The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has been passed in the House of Representatives.
The bill was approved by the House on Nov. 5—approved by the Senate back in August—and, as of Nov. 15, 2021, has been signed by President Biden. The passage of the bill in the House of Representatives, as well as the president's recent signature, is a big step in the right direction after months of delays and setbacks.
Biden signed the bill into law on Monday Nov. 15 on the White House lawn, wanting to wait until both the House and the Senate were back on Capitol Hill before making the bill law.
“I want people who worked so hard to get this done—Democrats and Republicans—to be here when we sign it,” Biden said on Nov. 5, according to Today.
The finalized bill allocates $1.2 trillion for infrastructure in the United States, including $55 billion for water pipe upgrades, investments in clean drinking water, and water recycling programs as well as $65 billion to strengthen the electrical grid.
Many organizations in the pumps industry have spoken out and voiced support for the passage of the bill and its new investment in water infrastructure nationwide.
“With enactment of the bipartisan infrastructure investment package, Congress and the administration recognize the essential role water recycling is playing in helping communities confront the impacts of climate change and build more resilient and sustainable water resources for their communities,” said Patricia Sinicropi, executive director of the WateReuse Association. “This is an important day for water in the U.S.”
The International Union of Operating Engineers also reacted positively to the passage of the bill, celebrating the opportunity for training and employment legislation like this provides. “It will rebuild the nation’s crumbling public works and solidify the foundation upon which America competes in the global economy,” said James T. Callahan, general president of the IUOE.
“The legislative process is not always easy, but bipartisanship and compromise are essential to move our country forward. Passing this historic infrastructure bill is a major step forward. We expect to see further progress in the days to come.”
Another organization voicing support for the bill was the U.S. Water Alliance, celebrating the bill’s provisions that will put money into localities’ hands. “This is a remarkable and historic first step toward reversing the widening investment gap between the amount of money our water infrastructure needs and what is annually spent,” said Mami Hara, U.S. Water Alliance CEO.
The American Water Works Association's Buried No Longer report from 2012 showed that more than $1 trillion would be required to repair and expand drinking water infrastructure over 25 years.
"Renewing and upgrading the nation's water infrastructure is critical to protect public health, safeguard the environment and allow our economy to prosper," an AWWA statement read.
"As the largest association of water professionals in the world, AWWA is grateful to U.S. Congress and President Biden for making water infrastructure a priority in enacting the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. By reauthorizing the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act and doubling funding for the drinking water State Revolving Fund, the federal government is helping states and local water providers to spur on critical water projects. In addition, the $15 billion designated for lead service line replacement is a welcome down payment on what could be a $60 billion challenge."
The American Public Works Association (APWA) also applauded Congress on the passage of the bill. APWA CEO Scott Grayson praised the investment in infrastructure the bill makes. “From roads and bridges to better protecting communities against natural disasters to modernizing our water infrastructure network, this long-awaited legislation will make significant upgrades in people’s lives."
“My message to the American people is this: America is moving again and your life is going to change for the better,” Biden said, according to AP.