Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) last week filed cloture on a comprehensive drinking water and wastewater infrastructure bill, a procedural move that sets the stage for the chamber to begin consideration of the measure this week.
The Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act (S. 914) would reauthorize several key drinking water and wastewater funding programs, expand EPA assistance to help water systems build resilience to climate change and extreme weather, and establish a pilot program to promote low-income water and wastewater affordability, among other priorities. AMWA expressed support for the bill when it was unanimously approved by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last month.
Depending on the pace of debate and securing a bipartisan agreement on amendments, S. 914 could pass the Senate as early as this week. At that point, it will be sent to the House of Representatives, where lawmakers have pitched their own water infrastructure proposals this year. But the timing for any of those measures to go before the full House is unclear, and ultimately a final water infrastructure package could be formulated later this year when House and Senate members meet in a conference committee to negotiate a compromise between S. 914 and a House proposal.