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Promoting Development of Southwest District of Columbia Waterfront

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. FARENTHOLD. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I will keep my comments brief. Back in December, the House unanimously approved the base text of the legislation before us today, H.R. 2297. H.R. 2297 was approved in order to update zoning laws to allow the District of Columbia the flexibility to sell or lease real property in the Southwest waterfront to a private sector developer. There is currently a $2 billion redevelopment plan pending to renovate this area, which is only a stone's throw from the U.S. Capitol building.

On March 29, the Senate unanimously approved this legislation with an amendment, which is what brings us here today.

The Senate amendment also concerns the development of the Southwest waterfront. It deauthorizes a portion of a 77-year-old navigation project in the waterway, essentially transferring jurisdiction from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to the District of Columbia in order for the redevelopment project to move forward to help spur economic development in the Southwest waterfront area here in Washington, DC.

The Army Corps of Engineers has reported no concerns with this transfer. In addition, Madam Speaker, the Senate's language is identical to that of a bill the House unanimously approved last Congress.

The last point I will make is, according to the CBO, there is no budgetary cost associated with the bill now before us.

I'd like to thank the ranking member, Ms. Norton, for working with us on this legislation and the Senate for including this important amendment.

I urge my colleagues to support this measure, and I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. FARENTHOLD. Madam Speaker, I join with my colleagues in urging support of this bipartisan economic growth and jobs bill. It will create a vital new area in what is developing as a vibrant part of the District of Columbia.

I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 2297, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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