Congressman Highlights Importance of Water Infrastructure Projects (USA)
Congressman Tom Reed said that the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to consider the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), a bill to facilitate upgrades to water infrastructure in the United States.
The WRRDA conferees came to an agreement between House and Senate bill versions last week and the Conference Report is likely to be considered this week by the House.
“The 23rd district has much to gain from water infrastructure upgrades, dredging, flood protection and environmental restoration like combating invasive species,” Reed said. “Water infrastructure improvements mean our U.S. manufacturers, our farmers and our small business owners can continue to “make it here and sell it there” as their American products are shipped all over the country and the world.”
About one-third of the United States’ GDP comes from international trade with 99 percent of that trade passing through the nation’s ports, a point Reed said supports the need to care for and upgrade U.S. infrastructure.
Reed pointed to two significant reforms made in the bill. First, WRRDA prioritizes underserved harbors, putting areas like Dunkirk Harbor, Cattaraugus Creek and Barcelona Harbor in a better position to take advantage of federal funding. Second, by not including earmarks, funding projects will be applied to and approved for based on merit and competitiveness.
“We are making the process more open and transparent based on merit and benefits to taxpayers – not earmarks,” Reed said. “We have also streamlined the review process so that applicants are not held back by bureaucratic red tape and projects are completed in a timelier, efficient way. Caring for our water infrastructure network in a transparent way supports jobs, improves our global competitiveness and gives hardworking taxpayers a fair return on their investment.”
The House passed its version of WRRDA in October by an overwhelming vote of 417 to 3. The House and Senate will now each consider the Conference Report and once approved, the bill will head to the President’s desk for his signature.
Press Release, May 20, 2014