The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee recently advanced the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), H.R. 5303, which would address states' water-infrastructure project funding needs for dams, harbors and other marine areas.
“Water infrastructure is a critical component to our nation's transportation network,” Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-OH) said. “In WRDA 2014, we made major reforms to how the federal government approves and completes water projects, and we streamlined the process to save taxpayer dollars. This year’s WRDA builds on that progress and continues our goal of passing a water-resources bill every two years. I want to thank Chairman Shuster for his leadership in guiding WRDA through the committee. I also thank Ranking Committee Member (Peter) DeFazio (D-OR) and Ranking Subcommittee Member (Grade) Napolitano (D-CA) for working so closely with us to ensure WRDA 2016 receives broad bipartisan support.”
Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) said support for this national water infrastructure bill would boost economic growth, and DeFazio agreed that strong water infrastructure stands to improve "economic competitiveness."
The bill also would authorize the Army Corps of Engineers to submit reports to Congress to establish water infrastructure priorities and provides approximately $5 billion in funding for corps activities -- a provision offset by $5 billion in deauthorizations of current projects.