U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin voted this week to strengthen America's waterways and ports, make critical investments in our nation's infrastructure and support our economic recovery. The Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), authorizes funding to renew the nation's locks and dams, provides harbor and river maintenance, assists with flood protection, and restores key environmental areas. The legislation passed the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support.
"In order for us to grow the economy and create jobs we need to make sure we build a 21st century Wisconsin infrastructure that includes renewing our commitment to our ports," said Baldwin. "Rebuilding our infrastructure will not only put people to work and create jobs, it will provide businesses with the quality infrastructure they need to move their goods to market."
Surrounded by two Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, Wisconsin's waterways are an important transportation source and economic resource. Understanding the need to make important investments in this critical infrastructure, Senator Baldwin worked to insert key reforms in the Water Resources Development Act. They include:
-A Buy American provision to ensure our nation's drinking water and wastewater infrastructure programs use products made in the U.S, benefiting American industry and the hundreds of thousands of U.S. taxpayer jobs that they support -- including 900 jobs at Neenah Foundry in Neenah
-Provisions to allow the City of Milwaukee to move forward on restoring the Burnham Canal and transforming it into a wetland
-Supporting increased harbor maintenance through administrative changes in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund -- directly impacting Wisconsin's harbors in Duluth and Superior, Green Bay, Milwaukee
-Acknowledgement of the Great Lakes dredging crisis which will divert 20 percent of all new maintenance dredging funds to the Great Lakes
-Implementation of measures to prevent aquatic nuisance species from dispersing into the Great Lakes
-Changes to benefit inland waterways which will benefit waters in western Wisconsin, including in Cassville, Prarie du Chien and La Crosse
"This bill takes commonsense steps to create good-paying jobs here at home and makes smart investments that will help Wisconsin businesses grow," Baldwin said.