U.S. House Approves Bipartisan Water Infrastructure Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House approved bipartisan legislation Wednesday to promote America’s competitiveness and boost economic growth. H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA), reforms federal water resource activities by cutting red tape and bureaucracy, streamlining the infrastructure project delivery process, fostering fiscal responsibility, and strengthening our water transportation networks.
H.R. 3080 was introduced in the House by Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (PA-9) and was co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (PA-4), also member of the T&I Committee. H.R. 3080 was approved by a vote of 417-3.
“America needs a modern infrastructure network to compete in an increasingly competitive global economy,” said Rep. Perry.
Through WRRDA, Congress authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop, maintain, and support the Nation’s vital port and waterways infrastructure, while supporting 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 Army Corps, but no bill has been signed into law since 2007.
Many of the goods we create, sell, import and ship around the world go through America’s seaports - accounting for $1.4 trillion worth of economic activity. In recent years, however, excessive red tape has delayed development and maintenance of critical water infrastructure projects – ports, channels, dams, and more – for up to 15 years.
WRRDA reduces that time to just three years by establishing a transparent process for reviewing and prioritizing water resources development projects. WRRDA is also fiscally responsible. It stretches federal dollars by allowing non-federal entities to contribute funds to important projects to expedite the process and establishes a new public-private partnership program. Additionally, it takes $12 billion of inactive projects off the books and sunsets projects if construction has not been initiated within seven years. And unlike past water infrastructure bills, WRRDA contains no earmarks.
Passage of WRRDA continues efforts in the U.S. House to lay the groundwork for a stronger economy and increased opportunities for all Americans. Legislation already passed by the House this year would: reform and modernize federal workforce training programs and help millions of unemployed Americans get back to work; embrace American energy resources; lift barriers to clean renewable energy; give working families more flexibility and increase oversight of expensive federal regulations.
Residents of the 4th District are welcome to contact Congressman Perry and his staff at any of his offices or via Perry.House.Gov, where they can sign up for e-mail updates and for his Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages.