Rep. John Boozman, R-Ark., was named ranking minority member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s water resources and environment subcommittee, which oversees the wastewater state revolving loan fund.
The wastewater SRF provides low-interest loans to local governments and operators of sewer facilities to pay for infrastructure improvements and maintenance. The program has become a primary source of water infrastructure financing and about 27 states have leveraged their programs by issuing tax-exempt bonds.
In his new, role Boozman will play a leading role in updating legislation that authorizes the wastewater SRF. The law governing the program expired in 1994, but Congress has continued to provide funds.
In March, the House approved an SRF bill that would authorize Congress to provide a total of $14 billion over four years for the wastewater SRF. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is working on a corresponding bill that could be approved by the full Senate this year. Boozman would likely serve on a bicameral panel charged with reconciling differences between the two bills in order to send a single measure to the president for his signature.
“With his legislative experience and knowledge of the issues, John is the perfect choice to lead subcommittee Republicans in their work to address the nation’s growing need for water infrastructure, port and waterway improvements, flood control projects, and environmental stewardship,” said Rep. John Mica of Florida, the top Republican on the full committee, who appointed Boozman to his new post.
Boozman replaces former Rep. Richard Baker, R-La., who officially resigned his seat Feb. 2 to become a lobbyist for the Managed Funds Association, which lobbies Congress on behalf of hedge funds.