Shimkus praises new clean-water law that aids needy abroad

U.S. Congressman John Shimkus (R-Ill.) said Monday that President Obama recently signed the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act into law.

“While this legislation does not have a direct effect on Southern Illinois,” Shimkus told Ripon Advance, “Senator Simon’s legacy lives on through this initiative to utilize water, sanitation and hygiene as tools for foreign assistance.”

The law is named after late Illinois Democratic U.S. Sen. Paul Simon.

The bill, which Shimkus co-sponsored, had earlier cleared the House on Dec. 8, then was approved by the Senate a week later. This new law builds on the Simon Water for the Poor Act, which was originally put into effect in 2005. The current legislation amends that law with updated and more-relevant language that specifically directs the secretary of state to develop a strategy for providing affordable access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene in developing countries, while also furthering U.S. foreign assistance for these programs.
Shimkus applauded Congress for staying focused and giving the proposal a rapid approval. “It is noteworthy,” he said, “that both the House and the Senate passed this bill on voice votes — without any objections, which is quite amazing in today’s political world. Second, this law helps make the water programs be more focused, efficient, transparent and better monitored.”