Trump Administration Budget Boosts Some Water Infrastructure Programs, Eliminates Others
The Trump Administration released its preliminary budget
proposal which includes a dramatic cut of 31 percent to the Environmental
Protection Agency. However, amid this deep cut to the agency, is $2.3 billion for the State Revolving Funds, a
$4 million increase over the 2017 annualized CR level. The Budget also provides
$20 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program – equal to the funding provided in the 2017
annualized CR – which could potentially support $1 billion in direct Federal loans. Investments in these programs build on Trump’s
campaign promise to focus on infrastructure investment
and triple the water and wastewater State Revolving Fund programs, as well as
the statements in support of water infrastructure funding by newly sworn in EPA
Administrator Scott Pruitt.
Conversely, Trump’s budget completely eliminates the USDA’s
Rural Utilities Service Water and Waste Disposal Program. This program has
averaged around $500 million annually in recent years. The budget document
declares that rural communities can be served by private sector financing or
other Federal investments in rural water infrastructure, such as the
Environmental Protection Agency’s State Revolving Funds.
AGC is of course going through the President’s budget proposal now as we work to provide our members with a more detailed analysis. That being said, looked at in the absence of any broader infrastructure plan, it is hard not to view proposals to eliminate programs like the RUS Water and Waste Disposal Program and wonder how such cuts don’t contradict the President’s oft-repeated pledge to invest in infrastructure. Like many others, we are eager to see how this budget fits into the broader context of the President’s infrastructure plans before passing final judgment.
This fiscal blueprint offers only top-line spending
figures for each agency and highlights programs that would see major increases
or cuts in the coming fiscal year. A more detailed budget is due in May that is
expected to contain line-by-line spending for agencies as well as projections
for tax revenue and entitlement spending. As with most presidential budgets,
this document serves mostly in an advisory capacity to Congress, and many of
the steep cuts proposed by the White House will face hurdles there. AGC will
continue to press for increases to water infrastructure programs.
more information, contact Scott Berry at (703) 837-5321 or email@example.com
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