key lawmaker, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, RW.Va., who was negotiating with the White House to help pass the water bill, made the announcement on Thursday.
“We know the next few weeks and months are going to be tough,” Capito, chief Republican of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said in a speech before the vote. “I hope that when we move on with our other infrastructure packages, we remember this moment.”
The Bill’s bill is commonplace in the Capitol Hill, but in recent years lawmakers have struggled to pass it, amid a stalemate in party affiliation with party leaders in the legislative process.
This week, part of the exhaustion among the senators was about the legislation itself, the passage of the bill through a committee հանձն և handover և to discuss փոփոխ Senate floor changes և.
“I say the more we can do, the better,” said Sen. Tim Kane of D-Va.
“Maybe we can take Biden’s infrastructure plan and do the parts,” he said. “Where we can reach an agreement, do it together. And then the rest of the things that we think need to be done, that price goes down a bit, because we did other things. ”
One of the reasons for accepting Bill’s account so easily was that decisions about how to pay for it would come later.
Biden’s infrastructure plan proposes tax increases for corporations, raising the exchange rate from 21% to 28%, as it was before 2017. GOP tax cuts. This is not a start for Republicans who do not want to pursue the Trump-era achievement.
Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a GOP executive, said the water bill could certainly be part of a larger infrastructure package that is “one of the building blocks ahead.”
But he warned. “Apples and oranges, compared to the President’s Infrastructure Bill.”
The increased costs required by the bill are directed to two long-term projects that operate like infrastructure banks. One for drinking water, the other for wastewater. Each project is expected to receive up to $ 14.65 billion over five years.
It is supported by a wide range of stakeholders. Around the country, sewage systems are used throughout the country to repair leaking pipes, build storage tanks, upgrade water treatment plants, and protect estuaries, with just a few uses.
The bill also includes a number of grant programs, including reducing lead in drinking water, converting waste into energy, making water systems more resilient to floods, and other extreme weather events. More than 40% of the bill’s investments go to low-income rural communities.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Said she remembers hearing from a house a few years ago when a mother from Flint, Michigan, held a baby bottle from her faucet filled with turbid brown water.
“Although Flint was a tragedy, it was not an anomaly,” he said. Lead service lines were banned decades ago, but more than 6 million homes across the country receive water from lead lines, including Illinois.
“We can not spend money just to repair our roads, while we could not restore the pipes under them,” said Duckworth. “Water infrastructure is an IN infrastructure.
The federal government plays a small role compared to the state և local government when it comes to public spending on drinking water ջրի wastewater facilities – less than 5%.
During the hearing, utility officials testified that the epidemic had exacerbated the financial tensions they were facing in replacing aging pipes and other infrastructure. They called for more federal investment to prevent interest rates from rising, preventing communities from raising such prices.
At the same time, House Democrats are pushing for water infrastructure bills that go beyond the White House, explaining that a compromise on renewed water-based public works is still a long way off.
Associated Press writer Matthew Dali contributed to this report.