House T&I Leaders Introduce Water Resources Development Act
WRDA 2018 (H.R. 8) was introduced by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Garret Graves (R-LA), and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Grace Napolitano (D-CA).
The legislation follows the transparent process approved by Congress in the 2014 water resources law for considering proposed U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works activities. Consideration of WRDA legislation in 2014, 2016, and now 2018 ensures that Congress upholds its responsibility to authorize nationally important water infrastructure improvements that are more locally driven.
“WRDA positively impacts every single state and district in the country,” said Shuster. “This infrastructure is vital to moving goods throughout the country, from the products we all use in our daily lives, to the crops, resources, and goods we produce locally and send overseas in foreign commerce. WRDA works because it improves critical water resources infrastructure, strengthens the economy, and protects our communities. We have maintained regular order by moving this critical infrastructure legislation in each of the last two congresses, and I appreciate the bipartisan collaboration of my colleagues, Ranking Member DeFazio, Chairman Graves, and Ranking Member Napolitano, on this bill. I look forward to seeing WRDA 2018 signed into law.”
“It is fitting that during Infrastructure Week we are introducing the Water Resources Development Act, a critical piece of legislation to help address the needs of our Nation’s ports, harbors, and waterways,” said DeFazio. “This legislation will authorize water infrastructure projects developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that will strengthen our coastal communities and our environment, and create and sustain jobs. But more importantly, H.R. 8 includes my provision to ensure the funds collected in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund will be used for their intended purpose—harbor maintenance. This proposal, which was approved by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the last Congress, is just commonsense. Unlocking the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is key to ensuring we’re not just adding to the $100 billion dollar backlog of projects at the Corps of Engineers, but are actually using existing funds to make real investments in our Nation’s ports, harbors and waterways. I applaud Chairmen Shuster and Graves, and Ranking Member Napolitano for their bipartisan work, and I look forward to getting this bill passed and signed into law.”
“Nearly every aspect of American life – our economy, safety and our ability to endure the unexpected – hinges on the quality and performance of our ports, navigation channels, flood protection structures and other water infrastructure investments,” said Graves. “We have to make sure we’re building these projects in a way that reflects the urgency of the needs, using the right solutions in the right places at the right times. Instead of wasting decades caught up in process, we have to focus on outcomes: completed projects, more resilient communities, modern ports and a healthy environment. This legislation is a step toward the federal government being a partner instead of an obstacle, allowing for efficient planning and construction of projects alongside state and local counterparts.”
“Strengthening our water resources infrastructure is critical to our Nation’s economy and security, and we are glad to have again reached bipartisan agreement in this area,” said Napolitano. “Our water agencies have been very supportive, and their continued input will be needed to ensure local needs are met. I thank Chairman Shuster, Ranking Member DeFazio, and Chairman Graves for their partnership, and we look forward to swift passage of WRDA.”
Click here for additional information about the Water Resources Development Act of 2018.