Water groups, states warn of funding cliff as Hill pursues earmarks

By Miranda Willson | 04/09/2024 06:36 AM EDT

Trade groups and state regulators have long grumbled about the return of earmarks. They are now escalating their pushback.

House Appropriations Committee hearing room.

The door to a House Appropriations Committee hearing room on Capitol Hill. The panel helps determine what projects will received funding under the revamped earmarking process. Francis Chung/POLITICO

A coalition of state agencies and water trade groups are rallying to “save” funding for water infrastructure that is increasingly being spent on lawmakers’ pet projects.

The Clean Water and Drinking Water state revolving funds provide grants and low-cost financing for states to improve public sewer systems, reduce pollution from stormwater and make drinking water safer.

In recent years, however, members of Congress have used some money from the two respective funds to pay for earmarked projects that they’ve personally selected in their districts.


Lawmakers have defended the practice and note the revolving funds got a major funding boost through the bipartisan infrastructure law in 2021.