The following is the text of a news release from the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure:
(WASHINGTON) — (Sept. 19) The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure today unanimously approved bipartisan water resources reform legislation that cuts federal red tape and bureaucracy, streamlines the infrastructure project delivery process, fosters fiscal responsibility, and strengthens our water transportation networks to promote America’s competitiveness, prosperity, and economic growth.
H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA), was introduced in the House by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Committee Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall, II (D-WV), Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-OH), and Subcommittee Ranking Member Tim Bishop (D-NY).
Through WRRDA, Congress authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out its missions to develop, maintain, and support the Nation’s vital port and waterways infrastructure needs, and support effective and targeted flood protection and environmental restoration needs. Historically, Congress has passed such legislation every two years to provide clear direction to the Administration and the Corps, but no bill has been signed into law since 2007.
“WRRDA is the most policy and reform focused legislation of its kind in the last two decades,” Shuster said. “This bill contains no earmarks and makes reforms needed to increase transparency, accountability, and Congressional oversight of federal water resources development. At its heart, WRRDA is about jobs and improving America’s competitiveness. A strong water transportation network is critical to keeping pace with other nations that are improving their own infrastructure networks and gaining ground in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.”
“This bill invests in our infrastructure and represents one of the only jobs bills that has been considered in this Congress,” said Rahall. “It boosts our ports, allows commodities to move more efficiently along our inland waterways, and enables our water transportation network to support increased economic opportunity. I hope that the full House can approve this measure with the same strong bipartisan spirit that our Committee has displayed in advancing it today.”
“Today the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee considered the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013. Historically, Congress has passed legislation pertaining to these issues every two years, but a WRRDA bill has not been to the House floor since 2007,” said Chairman Gibbs. “This bipartisan legislation cuts red tape and streamlines the infrastructure project process while promoting fiscal responsibility and strengthening our maritime transportation networks. WRRDA champions job growth that will uphold our transportation infrastructure, and preserves our nation’s competiveness. I look forward to WRRDA heading to the House floor this fall.”
“This markup continues our bipartisan work to spur job creation and lay the foundation for sustained economic growth with strategic investments in America’s aging harbor and inland waterway infrastructure,” said Bishop. “America needs a 21st century infrastructure to compete in a global economy, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure we make the necessary investments in our ports and rivers.”