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Shuster WRRDA Bill Passes with Broad Support

Washington – House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster guided H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform & Development Act of 2013 (WRRDA) through the House, which garnered overwhelming bipartisan support passing with a vote of 417-3.  The bill cuts federal red tape and bureaucracy, streamlines the infrastructure project delivery process, promotes fiscal responsibility, and strengthens our water transportation networks, improving America’s competitiveness and creating jobs.

“Today the House overwhelmingly passed one of the most policy and reform focused measures of its kind in the last two decades. WRRDA contains no earmarks and makes major reforms to increase transparency and accountability. This legislation also protects Congressional oversight and does not cede Constitutional Congressional responsibility to the Executive Branch for reviewing and prioritizing future water resources development activities.

It is legislation like this that is going to improve the way we move infrastructure projects forward efficiently. WRRDA is not just about construction jobs in our ports and waterways, but also long-term jobs in our manufacturing industry. This legislation is about economic viability and competitiveness for the U.S. economy. It strengthens our infrastructure and is fiscally responsible at the same time,” said Shuster.

The bill:

Reforms Bureaucracy, Accelerates Project Delivery, and Streamlines Environmental Reviews

·      Sets hard deadlines on the time and cost of studies

·      Consolidates or eliminates duplicative or unnecessary studies and requires concurrent reviews

·      Streamlines environmental reviews

Fiscally Responsible

·      Deauthorizes $12 billion of old, inactive projects that were authorized prior to WRDA 2007

·      Fully offsets new authorizations with deauthorizations

·      Sunsets new authorizations to prevent future project backlogs

·      Reduces the inventory of properties that are not needed for the missions of the Corps

Strengthens Oversight, Transparency, and Accountability

·      NO earmarks

·      Establishes a new, transparent process for future bills to review and prioritize water resources development activities with strong Congressional oversight

Increases Flexibility for Non-Federal Interests

·      Maximizes the ability of non-federal interests to contribute their own funds to move authorized studies and projects forward

·      Expands the ability of non-federal interests to contribute funds to expedite the evaluation and processing of permits

·      Establishes a Water Infrastructure Public Private Partnership Program

Improves Competitiveness, Creates Jobs, and Strengthens Water Resources Infrastructure

·      Authorizes needed investments in America’s ports

·      Supports underserved, emerging ports

·      Reforms and preserves the Inland Waterways Trust Fund

·      Authorizes priority water resources infrastructure improvements recommended to Congress by the Chief of the Army Corps of Engineers to improve navigation and commerce and address flood risk management, hurricane and storm damage risk reduction, and environmental restoration needs