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Senator Johnson Applauds Increased Funding for Lewis and Clark


SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO-AM)  U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) announced today that the Fiscal Year 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill provides $27.098 million for authorized rural water projects, including the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System, in addition to the amounts requested for the individual projects in the President’s budget. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Senator Johnson worked to increase funding for congressionally authorized rural water projects like Lewis and Clark that have seen substantial cuts due to budget constraints and the ban on congressionally directed spending. 

“The Administration’s budget request of $3.2 million for the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System was woefully insufficient and a difficult starting point,” said Johnson. “As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I made it a priority to increase funding for rural water and am pleased we were able to include an additional $27 million that will be divided among these vitally important infrastructure projects.  This is very good news considering these tough budget times and the lingering effects of the sequester.”

The Fiscal Year 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill includes $3.2 million for Lewis and Clark directly, as requested in the Administration’s budget.  In addition to that funding, Lewis and Clark is one of six ongoing, congressionally authorized rural water projects eligible for a portion of the extra $27.098 million provided in the bill.  The Bureau of Reclamation will determine how to allocate that funding among the eligible projects. 

 The Senate Appropriations Committee first included a pot of additional funding for congressionally authorized rural water projects in its version of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill in June 2013.  The House of Representatives followed suit in July, adopting an amendment to create a similar fund in its version of the bill.  The final Fiscal Year 2014 Omnibus boosted that funding slightly to $27.098 million.

The Senate is set to vote on the Fiscal Year 2014 package later in this week following expected passage in the House on Wednesday.