February 27, 2014
The Honorable Bill Shuster
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
2167 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, District of Columbia 20515
The Honorable Barbara Boxer
Committee on Environment and Public Works
410 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, District of Columbia 20510
Dear Chairman Shuster and Chairman Boxer,
We are writing to urge the Members of the Conference Committee on the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) to work quickly to reach a bipartisan-bicameral agreement.
The enactment of a WRDA bill is of utmost importance to our nation's economy. Traditionally, Congress passes a WRDA bill every two years. However, Congress has not acted since 2007. In order to remain competitive in a global marketplace, America must have a strong waterways system, and the passage of a WRDA bill that reforms and strengthens America's water infrastructure is long past due.
We ask that the Conference Committee reach an agreement on WRDA to authorize critical environmental restoration, hydropower, flood and dam safety projects, and ensure our nation's levees, that protect our local communities from devastating floods, hurricanes, and natural disasters, will be repaired and maintained. Without this important legislation, many projects will continue to languish and our water infrastructure will continue to deteriorate. We also ask that the final WRDA bill contain important necessary changes to our ports, harbors, and inland waterways system, reforms the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers planning and project delivery process, and strengthens Congressional oversight of projects.
It is time to reform and strengthen America's waterways and infrastructure. The House of Representatives and the Senate each passed a WRDA bill last year with overwhelming bipartisan support. We respectfully urge the Conference Committee to work as quickly as possible, so that the legislative process can continue and a WRDA bill can be signed into law. We appreciate your consideration of our request.