Saturday, April 4, 2020

Inhofe introduces legislation to increase funding available for water system infrastructure improvements

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK)
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), who chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee, recently proposed legislation, co-authored by U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), that would increase the amount of funding available for communities around the country, like Flint, Michigan, dealing with failing water infrastructure.

The legislation, which was filed as an amendment to the Energy Modernization Act, would increase the budget for the Drinking Water Act State Revolving Fund and create funding for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) program.

“Using these existing, authorized programs is the fiscally responsible thing to do not only for Flint but also for the entire nation facing a water infrastructure crisis,” Inhofe said. "These programs provide low interest loans to the states, local governments and other water suppliers to help address critical water infrastructure needs, and when the loan is paid back, more communities can receive funding.”

The increased funding would come from defunding a current program that subsidizes Advance Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loans, which has issued just five loans since 2008. Inhofe was also critical of President Barack Obama’s efforts to fund climate change-fighting initiatives, calling the lack of investment in infrastructure “misplaced priorities.”

“My bill changes those misplaced priorities by taking $250 million from a failed program and moving it to where it should have been all along,” Inhofe said. “Just as we successfully showed in the recent highway bill, Congress can and should take necessary action to support the critical infrastructure that keeps Americans safe and makes way for new economic opportunity for our nation.”

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Senate Environment and Public Works

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