The chief executive officer of the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA), Doug Carlson, issued the following statement on the House passage of H.R. 3684, the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act:
“America’s utility construction industry applauds the U.S. House for passing on a 221-201 vote the INVEST in America Act. Congress is finally taking seriously this nation’s need to invest significantly more resources to repair and rebuild its obsolete water and wastewater infrastructure systems. The $117 billion this bill contains for the Drinking Water state revolving fund and lead pipe removal projects, as well as the $51 billion for the Clean Water state revolving fund, is a welcome and significant increase in resources that NUCA’s members could use to improve the health and safety of their local communities.
“We need signed legislation adequately funding our nation’s water and wastewater projects, which both chambers and parties have already agreed upon. And we urge Congress to avoid being sidetracked by partisan policy proposals that sound good in theory but in practice will harm the economic recovery this bill aims to strengthen. Until these bills are signed into law by President Biden, they remain political talking points, not the reality shaped by concrete, steel, pipe, and clean water.
“I also want to remind lawmakers not to lose sight of infrastructure’s bigger picture as Congress works on more legislation this summer. The $715 billion INVEST in America Act is just one part of a much larger package of ideas and projects. At the very least, we must have a reauthorized surface transportation law in place by September 30. While the funding levels in this bill are strong, the House must come to a bipartisan agreement with the Senate to meet that critical deadline.
“NUCA and our industry’s 570,000 employees strongly urge Congress to find a bipartisan path forward for its infrastructure bills to satisfy America’s requirements for modern highways, water and sewer lines, airports, broadband communications, railroads, ports, and the other necessary physical structures we use every day.
“Infrastructure is too important for Congress to slide into partisan politics—a community’s obsolete or leaking water system isn’t going to fix itself without resources.”
About The National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA)
Founded in 1964, the National Utility Contractors Association represents nearly 1,700 U.S. utility and excavation contractors, manufacturers, and suppliers who provide the materials and workforce to build and maintain our nation’s intricate network of water, sewer, gas, telecommunications, and electric infrastructure. NUCA is found online at www.nuca.com, and can be followed on Twitter at @NUCA_National. The association’s Twitter hashtags are #WeDigAmerica and #NUCAdigs.