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U.S. National Debt:

Clean Water Funding Doubles Under Crapo Amendment To Budget

Federal loans under revolving fund could climb to $5.2 billion

Washington, DC - States will receive more than twice the federal help they now get for drinking water and wastewater improvements under an amendment to the Budget Resolution authored by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. The amendment was approved by voice vote in the full Senate this morning and will be included in the Fiscal Year 2004 Budget Resolution now being debated by the U.S. Senate. A vote on the full resolution is expected before the end of the week.Crapo chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water, which has oversight of the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act. The amendment today builds on Crapo's efforts last year to pass the Water Investment Act of 2002. The measure would have contributed to the Clean Water and Drinking Water revolving loan funds distributed by individual states to utilities and water providers in those states. The Crapo Amendment approved today obtains that same goal by increasing the funding available by $3 billion, from $2.2 billion to $5.2 billion for Fiscal Year 2004.â??Improving the safety of our drinking water and protecting the environment by improving our clean water infrastructure is one of the most important efforts we can help states with from the federal level,â?? Crapo said. â??Cities and states can be in violation of federal regulations if their water programs are not in order. It is appropriate these federal mandates are accompanied by federal funding so utilities can make these improvements in our infrastructure and I appreciate the bipartisan support for this important water legislation.â??Crapo noted his amendment would not reduce tax cuts now incorporated in the Budget Resolution. Rather it is funded through unobligated funds contained in the Budget Resolution, providing an across-the-board spending reduction to pay for the increase in the water funding. Crapo won awards from consumer groups last year for his work on safe water and groundwater issues.â??Rural economic development depends on improvements in the rural infrastructure. This is a cornerstone of the improvement process. Teamed with broadband improvements, rural energy production and other farm programs, this is a critical building block in improving the economic well-being of rural America.â??# # #