September 10, 2004 The Honorable Christopher Bond, Chairman
The Honorable Barbara Mikulski, Ranking Member
Subcommittee on VA, HUD, and the Independent Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510 Dear Chairman Bond and Ranking Member Mikulski: Even under the most severe fiscal constraints, clean water stands out as a priority. Therefore, we are writing to reiterate the majority view of the Senate on the need for adequate funding for clean water and drinking water. On May 11, 2004, fifty-three Senators wrote to you to urge that the Appropriations Committee fund the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund at the $3.2 billion level and the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund at the $2 billion level. Your subcommittee has consistently been a strong supporter of these programs that help states and local communities restore the health and safety of our nation's waters, meet water quality standards, and create jobs. Additionally, the Senate has regularly approved funding at these levels within the Budget Resolution functions that protect clean and safe water. The House of Representatives in their draft bill has moved in the opposite direction at a time when the country is faced with a critical need for investment in water infrastructure. Communities throughout the country have antiquated pipes that are 50-100 years old and in need of replacement. We are concerned that not providing the needed funding to cities and towns throughout the nation for these aging systems will pose a serious threat to public health, the environment and the economy. We urge you to reject the lower funding levels for these essential programs and follow the will of the majority of Senators, and at a minimum, provide comparable funding to fiscal year 2004. We have enclosed a copy of the May 11, 2004 letter for your reference. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Senators Jeffords, Sarbanes and Crapo