Making a kitchen-table case for massive water bill – Scott Wong – POLITICO.com

13
Sep

Making a kitchen-table case for massive water bill – Scott Wong – POLITICO.com

Less wonk. More real-world relevance.

That could be the new slogan for the lawmakers and lobbyists trying to pass the House’s first massive water and infrastructure bill since 2007.

The strategy: Emphasize the impact the bill will have on people’s everyday lives, including their clothing, home appliances and jobs.

Expect to hear that message a lot as House Transportation Committee bosses continue rolling out their version of the Water Resources and Reform Development Act this week.

The Senate passed its own $12 billion water bill by an 83-14 vote in May, using the legislation’s traditional name (the Water Resources Development Act) and a much-debated strategy for getting around Congress’s ban on earmarks. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) added the word “Reform,” signaling his intent to limit costs and cut back on the notoriously long timelines of the Army Corps of Engineers’ project reviews.

Beyond those complexities, supporters’ challenge is to communicate their message to newer lawmakers who weren’t around the last time Congress approved a WRDA bill — and to average Americans who may not have been paying attention back then.

Their other hurdle: how to keep the water bill on track as budget battles, immigration and possible action on Syria vie for lawmakers’ attention this month.

In an animated YouTube video posted Wednesday, Shuster explains that the water bill is essential to household goods that are transported through the nation’s ports and waterways, from cereal and clothing to kitchen appliances. His committee is also distributing a user-friendly booklet about the bill to constituents, lawmakers and stakeholders.

via Making a kitchen-table case for massive water bill – Scott Wong – POLITICO.com.

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