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Congressman Jerry McNerney

Representing the 9th District of California

Rep. McNerney Applauds Water Infrastructure Fix in Passage of Highway Transportation Bill

Dec 3, 2015
Press Release

Washington – Rep. Jerry McNerney (CA-09) today applauded the U.S. House passage of the FAST Act that included a provision that strikes the prohibition barring municipalities from using tax exempt bonds toward Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) projects. Last week, Rep. McNerney and Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) led their House colleagues in a bipartisan letter urging that this provision be included in the final highway-transportation bill language.

“Lifting the tax-exempt municipal bond ban for WIFIA projects is a significant win and represents a long overdue investment in America’s crumbling infrastructure that will benefit millions of Americans. Critical repairs to our aging water infrastructure would help us to better manage water shortages and respond to drought conditions that put pressure on our water supply,” said Rep. McNerney. “This fix will also benefit the economy through the hundreds of thousands of jobs created in building these water infrastructure projects. I applaud Rep. Curbelo for his efforts to lift this ban so that communities across the nation have access to safe, clean drinking water.”

An estimated 7 billion gallons of water is lost per day in this country due to leaky pipes. This can result in some cities losing as much as 30 percent of their water. Currently, there are enough shovel-ready drinking water projects in the country to create more than 400,000 jobs, including 90,000 construction jobs. Lifting the tax-exempt municipal bond ban for WIFIA projects will help get some of these projects up and running.

“I am pleased to see this fix included in today’s FAST Act to allow the WIFIA program to use tax-exempt municipal bonds to revitalize our nation’s aging water infrastructure. This important change will not only create jobs, but will help to ensure that all Americans have an ample supply of clean water in their communities. I thank Rep. McNerney for his leadership on this issue and for his dedication to fixing our country’s current water systems. Today’s passage of the FAST Act is a victory for all Americans,” said Rep. Curbelo.

Earlier this year, Rep. McNerney 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 also co-sponsored Rep. Curbelo’s legislation, H.R. 3756, that would have removed the financial assistance limitation for WIFIA water projects.

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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.