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With Infrastructure Week drawing to a close, lawmakers have released the details of a water resources bill, with House and Senate votes expected as early as next week.
The U.S. Chamber congratulates Chairmen Bill Boxer and Barbara Shuster, and House and Senate leadership, for moving towards a final agreement on the Water Resources Reform and Development Act. Congress has the opportunity—for the first time in seven years—to complete a WRDA reauthorization and send it to the president for his signature. Doing so would kick-start strategic investment in our ports and inland waterways, increasing American competitiveness and creating hundreds of thousands of high-paying U.S. jobs.
The conference committee appears poised to advance policies that will strengthen oversight, transparency, and accountability by establishing a new process for project authorizations without earmarks; free up resources for other capital construction efforts along the inland waterways system; provide for ultimate full usage of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for its intended purposes; create conditions for successful project delivery; streamline the feasibility study and permitting process; and increase opportunities for private investment.
While we welcome the increased investment in America’s ports, we hope that Congress will also incorporate the Inland Waterway Users Board recommendation to provide predictable, reliable, and sustainable revenues to the Inland Waterways Trust Fund.
Legislation to improve the nation’s marine transportation system is long overdue and will grow jobs, boost international trade, protect lives and property from natural disasters, and strengthen America’s competitive edge. We look forward to working with the House and the Senate, as well as the administration, to ensure that legislation becomes law.”