Just before the October recess, ASA Government Affairs Director Steve Rossi headed to Capitol Hill for discussions focused on water quality, as well as supply chain and small business issues.
From droughts in California to flooding in Jackson, Mississippi (and since then, areas affected by Hurricane Ian), water infrastructure has become one of the most discussed topics in Washington recently.
The Healthy H2O Act, (S.4081) a bill being supported by ASA and its coalition partners (IAPMO, WQA, NSF, etc.), aims to resolve water quality disparities in rural areas. The legislation, sponsored by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Susan Collins (R-ME), would provide grants for filtration systems through a USDA grant program.
While there has been increased federal funding for water infrastructure projects, much of it is directed at urban areas, and this measure would seek to broaden that assistance. While this bill is unlikely to pass before the end of the year, it is well positioned to be taken up again once the new Congress is sworn in next January.
During a meeting on the Senate side, news broke about the national railroad strike (that was later averted). This served as a perfect segue to talk about many of the supply chain issues ASA members have continued to face, along with increased regulations and costs that have appeared to accelerate over the course of the 117th Congress, and particularly over the last month.
With only a few weeks to go until the midterm elections, January will prove to be a different political environment, and ASA’s Advocacy office will be well positioned to discuss these and other issues with new members.
In addition, ASA will be holding a Washington, D.C. legislative fly-in (taking place March 28-29, 2023) to provide an opportunity to our members to take their concerns directly to their senators and members of Congress. More details on the fly-in will be forthcoming in the near future.