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EPA Administrator Wheeler Statement on House Democrats’ FY21 Appropriations Bill Defunding Water Infrastructure, Key Programs

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WASHINGTON (July 9, 2020) — Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler issued the following statement on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Interior-Environment Appropriations bill.

“I would recommend President Trump veto this bill. The Democrats’ FY21 Interior-Environment Appropriations bill fails to include funding for vital programs necessary to ensure EPA can carry out its core mission.

“At a time when countless cities across America are facing financial difficulties, Democrats have completely gutted the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), a popular loan program which has provided nearly $12 billion in water infrastructure projects and created 25,000 jobs under President Trump. Since the onset of the pandemic, WIFIA has saved taxpayers over a billion dollars while continuing to move critical infrastructure projects forward in cities including: San Francisco, CA, Seattle, WA, Miami, FL, Courtland, NY, Wichita, KS, and numerous other cities across the country.

“House Democrats are blackmailing the agency on the basis of their arbitrary response deadlines for congressional letters. In an election year gimmick they are attempting to penalize the agency by threatening to withhold funds for an alleged failure to provide information regarding my predecessor that was shared with the Appropriations Committee more than a year ago.  

“The House Majority is trying to score political points instead of putting forward a realistic appropriations bill. They are trying to undo common-sense regulations put forth by the Trump Administration that update Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and make lawful methane adjustments that have saved taxpayers millions of dollars while protecting human health and the environment, and allowing American businesses to flourish.

“Rather than looking out for the health and safety of Americans and the environment, House Democrats are playing politics at the expense of both communities across the country and EPA career employees.”