On Friday, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA), along with Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-OH), revealed that the Committee will review and consider WRRDA (no, that is not a typo – see below) when Congress returns from recess in September. According to Reps. Shuster and Gibbs, the bill will be marked up shortly after Congress reconvenes September 10, and should hopefully be considered on the House floor in October.
Though a draft of the bill is finished, it has not been publicly released as details are still being worked out. This has not stopped many Congressional leaders who have seen it from declaring their support for WRRDA. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) are two of the more notable names that have thrown their support behind the legislation.
The Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) aims to provide funding to many projects that will enhance and repair our nation’s waterway infrastructure, accelerate the study and review process required before a project can commence, and reduce red tape. According to ASCE’s Failure to Act studies, our nation’s waterways face a funding gap of almost $85 billion by 2020 that will result in $200 billion in losses by 2020, and over $2 trillion by 2040. The Senate passed its version of the WRDA bill on May 15. Until the full text of the House’s bill is released, it is unknown how the two versions stack up against each other.
ASCE members should contact their Representatives in support of prompt consideration and passage of water resources legislation when the House returns in September.
- During August, consider scheduling a Back Home Visit http://www.asce.org/Government-Relations/Key-Contact-Program/Back-Home-Visits-Materials/ with your Representative or look for Town Hall Meetings or other public appearances by your Representative. Visit ASCE’s Back Home Visits page http://www.asce.org/Government-Relations/Key-Contact-Program/Back-Home-Visits-Materials/ for tips and background materials to help you.
- Use ASCE’s Click & Connect with Congress advocacy website http://capwiz.com/asce/issues/alert/?alertid=62713246 to read background and write your Representative in support of water resources legislation.