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Public Statements

Promoting Development of Southwest District of Columbia Waterfront

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


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

I want to thank the chairman of the full committee, Mr. Issa, and the chair of the subcommittee, Mr. Gowdy, for working closely with our side on this bill so that we could get it to the floor today. I also thank the ranking member of the full committee, Mr. Cummings, and Mr. Davis, the subcommittee ranking member, for their very important consultation.

H.R. 2297, which was introduced by my friend and colleague, Congresswoman Norton, will allow development of the waterfront area in Southwest Washington, DC. The bill makes technical changes concerning land owned on the Southwest waterfront by the District of Columbia since the early 1960s. The legislation that transferred the land to the District contained restrictions typical of the pre-Home Rule period.

H.R. 2297 updates that obsolete legislation to allow for the highest and best use of the land. The restrictions serve no Federal purpose. However, the unintended effect was to make a wasted asset of land that could be productive and revenue- and jobs-producing. The relevant Federal agencies have been consulted on H.R. 2297 and have raised no objections. The bill will allow mixed-use development on the waterfront for the first time. It will create jobs and raise local revenue at a time when they are needed most.

The Federal Government has no interest in the Southwest waterfront other than the Maine lobster memorial and the Titanic memorial, which the District and the National Park Service have worked together to preserve.

Madam Speaker, the bill expands the types of goods that can be sold at the fish market on the waterfront in a market well known in the region. This is a noncontroversial bill that removes out-of-date restrictions and involves no cost to the Federal Government.

At this time, I'd like to yield to the gentlewoman from the District of Columbia (Ms. Norton) for such time as she may consume.


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