A Senate committee gave its stamp of approval this week to legislation that would create a federal loan and loan guarantee program for water infrastructure that could augment bond financing and public private partnerships.

The Water Resources Development Act of 2013, sponsored by Environment and Public Works Committee chairman Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and ranking minority member Sen. David Vitter, R-La., breezed through the panel by unanimous vote. The legislation contains a five-year $250 million Water Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act, modeled on the more highway-oriented and much larger Transportation Infrastructure and Financing Innovation Act.

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