Funding Had Been Included in President's Budget Request at Urging of Bennet - Bennet Fought to Preserve Funding in Appropriations Bill, Vows to Continue Push as Bill Advances through Congress
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Senate today passed the Energy and Water Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2017, which includes $3 million for the Arkansas Valley Conduit that the President requested in his budget at the urging of Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, who fought to preserve it in the bill. Bennet worked with the Senate Appropriations Committee to include the funding to ensure work on the Conduit will continue.
"The Arkansas Valley Conduit is a critical project to deliver clean drinking water to dozens of communities in southeast Colorado," Bennet said. "The President's budget included this crucial funding, and we fought to ensure it was included as the bill moved through the Senate. The federal government made a commitment more than five decades ago, and this funding ensures Congress is doing its part to fulfill that promise. We will continue to pursue any avenue necessary to ensure this project is completed as promised."
Earlier this year, Bennet helped secure an additional $2 million for the Conduit from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The funding added to the $500,000 that had already been appropriated for the project in Fiscal Year 2016.
Bennet also cosponsored a bill introduced by Senator Cory Gardner that allows the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservation District to more easily pay for its portion of the Conduit's construction costs. The bill will help the District move closer to the project's construction phase.
Bennet has been fighting for the project since coming to the Senate. He's met several times with the head of the Bureau of Reclamation, and top officials from the Office of Management and Budget, urging them to provide the needed resources, and has also facilitated meetings between local officials and members of the Administration. Bennet has also pushed the Administration to include the additional funding in its budget proposal for FY 2017.