WRDA Begins Moving Through Committee
Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), and Chair of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA) held a hearing titled, “Proposals for a Water Resources Development Act of 2020” on January 9.
This hearing provided members of the subcommittee the opportunity to review the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2019 Report to Congress on Future Water Resources Development and to identify future needs to inform the development of a new Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which the committee expects to develop and approve in 2020. Lieutenant General Todd T. Semonite, chief of engineers and commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provided testimony.
Following the hearing, on January 17, DeFazio and Napolitano, along with ranking member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Sam Graves (R-MO), and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment Bruce Westerman (R-AR) sent a letter to their colleagues urging them to finalize their priorities for WRDA 2020. The letter also announced the committee will hold a Member Day hearing on WRDA requests on February 27.
The enactment of WRDA supports traded goods that move through U.S. ports, harbors, and inland waterways; projects for flood damage reduction for both rural and urban communities; and ecosystem restoration projects to restore and maintain vital natural resources. As part of reform measures, Congress successfully enacted three consecutive WRDAs in 2014, 2016 and 2018.