Senate Infrastructure Package Passes
Just after 11am ET, the U.S. Senate voted 69-30 to pass a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill capping off months of intense, back and forth negotiations. This sweeping, historic legislation invests in core, physical infrastructure like roads, bridges, rail, and broadband and specifically contains $55 billion for water and wastewater infrastructure. Some highlights include:
- $11.7 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Funds (over 5 years),
- $11.7 billion for the Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (over 5 years),
- $15 billion for lead service line replacement projects,
- $1 billion for emerging contaminants in wastewater,
- $4 billion for emerging contaminants in drinking water supplies with a focus on PFAS,
- $5 billion for disadvantaged communities.
Major issues remain before this infrastructure investment legislation becomes law. Not the least of which is House Speaker Pelosi’s vow to hold onto the just passed infrastructure bill until the Senate passes a massive $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package which will not occur until October at the earliest.
The Senate is scheduled to consider this budget blueprint next and must work through the coming months to translate the $3.5 trillion funding level into legislative text with the goal to achieve the remaining parts of President Biden’s economic agenda. This initial Senate vote will likely last into tomorrow morning as Republicans propose multiple amendments in a “vote-a-rama” to force Democrats into taking politically fraught votes. However, both parties expect Democrats will prevail on the simple majority vote required. See the Senate Budget Committee’s press release here for more on the Democrat’s plan.