McConnell Praises Infrastructure, Commerce Components of Water Resources Development Act

For Immediate Release, Thursday, September 15, 2016

 ‘The projects authorized in this bill range from strengthening our waterways infrastructure to helping support safe and reliable drinking water sources. They also invest in priorities each of us cares about like improving public health and safety, enhancing commerce, and supporting America’s ecosystems.’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today praising the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act:

From the Gulf of Mexico and the Chesapeake Bay to the inland waterways that are so important to Kentucky’s maritime jobs, America’s waterways play a crucial role in supporting the economy, transporting goods and people from point A to point B, and supplying communities with drinking water.

As the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Inhofe understands just how critical our waterways are and the importance of maintaining them. That’s why he’s worked with Ranking Member Boxer to craft the bipartisan 2016 Water Resources Development Act, or WRDA.

This responsible water resources bill authorizes more than two dozen Army Corps projects from the east coast to the west, and it’s expected to save taxpayers $6 million over the next decade. It’s also completely paid for.

The projects authorized in this bill range from strengthening our waterways infrastructure to helping support safe and reliable drinking water sources. They also invest in priorities each of us cares about like improving public health and safety, enhancing commerce, and supporting America’s ecosystems.

Here’s what I mean.

By investing in flood control projects, dam maintenance, and drinking water infrastructure, this bill will enhance public health and safety.

By investing in ports, harbors, locks, and dams, it will strengthen commerce.

And by investing in restoration and revitalization projects from the Florida Everglades to the Los Angeles River, it will support America’s natural ecosystems.

I’m also pleased the bill supports several projects in Kentucky that are important to me, to my constituents, and to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. One will transfer aging infrastructure along the Green and Barren Rivers in Kentucky over to state and local entities so they can determine the best use of this infrastructure. Another will help my constituents in Paducah better protect themselves from flooding from the Ohio River by helping complete repairs to the city’s flood protection infrastructure.

The bill also includes an important coal ash provision that will give states the authority to create their own coal ash permitting requirements and systems to ensure that coal ash is recycled and reused in a safe and effective way in accordance with current EPA guidelines.  

To quote Senator Inhofe, the top Republican on the committee, this bill will “support our communities and expand our economy.”

To quote Senator Boxer, the top Democrat on the committee, it will provide “a perfect vehicle to upgrade our water infrastructure.”

 I appreciate their work across the aisle to move this important water resources bill forward. Its passage will represent another bipartisan win for American transportation infrastructure. And it’s another example of what’s been possible with a Senate that’s back to work for the American people.

I look forward to its passage later today, and I would encourage our House colleagues to take action soon so we can send the bill to the president’s desk.

 Contacts: Don Stewart, David Popp 202-224-2979;  Robert Steurer, Stephanie Penn 202-224-8288