Water project funding vote delayed for second day

CNJ staff

The wait continues on a crucial vote for the future of the Ute pipeline project.

For a second-straight day, the U.S. House failed to vote on a bill that would authorize the federal government to provide $327 million over a 10-year period to build a pipeline that would carry water from Ute Reservoir to eight eastern New Mexico entities.

Introduced and discussed Tuesday, the bill was not scheduled in Wednesday’s legislative day, according to a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M.

Udall, who introduced the bill, expects the House to vote on the bill in the next few days, according to Sam Simon, a spokesman for Udall.

The bill met no opposition Tuesday, according to Simon, but the House ran out of time before a vote could be called.

Simon said voting delays are common and there is no reason to think it is a sign the bill will not pass.

If the bill passes in the House, it moves for consideration and vote in the Senate, who could ask the president to sign it into law.

Area officials have expressed optimism earlier this week that the bill would pass both branches of Congress.

The federal government would only pay for 75 percent of the $437 million project. The State will pay for 15 percent of the cost and local governments will pay 10 percent.