U.S. Congressman Bob Gibbs released the following statement after a bipartisan majority of the House passed H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform & Development Act (WRRDA).
“Today the House passed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013 with overwhelming (417 to 3) bipartisan support. After the gridlock that has plagued Congress, it is encouraging to see members from both sides of the aisle come together for the American people. Chairman Shuster and I worked hard to ensure that this bill would cut the red tape, streamline the infrastructure process and strengthen our maritime transportation networks. This bill aims to promote our country’s global competitiveness and helps to spur economic growth throughout the country.
“With nearly one third of our GDP derived from international trade it is important we remain competitive and up to date with where our maritime transportation stands on a global scale. As Chairman of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee WRRDA falls under my jurisdiction. I have held roundtable meetings with stakeholders throughout this process with Chairman Shuster in order to best construct a bill that would be beneficial for all.
“An issue that was important to address in this specific WRRDA bill was the process the Army Corps of Engineer’s used to approve of projects. Typically, it would take from ten to fifteen years to complete the studies to start projects that would be authorized through the Corps. WRRDA 2013 reduces that time to three years so that much needed projects can move forward to create jobs and grow the economy. The delay in project completion is harmful to both our economy and those using these transportation systems every day, along with increases in costs for consumers. With these reforms we are able to streamline the review process and cut bureaucracy out of the way.
“This WRRDA bill is reform driven and contains no earmarks. It aims to increase transparency and allows for Congressional oversight in reviewing future water resource development projects. This bill at its core is about jobs and improving America’s competitiveness. The passage of this bill will pave the way for Congress to continue to pass future WRRDA bills every two years to ensure that our vital ports and waterways are improved and maintained for future generations to come.”
Press Release, October 24, 2013