BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) – U.S. Senators Tom Carper, (D) Delaware, Shelley Moore Capito, (R) West Virginia, and Joe Manchin, (D) West Virginia, attended a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee field hearing on water and wastewater infrastructure in Beckley on Thursday.

All three are working on a 550 billion dollar infrastructure bill that is now under consideration in the House of Representatives. At Thursday's hearing, the lawmakers heard from state experts on how money from the measure should be spent regarding water and wastewater management.

West Virginia has more than 100 million dollars at stake in the bill that lawmakers say could level the playing field for the state.

"This would dwarf the amount of money we've been able to provide in the past. It's just ready to be grabbed and put to work," said Sen. Carper, for whom the visit was a homecoming. Born in Beckley, he spent his early childhood growing up in Eccles, W.Va.

Senator Capito, an early negotiator on the bill, heard from state experts on the need for maintenance training and workers. "Some of the programs contained in this bill are new in terms of rural accessibility, workforce development, and decentralized systems."

But the infrastructure bill is not a done deal just yet. There is a debate among some House lawmakers over whether to hold the bill until there are enough Senators to pass a separate 3.5 trillion dollar spending bill that includes funding for the President's social programs. Senator Manchin has asked the President to compromise on a lower amount given the inflation and debt ceiling issues the nation is facing.

"I've been almost eleven years in the Senate and I've never seen one bill tied to another in which if one doesn't pass the other doesn't either. I'm in total disagreement with that."

Lawmakers have until October 31st to reach an agreement before funding for the transportation portion of the bill expires. Negotiations continued into Thursday's hearing in Beckley, where at one point during the hearing Senator Carper had to step away to take a call from the President.

"We are literally this close. I just took a call from the President to again reiterate how important it is to get this done, get the House to pass an infrastructure bill that provides all this money for water and wastewater."