Congressional Committees Lay Legislative Groundwork for Busy July

(June 17, 2020) – Since the House’s passage of the Heroes Act last month , Congressional action on further COVID-19 stimulus relief has remained at a standstill as Senate Leadership continues to take a wait and see approach before proceeding on any related legislation while the U.S. economy slowly reopens. 

This week, however, the White House signaled its strong desire to move quickly on a multitrillion dollar COVID-19 stimulus package this summer to help jumpstart the economy, with infrastructure as a key component.

It remains unclear when and how the next package will come together given some initial signs of improving unemployment numbers and questions surrounding the scope of infrastructure funding in forthcoming stimulus legislation. For example, the Senate Majority Leadership prefers a more limited infrastructure role in line with their Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and Highway authorization bills which have passed the relevant committees of jurisdiction on a bipartisan basis.

While the timeline and final details have yet to unfold, Congressional committees are continuing to hold hearings and work behind the scenes to lay the groundwork for potential advancement of stimulus and infrastructure legislation in July and into the fall.

Additionally, Congressional appropriators are continuing their work to finalize the initial drafts of the FY 2021 appropriations bills with the goal of marking them up in committee over the coming weeks and bringing them before the House and Senate in July for a vote to then proceed to conference negotiations.

July is expected to be a busy month in Congress, and clean water is certainly in the mix. In the meantime, NACWA is continuing to work with Congress to ensure the needs of the clean water sector are heard and included on all these legislative fronts, and NACWA urges all members to continue advocating with their Congressional delegations. Please contact Kristina Surfus or Jason Isakovic to discuss further.