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Mr. CANTOR. Mr. Chairman, I thank the chairman from Pennsylvania for his leadership in bringing this bill to the floor as I rise in support of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013.
Mr. Chair, our economy remains weak, and many working families are struggling. Many are having a hard time paying their bills, and others are struggling to find work. The American people deserve an efficient, effective, and accountable government that is focused on finding bipartisan solutions that will reignite our economy so those who are looking for a job are able to find one. The legislation before us today will provide a big step in that direction.
This is a fiscally responsible bill that will create jobs and ensure that America remains competitive in the global economy. It will encourage investing in our national water transportation networks, while cutting red tape and streamlining the infrastructure project delivery process.
Our waterways and ports support over $1.4 trillion worth of goods each year, and over the next few decades our trade volume is expected to grow exponentially. Every State in this country and millions of hardworking American families depend on the many parts of our waterway infrastructure to be strong economic arteries.
Other countries around the world have been investing in their commercial infrastructure to improve their standing in the global marketplace and so that they can gain a competitive edge. As a result, improving and strengthening our ports and inland waterways is not just an economic desire, it is an economic necessity.
This bill authorizes the Army Corps of Engineers to develop, maintain, and build important development projects, streamlines redundant environmental reviews, and establishes a transparent process for future activities with strong congressional oversight--and it does so without any earmarks. This is a commonsense bill that should garner bipartisan support because it will help revitalize our waterways, our ports, and our economy. The American people are counting on their elected leaders to restore trust in our government and faith in our economy, and this bill is an important part of achieving that goal.
Again, I would like to thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Chairman Shuster, and the rest of the members on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on both sides of the aisle for their hard work on this issue, and I urge my colleagues in the House to support this legislation.
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