Yesterday, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), made the following statement after attending the President Obama’s signing of the Water Resources and Reform Development Act (WRRDA) into law. Vitter was the lead Senate Republican on the conference committee who negotiated the final legislation.
“It’s not every day that Congress will come together and agree on legislation affecting Americans across the country – especially on a bill that is so beneficial to Louisiana,” Vitter said. “We made sure that the final result will provide hurricane and flood protection for Louisianians, necessary reforms to the Corps and improvements to our nation’s waterways. I’m extremely proud of this final result.”
The final legislation passed overwhelmingly in the House (412-4) and the Senate (91-7) in May 2014, and it contains many of the top priorities and new initiatives from the Senate-passed bill that Vitter shepherded through Congress. These priorities include reforms to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, and improved funding mechanisms that will assist localities in need of resources for flood control, wastewater or drinking water infrastructure.
Vitter secured several provisions in the final bill being signed into law that directly benefit Louisiana including the following:
• Authorization for Morganza to the Gulf;
• Modification to the deepening authorization for the Port of Iberia;
• Coastal and ecosystem restoration through the authorization of six Louisiana Coastal Area projects;
• Critical reforms to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that expedite project delivery and penalize the Corps for missing deadlines;
• Authorization for the Corps to perform future levee lifts for the hurricane protection system;
• Increase in Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund expenditures, prioritization for funding for high-and medium-use ports, and an increase in the threshold for 100% Corps operations and management responsibility from 45-ft to 50-ft.
Press Release, June 11, 2014