President Obama signed HR 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014, into law. The law streamlines the Army Corps infrastructure authorization process, authorizes new projects, deauthorizes old projects, and accelerates project delivery.
The President’s signing ceremony followed a bipartisan show of support for the bill in both houses of Congress, where it passed the House by a vote of 412-4 and the Senate by a vote of 91-7.
Present at the President’s signing ceremony were the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Sen. Barbara Boxer(D-Calif.) and Ranking Member Sen.David Vitter (R-La.), as well as the Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) and Ranking Member Rep. Rahall (D-W.Va.)
Following the ceremony, Sen. Boxer praised the contents of the bill and the bipartisan process that fostered it: “Today is a great day for our nation’s critical water resources and for our economy.The President has signed into law a strong, bipartisan bill which invests in vital water infrastructure that protects communities in California and across the nation from flooding, maintains navigation routes for commerce and the movement of goods, restores vital ecosystems and boosts our economy by creating jobs. I am so proud of the bipartisan work that went into this bill in both the Senate and the House, and I want to thank my colleagues for their dedication.”
Rep. Shuster was similarly laudatory, emphasizing the economic impacts of the bill: “WRRDA cuts red tape, reforms the bureaucracy, and accelerates the delivery of water resources infrastructure projects, but it does much more than that,” Shustersaid. “This new law will help ensure the country has a modern, efficient transportation network, something that is fundamental to a stronger economy, keeping America competitive, and encouraging job growth. This is an immense accomplishment for the Congress and America.”
“All the conferees on the WRRDA legislation should be proud of this important achievement,” said Mike Johnson, National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association president and CEO. “The overwhelmingly bipartisan margins by which this legislation was passed in each chamber prove once again that nothing can bring the two parties together quite like the need to invest in and strengthen America’s infrastructure. The nation’s ports, inland waterways, channels, locks and dams are a crucial part of our vast, interconnected transportation network that keeps our economy moving. We look forward to the return of a biannual process for approving future WRRDA bills so that we can better adapt and plan for our vital water infrastructure needs.”
“I’m pleased that President Obama was able to sign the Water Resources Reform and Development Act into law,” said Association of Equipment Manufacturers President Dennis Slater. “I want to thank members of Congress from both parties for working together to advance this important legislation, which will spur opportunities for equipment manufacturers to help ready America’s ports and waterways for the 21st century.
“WRRDA offers an example to Congress on how to come together and advance critical investments in infrastructure to help create jobs and support manufacturers,” added Slater. “Lawmakers should act similarly to quickly pass a federal highway bill that secures the solvency of America’s transportation infrastructure for the next generation.”