House Passes “Build Back Better” Bill

Legislative News,

House Passes “Build Back Better” Bill: The bill (H.R. 5376) passed the House on Friday morning by a vote of 220-213.  The White House estimated the bill would cost $1.75 trillion and reduce the deficit by generating more than $2.1 trillion over 10 years.  The final version of the bill appears to have dropped some of the water funding provisions included in the version released by the White House just over two weeks ago, but it does include:

  • $97 million to USDA for grants for rural water and wastewater programs (Section 12001),
  • $970 million to USDA for replacing service lines that contain lead (Section 12002),
  • $9 billion for EPA for lead service line replacement (Section 30301),
  • $225 million for EPA for low-income water customers to reduce arrearages and water rates (Section 30302),
  • $125 million for EPA to support investment in alternative water source projects (Section 110014),
  • $1.850 billion for EPA for sewer overflow and stormwater reuse projects (Section 110015),
  • $150 million for EPA for domestic septic systems, including connecting households with failing septic systems to public sewer systems (Section 110016), and 
  • $550,000,000 to the Bureau of Reclamation for potable water supply projects (Section 70801).

Congressional Leaders Concede Another Stopgap Spending Bill 'Likely' as Negotiations Remain at Standstill: The current short-term continuing resolution (CR) is set to expire on December 3.  Senate Majority Leader Schumer (NY) said last week that it is “likely” another CR will be necessary following weeks of stalled bipartisan negotiations.

Congressional Legislation to Unlock More ARPA Funds for Infrastructure: The State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act (S. 3011) passed the Senate in October and is awaiting consideration in the House.  It would give states and local governments more leeway in how they can use their allotments of federal pandemic aid, while allowing more money to go to transportation projects and state and local governments to use up to $10 million of their aid to cover the cost of general government services without undertaking a revenue loss analysis now required under the relief law.