Rep. McNerney Sends Letter Calling for Fix to Water Infrastructure Projects Funding...

Rep. McNerney Sends Letter Calling for Fix to Water Infrastructure Projects Funding as Part of Transportation Bill Negotiations

Washington – November 23, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Rep. Jerry McNerney (CA-09) and Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) led their House colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter to the Chairs and Ranking members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, urging the conference committee on the transportation reauthorization bill to include a provision that strikes the prohibition that bars municipalities from using tax exempt bonds toward Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) projects. The Senate version of the highway-transportation bill included the necessary fix to the WIFIA program.

Earlier this year, Rep. McNerney previously tried to suspend this ban by introducing H.R. 1710 to help states, including California, with declarations of emergency due to severe drought conditions. Rep. McNerney is also a co-sponsor of Rep. Curbelo’s legislation, H.R. 3756, that would remove the financial assistance limitation for WIFIA water projects.

Full text of the letter:

November 19, 2015

The Honorable James Inhofe                                   The Honorable Barbara Boxer

Chairman                                                                   Ranking Member

Committee on Environment and Public Works     Committee on Environment and Public Works

205 Russell Senate Office Building                          112 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510                                            Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Bill Shuster                                     The Honorable Peter DeFazio

Chairman                                                                   Ranking Member

Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure    Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure

204 Cannon House Office Building                         2134 Rayburn House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515                                            Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairmen Inhofe and Shuster and Ranking Members Boxer and DeFazio:

We write to you regarding the importance of investing in our nation’s infrastructure, for both transportation and water. As you know, the current surface transportation extension is set to expire on December 4, 2015.

U.S. water infrastructure is crumbling, costing millions of dollars, hurting job growth, and impacting states’ ability to manage droughts and water shortages. We lose an estimated 7 billion gallons of water per day from leaking pipes, with some cities losing as much as 30 percent of their water. There are enough shovel-ready drinking water projects around the U.S. that would create jobs for more than 400,000 American, including almost 90,000 direct construction jobs. In addition, nearly $335 billion worth of repairs, upgrades, and replacements are needed by water systems in the next 20 years.

To help address this issue, Congress passed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (PL 113-121), that makes crucial investments in our nation’s infrastructure. Despite support from a variety of stakeholders, section 5028(a) of this legislation prohibited municipalities from using tax exempt bonds toward Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) projects.

The Senate-passed long-term highway bill, H.R. 22, included a provision striking that prohibition – a necessary fix to the WIFIA program. While similar language was excluded from the House-passed Surface Transportation Reauthorization & Reform Act, we encourage the Conference Committee to take action similar to the Senate and include language to eliminate section 5028(a) in any surface transportation reauthorization conference bill that may be developed by the conferees.

Thank you for your attention to this issue and we look forward to working with you on the important infrastructure needs of our great nation.

Sincerely,

_____________________________                    _____________________________

JERRY MCNERNEY                                        CARLOS CURBELO

Member of Congress                                          Member of Congress

_____________________________                 _____________________________

ALAN LOWENTHAL                                      ALCEE L. HASTINGS

Member of Congress                                                Member of Congress

_____________________________                  _____________________________

FREDERICA WILSON                                    MARIO DIAZ-BALART

Member of Congress                                                Member of Congress

_____________________________               _____________________________

EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON                           JARED HUFFMAN

Member of Congress                                                Member of Congress

_____________________________                  _____________________________

JIM COSTA                                                      MARTHA MCSALLY

Member of Congress                                                Member of Congress

_____________________________                  _____________________________

MIKE HONDA                                                 JULIA BROWNLEY

Member of Congress                                                Member of Congress

_____________________________                   _____________________________

ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN                               ADAM SMITH

Member of Congress                                                Member of Congress

_____________________________                 _____________________________

JOHN GARAMENDI                                       CHRIS COLLINS

Member of Congress                                                Member of Congress

____________________________

GREGG HARPER

Member of Congress

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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.

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