U.S. Senate Returning to Washington; Scope of Additional Stimulus Under Debate

(May 1, 2020) – The U.S. Senate plans to return to session in Washington, D.C. on Monday, May 4th as Congress continues to negotiate a path forward on coronavirus response. The House meanwhile scrapped its plans to return Monday and will continue working remotely.

Rank and file Members of Congress have increasingly called for Congress to return to Washington, D.C., so that individual Members can have greater involvement and oversight of the coronavirus response, and so other business can also resume.

In response to the pandemic, Democratic leadership is urging swift action of a major package of state and municipal relief and additional social services spending, on which they had previously agreed with Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to pursue. While some Congressional Republicans also support such a package, Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) has pushed back on the idea that another major package is needed.

NACWA is continuing to work closely with Congress to urge that the next phase of coronavirus response include direct assistance to utilities to aid in lost revenues, as well as support for utilities providing continuation of services for those unable to pay their water bills. Local outreach will be key to getting water sector assistance over the finish line. We strongly urge all utilities to reach out to their Congressional delegations – and continue to be the squeaky wheel. If you have not yet sent a letter to Congress, you can use NACWA’s template letter.

NACWA has compiled a fact sheet of estimated financial impacts to water and wastewater utilities. We encourage you to use this information in your federal outreach and in any way beneficial to your local efforts.  To discuss your outreach efforts please contact Kristina Surfus or Jason Isakovic on NACWA staff anytime.