The National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) applauded the news last week of the Senate committee passage of two important water infrastructure bills, but the association leadership remains concerned that these bills do not go far enough.
“While the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 (AWIA) and the Drinking Water Infrastructure Act (DWIA) of 2020 passed last week by the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works are comprehensive, the funding levels included for certain programs should be reevaluated. We applaud Sens. Barrasso and Carper for taking this comprehensive approach in addressing America’s water infrastructure needs, but halfway measures bridging this funding gap are not enough. America is seeking bold leadership to restore our economy, and those leadership decisions must include providing an adequate amount of infrastructure resources,” said Doug Carlson, NUCA CEO.
This year, our nation is facing an unprecedented emergency economic crisis. With unemployment levels reaching Great Depression levels, this is no time for Congress to hold back on ideas or on funding to restart our economy. Infrastructure projects have proven from history to lead the way back to economic prosperity.
The full U.S. Senate can this week begin the process to begin a robust debate on infrastructure policy, with the two bills passed May 5 by the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee providing a solid platform. The other part of a possible infrastructure package, the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019 (ATIA, S. 2302) passed last July, still awaits full Senate action.
A large part of the answer to restoring the American economy is awaiting a vote in the U.S. Senate. American’s utility construction industry knows that any delay in putting these bills to work for America is another round of job losses and economic calamity.
Both houses have legislation that can address America’s long-standing infrastructure needs and our immediate requirements to get ordinary Americans back to work. But both houses of Congress need to get back to work and start scheduling votes.
“Congress needs to act,” said Carlson, speaking for the 19,000 utility construction businesses in America and NUCA’s own membership. “Lawmakers will have to include much more investment to both AWIA and DWIA and in our infrastructure programs for this legislation to make a real difference. NUCA will be working in the weeks ahead to increase Congress’s commitment to clean water and economic growth.”
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.