From E&E News: ‘We’re close’ on WRDA deal – Shuster

  • Water
  • by BPC Staff
  • on December 1, 2016

House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster said yesterday that lawmakers are very close to reaching an agreement on the Water Resources Development Act.

“I think what we’ve got is a pretty good, balanced bill,” said the Pennsylvania Republican. “We’re not there yet, but we’re close.”

The Senate could move on the massive water resources bill as early as tomorrow. The upper chamber’s version of the legislation, S. 2848, includes a hefty provision to boost funding to clean up waterways and make drinking water safe as well as authorizations water projects overseen by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Staffers from both chambers are working to reconcile two very different versions of the water resources legislation. The $5 billion House version, H.R. 5303, does not include the clean water and drinking water sections, which make up almost half of the cost of the roughly $10 billion Senate bill.

But Shuster’s committee will not have a say in the thorniest aspect of the bill, namely, a funding package to help residents of Flint, Mich., address widespread lead contamination in their drinking water.

“That’s really not my call,” said Shuster. “That’s leadership’s call, that’s [the Energy and Commerce Committee’s] call.”

Meanwhile, Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) told reporters yesterday that the Flint aid package may only contain $170 million, less than the $220 million that passed the upper chamber in November.

And last night, Flint’s congressman, Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), said he would continue to press Republicans to keep their promise on providing aid.

“Until we see language and until we have an agreement to how the process will go, we’re just continuing to push,” he said.

Reprinted from E&E Daily with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC – 202-628-6500

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