Tonight, Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO), Chair of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), and Subcommittee Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-AR) applauded the House for approving the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA) as part of the year-end omnibus and COVID relief legislative package.
This bipartisan legislation, which the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has developed and passed on a biennial basis since 2014, is essential to our country’s ports, harbors, and inland waterways, as well as ecosystem restoration and flood mitigation in both rural and urban communities. The language approved today is the result of negotiations with the Senate since House passage of H.R. 7575 in late July and S. 1811 in early December.
“The bipartisan legislation approved today is critical to communities across all 50 states, and includes key provisions to invest in our ports, harbors and inland waterways; build more resilient communities; and ensure that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers carries out projects in an economically and environmentally responsible manner,” Chair DeFazio said. “I am particularly proud that this legislation achieves my decades-long mission to unlock the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund by allowing billions of dollars in already-collected HMTF fees to be used for their intended purpose—ensuring that maintenance needs of U.S. ports and harbors are met. In addition to our Senate partners, I thank Subcommittee Chair Napolitano and Ranking Members Graves and Westerman for their continued efforts to push this legislation forward and send it to the president’s desk for his signature.”
“WRDA 2020 will help strengthen the Nation’s global competitiveness, grow the economy, protect our communities, and create jobs. In particular, the vital flood control and risk reduction improvements in this bill will help safeguard communities throughout North Missouri and around the country. In working to finalize this critical water resources legislation, I want to thank my colleagues in both the House and Senate. It’s important that Congress is maintaining its regular oversight of the Corps of Engineers and continuing consideration of WRDA every two years. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation remains a model for how Congress can work together to address our Nation’s infrastructure needs,” Ranking Member Graves said.
“Our bipartisan Water Resources Development Act will create much needed American jobs and boost our economic recovery, while upgrading our nation’s water infrastructure and safeguarding our environment,” Subcommittee Chair Napolitano said. “I am pleased it dramatically increases funding to the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for dredging, cleanup, and maintenance, something for which I have fought for many years. This bill also includes the language necessary for my district and other wildfire prone regions of the country to improve efforts by the Army Corps of Engineers to remove unauthorized, human-made flammable equipment and materials from Corps property. As we in the West are in a continuous fight against drought, I am proud to have secured provisions to give the Corps more ability to focus on long-term water reliability of arid communities and local water supply. I thank Chairman DeFazio, Ranking Member Graves, Subcommittee Ranking Member Westerman, and all of the members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for their important work over the past two years on this bill, which will benefit communities in every corner of the nation.”
“WRDA is commonsense, bipartisan legislation that should have been passed into law months ago. It’s high time we get these resources out to state and local governments so they can implement essential water infrastructure changes. I’m glad it’ll finally be signed into law as part of this year-end funding package,” Subcommittee Ranking Member Westerman said.
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