House Agrees To Budget Resolution; Reconciliation Process Begins
On August 24, the House approved a budget resolution that sets in motion the process to develop and vote on the reconciliation funding package later this fall. The chamber narrowly approved of the resolution on a vote of 220-212, after House Democrat leadership reached an agreement with centrist Democrats who threatened to vote against the resolution if a vote on the Senate-passed infrastructure bill (H.R. 3684) was not scheduled by leadership. The House is now scheduled to vote on the infrastructure bill on September 27.
Now that the House has passed the budget resolution, it allows for congressional committees to start developing their titles of the reconciliation package that will be used to pass the Administration’s $3.5 trillion “soft” infrastructure policy agenda. By using reconciliation, Democrats are hoping to secure passage of this $3.5 trillion dollar package by a simple majority vote of 51 in the Senate where the package lacks bipartisan support.
Senate Passes Comprehensive Infrastructure Package
Before adjourning for August recess, the Senate passed its version of the comprehensive infrastructure package, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684). Now that the Senate passed its version of the bill, H.R. 3684 goes back to the House to be considered and voted on. The House is scheduled to vote on the bill on September 27. Under the Senate package, clean water infrastructure would receive a variety of federal funding assistance through reauthorizations of existing programs, creation of new funding assistance programs, and emergency appropriated funding. This includes the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) being appropriated $11.7 billion over five years, $50 million for the popular WIFIA program, and $1 billion in capitalization grants to support wastewater utilities in addressing PFAS contamination. Additionally, the Senate bill includes a Western Water Infrastructure title that reauthorizes water infrastructure assistance programs at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation that support western water needs. A complete summary of the key funding provisions for the clean water sector can be accessed here.