tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN October 23, 2013 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT
in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. mr. hastings: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. shuster: mr. speaker, i rise to ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and tend their remarks and include extraneous materials on h.r. 380. -- 3080. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. pursuant to house resolution 385 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 3080. the chair appoints the gentleman from nebraska, mr. fortenberry, to preside over he committee of the whole. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 3080 which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to provide for improvements to the rivers and harbors of the united states, to provide for the conservation and development of water and related resources, nd for other purposes. the chair: pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered as
read the first time. the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. shuster, and the gentleman from west virginia, mr. rahall, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: if the gentleman would suspend, the committee ill be in order. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. i ask unanimous consent that the exchange of letters with the committee on budget and the committee on natural resources and the committee on ways and means be submitted to the record. the chair: the gentleman's request will be covered under general leave. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. i'm proud today that the house is consideration h.r. 3080, the water resources reform and development act of 2013, or
wrda. wrda is the most policy and reform-focused legislation of its kind in the last few decades. the chair: the gentleman will suspend. he committee will be in order. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. as i said, this is the most policy and reform-focused legislation of its kind in the last few decades. the new name reflects the landmark reforms, wrda, water resources reform and development act, because of the number of reforms we have in here. it's also the most fiscally responsible wrda in history. and also, no earmarks, but it does not cede our constitutional congressional authority to the executive
branch. we made sure we maintained this. we worked in a bipartisan way since day one, developing this bill from members, stakeholders, through listening sessions, roundtables and hearings. i want to thank ranking member rahall and water subcommittee chairman bob gibbs and also water subcommittee ranking member tim bishop for their work on this piece of legislation. i want to thank all the members of the committee and all the staff for all their hard work and desire to work together on this important infrastructure and reform legislation. i am also proud that wrrda have received 70 letters of support and ask unanimous consent that they be put into the record. the chair: the gentleman's request will be covered under general leave. mr. shuster: it was passed out of committee by a voice vote. this bill is about strengthening our infrastructure so we can remain competitive. it's about economic growth. it's about trade. it's about jobs. not just the jobs that will be created when we're dredging ports and rebuilding locks and
dams, but the jobs that will help our manufacturers when they manufacture their products and send them into the world markets, making sure they get there in a competitive way. also, making sure that those products coming into our ports and harbors, getting onto the shelves of our local stores, allowing the consumers to buy these products at a lower costs, allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned dollars. congress has not passed a wrda since 2007 and we cannot afford to delay. without improvement, our water transportation system becomes obsolete every day and we become less competitive. if we cannot compete we lose jobs to those who can. . our bill cuts red tape, accelerates project delivery. it sets hard deadlines and the time and cost of studies. it consolidates or eliminates unnecessary studies and requires concurrent reviews. our bill streamlines environmental reviews. repeat, streamlines, doesn't eliminate them, but streamlines them.
our bill is also fiscally responsible. wrda -- this wrda bill authorizes $12 billion of old or inactive projects that were authorized prior to this current law and fully offsets new authorizations. in addition, it sunsets new authorizations to prevent future backlogs at the comp of engineers. this wrda has no earmarks. and our bill establishes a new transparent process for future bills to review and prioritize water resources development activities with strong constitutional oversight and without handing over our constitutional authority to the executive branch. i want to repeat that, i think it's very important that this body, the congress, holds on to its constitutional authority and not give it over to the federal -- executive branch as we have done for decades. we have been recognized by leading outside watchdog groups for having a bill with no earmarks and keeping congressional oversight without
ceding that authority to the corps. i'm extremely proud of the accomplishments and we should all be. wrda breaks down barriers that hold back the development of our water resources infrastructure. it maximizes the ability of nonfederal interest to contribute to their own funds to move studies and projects forward. it also expands the ability of nonfederal interest to contribute funds to expedite the evaluation and processing of permits. and it establishes a public-private partnership program in water infrastructure, with the leadership of rodney davis, that's in this wrda legislation. this bill improves our ability to compete by authorizing needed investment in america's ports. as i mentioned, this is a jobs bill. not just construction jobs, improving our ports, but helping our manufacturers and helping americans be able to keep more of their hard-earned dollars. our bill supports our underserved and emerging ports to also help them become more competitive. it reforms and preserves the harbor maintenance trust fund, and the inland waterways trust fund to better ensure those fees
collected from users for these systems are utilized for their intended purposes. these are all important and necessary reforms, but at its heart wrda ensures we don't lose sight of the importance of strong infrastructure, keeping us competitive in the world. our bill supports our water transportation network to make sure that it provides the foundation for job growth and fosters a moreau bust economy. i -- more robust economy. i ask all members of the house, republicans and democrats, to join me in supporting this bill. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the chair: without objection. mr. rahall: i'm pleased rise today in support of h.r. 3080, the water resource reform and development act of 2013. i commend chairman shuster, the subcommittee chairman, mr. gibbs, our ranking member, mr. bishop, for the superb bipartisan way in which this legislation and the whole process has been handled. this legislation does provide
important directions of the army corps of engineers to meet its mission objectives and reform their planning and construction processes while also investing in our water transportation infrastructure and creating jobs. it has been six long years since we passed corps of engineer water resources legislation. while congress has had its back turned on our water infrastructure, mother nature has not been complacent. since passage of the last wrda in 2007, the nation has been challenged with floods, hurricanes, droughts, our aging locks, dams, and ports have too often been neglected. this bill before us today stops the finger in the dike solution to our water and infrastructure challenges and instead invest in these corridors. it should be pointed out this is not your traditional type of wrrda, at least the bill does take a step forward in reclaiming our constitutional
authority. it is clear that in today's challenging fiscal times we have to find innovative ways to get water projects funded and completed. the pending measure identifies the role of nonfederal sponsors in moving projects ahead and provides a process to address the $60 billion construction backlog, that is with a b, billion, and addresses initial reform to the harbor maintenance trust fund program. at its core, as the chairman has stated, this is a jobs bill. the investments contained in 3080 mean jobs in our maritime economy, larger container ships will be able to call in our deepened ports to offload their cargos while filling their decks with american exports. it creates jobs moving commodities from farms, coal mines, and still mills more efficiently down the inland waterways that crisscross our nation. these investments also help protect our flood-prone communities so that homes and businesses remain safe when the rivers unexpectedly rise.
i'd like to thank again all members of the transportation and infrastructure committee on both sides of the aisle, chairman shuster, subcommittee chairman gibbs, and especially our ranking member on our side of the aisle, representative tim bishop, who has work very hard on this legislation and knows it's intricacies very well. the hard work, dedication has developed a cooperative and bipartisan bill of which we all can be proud. i hope it's a model for future pieces of legislation. i urge my colleagues to support the pending measure. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from west virginia reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. at this time i'd like to yield to the chairman of the subcommittee on water resources and someone who has great responsibility in crafting this legislation, the gentleman from ohio, mr. gibbs. the chair: how much time? mr. shuster: four minutes. the chair: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for four minutes. mr. gibbs: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, now is the time for the congress to re-engage in
the development of the nation's water resources and play a bigger role in prioritizing projects and activities carried out by the army corps of engineers. congress cannot abdicate its constitutional responsibility in determining what projects should go forward and should reinsert its constitutional authority. h.r. 3080, the water resources reform and development act of 2013 is one of the most policy and reform he focused pieces of legislation related to the u.s. army corps of engineers. it is a bipartisan bill that was developed by working across the aisle to achieve a common goal of investing in america's future. h.r. 3080 contains no earmarks. cuts federal red tape, streamlines project delivery process, and strengthens our water transportation networks to promote competitiveness, prosperity, and economic growth. h.r. 3080 is a jobs bill. $1.4 trillion worth of goods associated with 30 million jobs in international trade are impacted. thousands of jobs are created and supported by the construction and maintenance of our waterways of locks and dams.
this bill is fiscally responsible by more than fully off setting new project authorizations with dee authorizations of old inactive projects. this bill establishes a path forward for enacting a wrrda bill every two years without conceding any congressional authority to the executive branch. this committee held numerous listening session, round tables, and official hearings in developing the legislation. we have heard from the public, industry stakeholders, and from our colleagues in the congress while developing this legislation and have incorporated their ideas in h.r. 3080. just because the study is costly, complex, and long does not necessarily mean it's a better project. in fact, a large costly project with so many add-ons that never gets funded is a benefit to no one. what used to take the army corps three to five years to do a study has now become the norm for the course to take -- corps to take 10, 12, 15 years to do a
study. and the core has to review in detail many alternatives. in one case a report was sent to the congress last year. the study was authorized in 1999. the original purpose of the project was for navigation improvements, but when the chiefs report was delivered to the congress last year, the total project cost was $650 million. but only $250 million was for the actual construction of the navigation improvements. the rest of the project costs, almost $400 million, are attributed to environmental enhancements not just mitigation. in another case the corps of engineers delivered to congress a report for which there is no federal cost share partner. that site took seven years to develop but since there is no federal sponsor, why should congress authorize the project? the funding spent on that study could have been spent more wisely on projects where there are nonfederal sponsors -- where there are nonfederal sponsors and local support. too often we allow federal agencies, including the army corps of engineers, to literally study these projects to death. h.r. 3080 accelerates the study
delivery process by limiting studies to three years and $3 million. in addition, we accelerate the study delivery process by requiring concurrent reviews at the district, division, and headquarters level personnel. arguably the federal taxpayers' on the hook for these studies and length of time it takes to carry them out. the corps reviews far too many alternatives and sends to congress a he project request that far exceeds in scope and cost which was initially intended. too often nonfederal interest and their contributions are forced to sit on the sidelines while international competitors race past us. h.r. 3080 empowers nonfederal interest, ensures projects will be completed faster and cheaper with local support. too often resources from the harbor maintenance trust fund are diverted to other activities unrelated to keeping the u.s. ports competitive and in a global marketplace. h.r. 3080 creates the incentive to spend the funds for their
intended purpose in a manner that all ports agree upon. one of the most important elements of this legislation is that it ensures the legislative branch nages in the water resources development act process of at least once every congress. i appreciate mr. -- i appreciate mr. shuster, rahall, and bishops in their bipartisan support. by working together we can accomplish solid goals to get this done. i want to thank my subcommittee staff and my personal staff for their efforts. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i am a he very proud and happy to yield two minutes to our superb, super superb ranking member, mr. bishop of new york. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. bishop: i thank the gentleman for yielding. thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of the water resources reform and development act of 2013. this critical bipartisan legislation allows congress to renew its commitment to our nation's water infrastructure
for the first time since 2007. i'd like to take this opportunity to thank chairman shuster and chairman gibbs for the open and inclusive process with which the committee drafted wrda. i would like to express my gratitude to the chairman and ranking member rahall for their leadership in returning the transportation and infrastructure committee to its long-standing traditions of bipartisanship and collaboration. h.r. 3080 is not a perfect bill. it's not the bill either side of the aisle would have drafted on its own, however it represents a bipartisan effort based on valuable input from members and stakeholders, constructive negotiation, and mutual respect. this ought to serve as a model for how this congress conducts the american people's business. this bill is about many things, but most importantly it's about job creation. not just good construction jobs that will come with the authorization of chiefs reports contained in the bill, but also jobs that rely on a robust network of large and small ports and inland waterways to move goods throughout the united states. h.r. 3080 also provides some relief from the challenges
facing the harbor maintenance trust fund by setting targets so that a greater amount of fund proceeds are used for their intended purposes, hashor maintenance. the bill also provides for the maintenance of our nation's small ports. however, we members must be vigilant that the changes proposed in this bill do not further erode the ability of the corps to carry out construction projects such as those necessary to meet the vessels once the panama canal expansion is complete. mr. speaker, i'm pleased that the progress we have made together on improving water infrastructure in the united states. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 3080. i yield any time i may have remaining back to the ranking member. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from west virginia reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: could i inquire how much time remains in debate on both sides? the chair: 20 3/4 minutes remaining for you. 25 minutes. mr. shuster: it's my pleasure to yield to the vice chairman of the full committee on
transportation and infrastructure, and also chair of the 21st century freight transportation, the gentleman from tennessee, mr. duncan. for two minutes. the chair: gentleman from tennessee is recognized for two minutes. mr. duncan: thank you, mr. speaker. i first want to say that i rise in strong support of this bipartisan jobs and infrastructure legislation. and would like to commend chairman shuster and chairman gibbs and ranking members rahall and bishop for working together to bring this very important bill to the floor today. this is one of the most fiscally responsible infrastructure bills that this congress has ever seen. i think it's fair to say that in my 25 years of service in body, i have one of the most fiscally conservative voting records possible, so i'm proud to support this type of legislation. every day tons of goods are transported across our water ways, without basic infrastructure in place, much of these goods would be transported on our already overly congested
highways. according to the inland waterways foundation, a 15-barge tow can transport the same amount of goods as 1,050 tractor-trailer trucks. it's one of the most fuel efficient and environmentally sound method of transportation. in addition, this legislation streamlines delivery, potentially saving the federal government and taxpayers billions of dollars. while i would never support a project that is harmful to the environment, i do not think we should drag these projects out for years and years and spend megamillions of dollars on studies and drive up these costs to ridiculous levels. this legislation sets hard timelines and caps costs for studies that have to be completed for infrastructure projects. it helps us complete these projects in a timely manner. this bill is a fiscally responsible one. it de-authorizes $12 billion
worth of inactive projects that are no longer need order feasible which offsets all of the new authorizations made in this legislation. this bill also authorizes the important flood control projects that we need to prevent natural disasters. we saw what happened when katrina hit new orleans a few years ago. that disaster caused an estimated $150 billion in damage, according to "usa today." we need to make smart investments today so that we cannot foolishly spend billions of dollars after a disaster strikes. i urge my colleagues to support this very conservative and reasonable legislation. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i'm proud to yield one minute to the ranking member on our freight panel. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognized for one minute. mr. nadler: thank you, mr. speaker. i have concerns about the environmental streamlining
sections. there are commonsense things we can do to advance projects more efficiently but limited public input is not one of them. we need to ensure there is agreement among stakeholders and to identify potential problems early which is one of the main benefits to the nepa process. the real obstacle is lack of adequate funding. i'm glad the bill can expands the eligibility for use of these funds. the bill also requires the court to make specific project recommendations as part of the study funded in the sandy supplemental appropriations bill on reducing the risk of flood and storm damage along the north atlantic coast. this is an important provision but we should do much more. we're still not doing enough to prepare for climate change, rising sea levels and extreme weather events. whether or not you believe these events are linked to global warming, the fact is that extreme weather events are happening more often and we would be fools not to respond to that fact. it's been seven years since congress last passed a wrda bill. we are long overdue.
this bill is a bipartisan compromise and i'll support it with the hope we can improve it as we move through the process. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from west virginia reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: it's my pleasure to yield a minute to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. meadows. the chair: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for one minute. mr. meadows: thank you, mr. chairman, for yielding. mr. speaker, today i rise in support of h.r. 3080, this legislation is the only fiscally responsible and reform-focused water resource and development bill to ever be considered by this house. this bill, as the chairman pointed out, contains no earmarks, places on a path to limited government and water infrastructure development and lays the groundwork for private sector and state level oversight. h.r. 3080 promotes the public-private partnerships and expands the ability of the private sector to contribute necessary funds to expedite and move projects forward. it also places a strict time
limit on the amount of time and money that the federal government is allowed to spend on feasibility studies. it took the federal government 10 years to complete a study on how to fix the jacksonville mile point navigation problem to allow for greater cargo. that project is slated to create some 3,500 jobs. the port everglades channel dredging study took 17 years and cost upwards of $10 million to complete. project study delays like these are unacceptable and have far-reaching negative economic impact. i thank the chairman for yielding and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentlelady from texas, ms. eddie bernice johnson. the chair: the gentlelady from texas is recognized for one minute. ms. johnson: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 3080 and want to express my
appreciation to the committee leadership, both the chair, ranking member of both the full committee and the subcommittee. the senior texan on the transportation-infrastructure committee, i applaud the chair, chair and ranking member for advancing this legislation to this point. and while i ultimately support the passage of this bill, i'm concerned about the streamlines and provisions in this bill. if properly funded, necessary projects can be completed with appropriate environmental considerations and public participation. i'm discouraged that the environmental protections are being weakened under this guise. within this bill, i supported language to increase commercial navigation capabilities for the texas ports and waterways with the expansion of the panama canal, these improvements would
allow for an increased role in global trade and interstate commerce. the increased economic benefits and movement of goods. thank you, mr. chairman. i ask unanimous consent to put my entire statement in the record. the chair: without objection. the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from west virginia reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: i thank the chairman. it's now my pleasure to yield one minute to the gentlelady from west virginia, mrs. capito. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. mrs. capito: thank you, mr. chair. i'd like to thank our committee chair, mr. shuster, and the ranking member, mr. rahall, from my state of west virginia. i rise in very strong support of the water resources reform and development act, or wrrda. west virginia is in the ohio river basin where coal makes up a lot of tonnage. it supports 9,900 local jobs and contributes $1.6 billion to the west virginia economy. domestic power plants rely on our rivers to maintain a steady
supply of coal and our country's coal exports have nearly doubled in the last four years. efficient and effective water transportation has never been more important to west virginia's economy. projects like the marmat lock and dam in my district demonstrates the importance of these pro >> jekts. i'm pleased that this wrrda bill protects the inland waterway trust fund so we can reduce the $8 billion package. this will create jobs and spur growth. wrrda's passage today will be a significant victory for west virginia jobs, american jobs and i urge my colleagues to join me in voting for this bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from pennsylvania re-- the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i yield one minute to the gentlelady from california, mrs. napolitano. the chair: the gentlelady from california is recognized for one minute. mrs. napolitano: i rise in support of h.r. 3080. like my speaker before, i want to thank the chair and ranking
member on both sides. especially the chairman and ranking member supporting provisions requested that will help the state of california. section 131 requiring army corps of engineers to review and report areas in arid regions of california. section 135 allows the corps to use federal funds to prevent and manage aquatic and invasive species, not only a major california problem but a problem for many rivers and other dams. they are very costly and it will allow the corps to assist our local agencies in combating invasive species. section 125, requiring the corps to reissue vegetation and incorporate regional characteristics and formerans. some of the water agencies are complaining that the corps may be a little heavy-handed, not looking at good science, and it would require the corps to work with local agency to solve the problem in a scientifically
proven way. section 106 and 109 sponsors corps projects. that means accept funding. section 201 accepts harbor maintenance trust fund and we are asking for an aye vote on this. thank you. the chair: the gentleman from west virginia reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: i thank the chairman. it's now my pleasure to yield one minute to the gentleman from south carolina, governor sanford. the chair: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for one minute. mr. sanford: i thank him and the other members of the committee for this important work on this bill. you can't do anything efficiently if you have a 15-year permitting process. it's certainly about competition where the competition of jobs, capital and way of life and our ability to get product in and out depends on a vital and healthy infrastructure system. i mean, ports like charleston, not state ports, regional but ultimately national ports given w important, for instance, postpanamac will be.
there is a much bigger consideration which is a constitutional question on the balance of power. what this bill fundamentally is about is about reclaiming some authority that's been ceded to the executive branch that's fundamental to the overall balance of power that's so important to conservatives across this congress or across this nation. and ultimately that consideration i think is far greater weight than the infrastructure components that are important as well. with that i yield back. thank you, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman he yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i yield one minute to the gentleman from illinois, mr. lipinski. valid member of our committee on transportation and infrastructure. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. lipinski: i thank the gentleman from west virginia for yielding. i rise today in strong support and as co-sponsor of wrrda. t and l shows that the i committee is building
consensus and, yes, compromising in order to get things done for the american people. i thank chairman shuster and ranking member rahall for demonstrating how congress should operate in constructing a bill that rebuilds america and creates jobs. earlier this year, congressman whitfield and i introduced h.r. 1149 to fix our inland waterways and wrrda has project delivery process reforms, project prioritization, development of a 20-year capital investment plan and homestead project reforms. in addition, this bill contains important provisions to stop the movement of asian carp to the great lakes, and i urge pport of representative -- support the amendment that would strengthen these provisions. with that i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from we have been reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. it's now my pleasure to yield
to the gentleman from kentucky, mr. whitfield, for one minute. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky is recognized for one minute. mr. whitfield: thank you. i also want to thank chairman shuster and chairman gibbs and mr. rahall and mr. bishop for bringing this important legislation to the floor and also want to thank their staffs. this innovative legislation is vitally important to the economic well-being of our country because we have to have a strong inland waterways system in order to be competitive in the global marketplace. setting a priority for inland waterway projects, reforming the u.s. army corps of engineers project delivery midwests and freeing up money in the inland waterway trust fund for these projects is vitally important. that's what this legislation does. i also want to thank the committee for including some of the ways for language used to improve the inland waterway system. that bill was introduced in the house and in the senate. some of the provisions are in here. also, want to thank the committee for including
language supporting our nation's small ports and harbors. also, for their commitment to repair the aging levees that shield many of our local communities from devastating floods, hurricanes and other disasters and also want to thank the committee for making sure that our freedom to fish is protected. thank you very much. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i'm happy to yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from california, mr. garamendi. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. mr. garamendi: i thank you, mr. chairman. this bill is extremely important, and i urge support of the bill. there's much in it to like. there are a few things i think we ought to tweak as we move along. the levee vegetation issue is addressed. it should be modified slightly. there thereby an -- will be an effort to do that later. the credit issue is still out and about. it should be modified. extremely important to allow projects to move forward with local money, so i'd urge some
modification in that. ports, absolutely critically important. there's great progress made in this in the harbor maintenance fund being used for the intended purpose. i commend all involved in that. the chiefs report issue has been significantly improved. i want to thank the chairman and others for bringing back to this congress the power that the sfution gives it, the -- constitution gives it. the chiefs report is there. i recommend we modify it slightly to give a little bit more leeway on when and where the report is. all in all it's a great bill. congratulations and thanks to all involved in writing it. i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from west virginia reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. it's now my pleasure to yield to the gentleman from tennessee, mr. fleischmann, for a minute and a half. the chair: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. fleischmann: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise in strong support for this water resources bill and i thank the chairman of the full committee, the ranking member and the entire transportation committee for this bill.
ladies and gentlemen, this is a bill that is a step in the right direction. i represent a city, chattanooga, tennessee, we all ard of the chattanooga choo-choo. but there is another place in chattanooga. this bill basically does something that i have been working on so hard since i've been in congress. it's a step in the right direction to finally work towards funding the lock. at it does basically is it reforms the inland waterways trust fund. this is a trust fund that's fundamentally broken. why? because what it does is send all the money to one particular lock project and starves out all the other lock projects in the system. this bill is a great step in the right direction because it basically works to fund it. . in addition to that it's a good bill because it restores, unlike the senate bill, the power to the congress in determining the funding of these locks.
and let me end by saying this, our waterways transportation fund is critically important to this nation. not as democrats and republicans, but as americans. i know in my home city of chattanooga this lock, which is stopped in construction, needs to have construction started again. these are american jobs, these are american exports, these are american goods, this is a bill that is a step in the right direction for a great america. and thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i'm very happy to yield one minute to the gentlelady from florida, mrs. frankel, who has worked very hard on this legislation and does a superb job of representing her ports in florida. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. frankel: thank you, mr. speaker. i of course stand in support of this bill and i want to thank the chairman and running backing members of the transportation -- ranking members of the transportation and infrastructure committee for their extraordinary leadership in bringing this
very bipartisan and important bill to the floor. transportation moves our economy and our waterways play a vital role. this bill is about jobs for america and as a floridian, i'm pleased to support this legislation that promotes our ports and protects our most precious wetlands, the everglades. today's proposal will allow florida's east coast ports in miami, fort lauderdale and jacksonville to advance in preparation for the widening of the panama canal. a comcation of larger and heavier ships are going to create tens of thousands of jobs and add a multibillion-dollar impact to florida's economy. and today's bill authorizes important projects that helps restore florida's most important watershed, the everglades, with a 4-1 return on every $1 spent. this restoration means improving water quality,
expanding recreational opportunities and boosting tourism. thank you. this restoration means improving water quality for millions of people, protecting our natural habitat, increasing property values and expanding recreational opportunities for florida. as this bill progresses, i hope we can work together to extend the period of authorization as in the years past. but with that said, mr. speaker, this is a very good bipartisan bill. it's good for florida, it's good for our country, i urge its support and i yield back my time. thank you. the chair: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from west virginia reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania. >> mr. chairman, may i inquire as to how much time our side has remaining? the chair: you have 13 1/4 minutes remaining. >> thank you. i'd now like to yield one minute to the gentleman from texas, mr. williams. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. williams: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of the water resources reform and development act of 2013.
among many other vital water projects in texas, this bill authorizes funding for theening where 100 million tons of cargo transit annually. this waterway is a major economic contributor to both texas and america, providing $106 billion in revenue for our nation's economy. america's aging infrastructure is a threat to a healthy national economy. 13 million jobs rely on water infrastructure and it's up to congress to ensure that america's ports, waterways and water systems remain the very best in the world. i applaud chairman shuster and ranking member rahall for their diligence and also to my colleagues on the transportation and infrastructure committee for their tremendous work. i strongly urge all my colleagues to vote yes on this bill. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i'm very happy to yield three minutes to the gentlelady from florida, ms. wasserman schultz, for -- and thank her for her
tremendous input on this legislation. the chair: the gentlelady from florida is recognized for three minutes. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you so much. mr. speaker, i rise in support of the 2013 water resources reform and development act. our nation's infrastructure is yitcal to a thriving economy -- is critical to a thriving economy. in florida alone, civil works projects improve navigation at our many ports, assist with flood control, restore the everglades ecosystem and help protect our pristine beaches which are central to our $65 billion a year tourism industry. yet congress has unfortunately passed only one wrrda bill in the last 13 years. so this legislation is certainly long overdue and much needed. i'm grateful for the committee's leadership for championing this effort. wrrda 2000 launched the visionary comprehensive everglades restoration plan. this partnership is the largest environmental restoration project in our nation's history and after much delay, projects are now under way.
this bill authorizes four additional much-needed components. one of those is the broward water preserve. located in my congressional district. this project will help capture, store and distribute surface water runoff from the everglade and assist with flood protection and groundwater recharge. i'm also pleased the manager's amendment will allow nonfederal sponsors to prefund projects prior to authorization and i appreciate chairman shuster and ranking member rahall's flexibility that this amendment affords to my community. this will assist a mainly economic engine in south florida. port everglades generates nearly $26 billion a year in economic activity. but needs to be deepened from 42 to 48 feet to allow it to be competitive in attracting deeper draft ships. the army corps after considerable urging by the florida delegation is close to completing a long-delayed dredge study to make this happen. despite years of intense efforts, the final study is not yet ready for authorization by
this bill. again i want to thank chairman shuster, ranking member rahall for their commitment to returning to a more regular wrrda process. we simply cannot wait another six or seven years to authorize the next set of public infrastructure projects. we need to start the next wrrda bill in a timely fashion. in florida alone, there are four critical projects almost ready for authorization, includingport everglades -- port -- including port everglades and the central everglades planning project. all these initiatives are critical to our state and should not have to wait many years to receive authorization because of congress' or the army corps' delay. i urge my colleagues to support this important bill that will focus on our ability to create jobs and make sure we can move our economy forward. thank you, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from west virginia reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. i'm very pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from kentucky, mr. massie. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky is recognized for one minute. mr. massa: thank you, mr. chairman -- mr. massie: thank you, mr. chairman. today i rise in support of this
act. i'm proud to co-sponsor this bill. kentucky's fourth district is home to 276 miles of the ohio river and three locks and dams. as such, we are willing hosts to millions of tons of interstate commerce. pursuant to our constitution, there is a federal role in transportation and infrastructure. transportation is one of the few things that congress actually should spend money on. in fact, the constitutionality of this issue was settled two centuries ago during our nation's infancy. in 1824 with a landmark decision ruling, and congressional precedent for maintaining national infrastructure was established that same year. for as long as our country has been in existence, transportation has been a priority. especially waterborne transportation. i urge my colleagues to join me in support of this important bill. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west
irginia is recognized. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i yield two minutes to a very powerful member of the house appropriations committee, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. fattah. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for two minutes. mr. fattah: i seek the opportunity to revise and extend my remarks. the chair: without objection. mr. fattah: i rise in support of this bill and i want to first of all thank chairman shuster and nick rahall for -- as ranking member, for their hard work and tim bishop. the committee has cofled a product that -- developed a product that is worthy of this house's support and i rise in support of it. we're almost at the 80th anniversary of the mississippi river control counsel. we've seen a lot of progress in my part of the country in terms of waterways. i like the work that the committee has done on the harbor maintenance fund. i serve on the energy and water appropriations committee as the ranking member has indicated.
and the army corps, which has taken some hits on this matter, really it's the responsibility of the congress to make this -- make us -- put us in a position to move forward. some of the delays that have been occasioned by the environmental assessment have been much too long. and i think that the committee's efforts to shorten that is good. i have some concerns about limitations on dollars. but i know that as this bill goes forward, it will be perfected even more. so i rise in support and i hope that many members of the house will find it within their purview to support this important legislation. thank you very much and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from west virginia reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. it's now my distinguished honor to recognize the majority leader of the house, mr. cantor. for 30 seconds. the chair: the majority leader is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. cantor: thank you very
much. i thank the chairman from pennsylvania on his leadership, in bringing this bill to the floor. i rise today in support of the water resources reform and development act of 2013. 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's 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, one 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 $1.44 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 again is an important part of achieving that goal. again, i'd 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. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west irginia is recognized. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i'm very happy to yield at this me a minute to the
distinguished majority whip -- two minutes. i just thought you got whatever you wanted. to the gentleman from maryland, mr. hoyer. mr. hoyer: you're very kind. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, this is how we ought to work. this is how the congress ought to work with one another. all 435 of us. i don't mean that 435 are going to vote for the bill, but we have worked together on this bill and i want to congratulate the chairman, mr. shuster, whose father would be proud of him and acted in the same way, working together to make things happen for america in a bipartisan way and i want to congratulate mr. shuster, congressman shuster, brother shuster, i can say. and i want to congratulate nick rahall from west virginia who s been such an expert on the
areas of building america and growing our economy and i want to thank also dr. tim bishop. tim bishop from the long island who has worked so hard on this particular piece of legislation. as i've said many times, mr. speaker, from this floor, congress has a responsibility to take bipartisan action to boost our economy, competitiveness, in a way that will create jobs. this bill has the potential in my opinion and will do exactly that. while the bill is not perfect, none of them are, by investing in our nation's infrastructure, including ports and waterways, as this bill does, we can lay the groundwork for more efficient delivery system for american-made products to reach markets in our country and overseas. promoting and increasing u.s. exports is a core component of the house democrats and i might say a bipartisan make it in america plan for jobs and competitiveness. i hope democrats and republicans can work together
in a bipartisan way as chairman shuster and ranking member rahall have done with this bill, to move additional pieces that make it -- pieces of make it in america legislation to the floor. so we can further promote exports, pursue a national manufacturing strategy and encourage the return of innovation and jobs from overseas and secure a skilled work force for the 21st century. . mr. speaker, i'll support this bill today, improve water-born transportation. i hope as the house and senate develop a final bill, the conferees look closely at the environmental review provisions to make certain we can strike an appropriate balance between expediting projects while understanding their impact on the environment. i urge my colleagues -- mr. rahall: i yield an additional minute. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman from west virginia, mr. rahall. i urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to work with us to make sure that our efforts to provide certain certainty account for the size and complexity of some water
projects. if we can continue to act in a bipartisan way, as i know mr. shuster and mr. rahall will do, we can send a message that congress is ready to move forward and help more of our people make it in america. and i hope we can tap into this spirit of cooperation by scheduling consideration of a comprehensive immigration reform legislation which, like this bill, has support from both sides of the aisle, from business, from labor, from religious groups and from leading nonprofits. that is a challenge i think that we can meet this year and, again, i want to congratulate the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. shuster, who has worked hard in a focused and bipartisan way to bring this day to fruition and i congratulate him and i thank mr. rahall, my good friend who has worked so diligently over so many years to make sure that people can make it in america
and that america invests in itself. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from west virginia reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: i thank you, mr. chairman, and i thank the whip for his kind words. with that i yield one minute to the gentleman from new york, mr. hanna. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognized for one minute. mr. hanna: thank you, chairman, for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise in support of the water resources reform and development act. i'm privileged to represent rome, new york, where nearly two centuries ago our nation embarked on its first major transportation project, the erie canal. this bill before us creates jobs by updating and re-authorizing water infrastructure projects. it reforms the outdated process that allows projects to be approved by the army corps of engineers. this legislation cuts $12 billion from a backlog of outdated projects. it is fiscally responsible and doesn't include a single earmark. a much-needed departure from past water resources development bills.
by passing wrrda, we facilitate trade, keep products moving across america and create jobs in our communities. congress has an opportunity before it today to help america do what it does best, compete. we should seize it. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. with that i would like to yield one minute to the gentleman from indiana, mr. bucshon, a member of the committee. the chair: the gentleman from indiana is recognized for one minute. mr. bucshon: mr. chairman, today i rise in support of the wrrda bill. the bill provides the much-needed oversight of the army corps of engineers, streamlines the environmental review process and consolidates duplicative analyses of delaying infrastructure improvements, sometimes for 15 years. these type of delays have cost our economy billions of dollars and have put the united states at a competitive disadvantage.
i'm also pleased that this bill will provide additional funding for smaller ports, like in mount vernon, indiana. mount vernon port has several businesses headquartered on its property and is vitally important to the economy of southwest indiana. a functioning water transportation system is critical for their success now and in the future. i would like to thank chairman shuster, ranking member rahall, subcommittee chairman gibbs and subcommittee ranking member bishop for working together on this important piece of legislation that makes government work better for our taxpayers. i urge my colleagues to support this bill. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i continue to reserve my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. at this time i'd like to yield one minute to the gentleman from texas, mr. farenthold. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. farenthold: thank you, chairman shuster. i rise in support of this bill because it's a jobs bill and
it's not just a jobs bill because the government spends money to create jobs. it's a jobs bill because it builders infrastructure that we need this this country to remain competitive and -- we need in this country to remain competitive. having grown up in corpus christi, texas, a deepwater port on the intercoastal waterways, i know the needs and how important it is to have ports and waterways that are here to serve our nation. it's one of the reasons i'm working with my colleague from across the aisle, eddie bernice johnson, and a variety of other texas members to support the texas port conference to raise awareness of how critical ports and waterways are to the jobs throughout this nation. and i urge my colleagues to get behind this jobs bill, to get america back to work and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i continue to reserve the balance
of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. it's now my pleasure to yield one minute to the gentleman from illinois, mr. davis. the chair: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for one minute. mr. davis: thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to offer my thanks to chairman shuster and also my subcommittee chairman, bob gibbs. they've done a wonderful job with this bill. it's a bipartisan bill, and i rise today as the co-sponsor and proud supporter of the wrrda act. i'd like to call it wrrda since we got the extra r. reform matters, and in this bill it shows that we can move things forward and we can make a difference, but i got to tell you, mr. chair, it's good to be back here governing in week and focusing on commonsense policies like this one here today. why is wrrda critical? because our waterways provide a cost-effective fuel-efficient way to move our goods and we must maintain and support u.s. infrastructure. i come from a district that
borders the mississippi and is blessed with productive farmland. 81% of our u.s. ag experts are water borne and with trade expected to double by 2021, we must rebuild our capacity. with the $60 billion water project backlog, i believe this program provides a solution to move projects forward and, again, i'm proud to support and co-sponsor this bill. i look forward to helping this committee advance this important legislation through this process and have this bill signed into law by the president. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, may i have a time check on both sides, please? the chair: the gentleman from west virginia has 11 1/2 minutes. the gentleman from pennsylvania has 6 3/4 minutes. mr. rahall: i continue to reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: at this time i recognize mr. scalise from louisiana for a purpose of a colloquy.
mr. scalise: thank you. the chair: for how much time? mr. shuster: one minute. the chair: the gentleman from louisiana is recognized for one minute. mr. scalise: thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the chairman of the committee, the gentleman from pennsylvania, for his leadership of bringing the wrrda bill to the floor. i wanted to talk specifically about the gulf project. i know the gentleman from pennsylvania has been time to this parish and has seen this project that's so vital, protecting the infrastructure that produces 30% of our nation's oil and gas. a lot of the energy infrastructure for our country and i know the process that's been set up in this bill allows for chief reports once they move forward. go to the committee for hearings. the chiefs report for this project wasn't completed until after the last hearing that your committee had. just wanted to engage in a colloquy with the gentleman from pennsylvania to see if twhrass going to be another committee hearing in the near future to take up new projects that have gotten chiefs reports since that time and see if this would be one of the projects
that we could have on that list? mr. shuster: i'd like to engage in a colloquy. we have one minute to the gentleman from louisiana, also mr. cassidy, for the purpose of a colloquy. mr. cassidy: thank you. this is of immense importance to the gulf protection efforts. it protects fragile wetlands from hurricane surges. the corps estimate it is it will provide $1 billion -- it will prevent an estimated $1 billion in flood-related damages annually and protect 53,000 structures. the corps supports this project. their own analysis says it will provide $300 million in annual economic benefit. it's been under study for the past decade. as mr. scalise notes, recently a completed chiefs report was filed, stated this project was economically justified, environmentally sound and of sound engineering. that said, there is this
problem of the late filing of the chiefs report. we do need this project authorized. and i ask if the legislation be passed and that it go to conference where mr. scalise, mr. vitter and i can work with the chairman on this. i ask the gentleman from pennsylvania to please hold these hearings and to review all projects that have received a chiefs report. mr. shuster: if i could reserve my answer until i have -- i recognize the gentleman from massachusetts for a 30-second colloquy. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for 30 seconds. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. chairman. it's the exact same situation with boston. it was two weeks past the deadline. i know we have already spoken. i know you're more than willing to help us do what we need to do, i appreciate that and i'm just here to say thank you. mr. shuster: with that i yield 30 seconds for the purposes of a colloquy to the gentleman from california, mr. denham. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. denham: let me thank you
for your leadership, not only on this bill but on the transportation and infrastructure committee. it's truly bipartisan. i want to talk about the flood control project impacting residents of my district that have been working on for more than a decade. the chiefs report is in. forest timber creek and san joaquin river basin located in my district, the army corps' officially endorsed the plan for flood risk management constructing a levee on the northwestern perimeter known as the chevron levee. this project is a local partnership with the city and was initiated over a decade ago. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. shuster: 15 more seconds. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for 15 seconds. mr. denham: the city and the surrounding area will be at continual risk for flooding resulting from the overflow of the timber creek and in association with the construction of the levee will develop and implement an advanced warning system. mr. chairman, included in this
legislation are several chiefs reports and i ask that your commitment to working with me to ensure the chiefs report can be reviewed. mr. shuster: i thank the gentleman and all of my colleagues and at this point would like to respond to them. one of the key principles in developing wrrda was increasing transparency, accountability and congressional oversight. without ceding constitutional congressional responsibility to the executive branch. wrrda authorizes 23 vital water resources projects that have been completed, technical -- have completed the technical review by the corps of engineers and have been recommended by the corps of engineers. the committee held a full committee hearing to review all the chiefs reports in june. my position has been clear. in order to maintain our constitutional congressional authority, congress must review the chiefs reports and specifically authorize them. we cannot hand over authority to the administration and the corps of engineers to self-authorize. chiefs reports have been
finalized on the three reports that the gentlemen questioned, and we will be review and consider by the committee. to provide strong congressional oversight i commit to holding a hearing at the appropriate time in the process so that the very important issues are fully considered and have the opportunity to be addressed. with that i thank the gentlemen for engaging in a colloquy. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. chairman, i'm very happy to yield two minutes to the gentleman from oregon, very valuable member of our transportation and infrastructure committee and who has had a tremendous input on this legislation, mr. defazio, two minutes. the chair: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for two minutes. mr. defazio: i na the ranking member, my colleague, mr. shuster, the chairman and the subcommittee chair and ranking member. this is a recognition of the extraordinary importance of
federal investment in the infrastructure of the united states of america to engage in both domestic and international commerce. sometimes that seems to be lacking around here. we seem to lump everything the federal government does into one big pot and if you get something you don't like it all kind of gets associated together. this is a program that will be paid for out of the harbor maintenance trust fund. yes, there is a trust fund, sort of, kind of. it's got $7 billion of theoretical balance in it. unfortunately, friends on the appropriations committee have seen fit to spend that $7 billion on other things. because it's not a real trust fund. . this will move us back toward utilizing those dedicated tax dollars in a dedicated way to maintaining the port and maritime infrastructure of the united states of america. i mean, here we are today, the corps of engineers has stopped dredging all small ports.
i tell you what, that's kind of a disaster in my state, and it's a disaster all around the country. i have one port where they have to take the boats out of the water, you know, onto a dock and they're having trouble even now getting into that port at high tide to get the boats up onto the dock. i have other channel entrances that are becoming dangerous. we're going to lose lives because the corps doesn't have the money to do the work. we have jetties that are failing. if we fix them now, $10 million, $15 million. if they go totally to failure, $50 million. what sense does this make? we're the united states of america and we can't afford to do the $10 million to $15 million now. we have dams and locks that are failing. we're going to wait until they fail or are we going to do the rehairs -- the repairs now? this bill begins to move us in the direction of doing the repairs that are needed to better move commerce, people and goods in this country. it's long, long overdue. and this bill has a 10% set-aside which will be
dedicated to the small ports, which is absolutely -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. rahall: i yield the gentleman one additional minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for an additional minute. mr. defazio: i thank you. this year i had to get my state to partner with the federal government so the federal government would bring the corps dredges with the corps crews down to dredge my small ports, paid for by the state of oregon. my state doesn't have a lot of money. but we partnered and we did that. there are innovative solutions that will work, too. but long-term we need the full investment. we need the harbor maintenance trust fund dollars to be spent on needed harbor maintenance. as i mentioned earlier, i have a jetty cruise bay that's failing. we could fix it now for less or a lot more later. we have the jetty on the columbia river that's failing. we can fix it now for less or a lot more later. that's repeated all around the country and i'm glad to see here today the work of -- bipartisan work here and the agreement on the critical infrastructure role that only
the federal government can play, using funds raised fal from -- federally on imports and into the united states of america. a tariff that's placed on those that is dedicated to these functions. it's a paid-for program. we need it now. i congratulate -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. may i inquire as to how much time we have remaining? the chair: the gentleman has 2 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. shuster: i would like to yield 30 seconds to the distinguished policy committee chairman, mr. lankford from oklahoma. the chair: the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. lankford: my support for this bill, to be able to talk about the limited funds that the corps of engineers has. they have very limited funds because the united states of america obviously has limited funds, from where a what we actually receive from the taxpayers. there is a study within this bill itself that's being proposed that looks at the low-priority projects and the things that are not within the
core mission of the corps of engineers. that study doesn't need to be a study to nowhere. it doesn't need to be a study to look at the low-priority inventory and then just go in a drawer and say, gosh, we have low-priority inventory that we can't afford to maintain, let's sit closed at and a local municipality can't open it so we need to be able to establish the next step on that. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. shuster: if i may yield myself 15 seconds to respond to the gentleman. i agree with him. we need to move forward to get these properties off the corps' books so we'll continue to work with the gentleman to make sure we expedite this and make sure the corps is eliminating things that are not important to their mission. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i'm happy to yield two minutes to another gentleman from oregon, this particular gentleman's a member of the powerful house ways and means committee and has been a leader on that committee in discussions about footballing -- financing this nation's infrastructure, but whether they be water, port infrastructure, or highway infrastructure, and i commend him for that leadership.
the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, two minutes. the chair: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for two minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you. i appreciate the gentleman's courtesy. i feel like i am just a member of the t.n.i. infrastructure alumni association. i deeply cherish the time that i spent on the committee, on the water resources subcommittee, and i appreciate the hard work that the committee has moving forward, trying to find some areas of agreement in a sometimes frackshuss house. and focus on the big picture. what is going to put america in the best position going forward? i'm going to have an amendment coming forward talking a little bit about some of the backlog and some of the nepa efforts. but one of the fundamental problems we have now is that we are not providing the resources to move the projects forward. the backlog of $60 billion and there's opportunity here's to add to it. the point we want to focus on is being able to deal
meaningfully with it so we don't have projects that go stale, that are outmoded, that are past their shelf life. another thing that i hope to be able to work with the committee on in the future deals with the principles and guidelines for the corps that were established in 1983. this was a prooge of mine for years -- project of mine for years on the committee. we finally updated them, but they have been stalled by some hold i think through the appropriations process, that have stymied it. so it's not going forward. these principles and guidelines, if they were adopted in 1983, were clearly in the process in the mid 1970's. we've learned a lot over the course of almost 40 years. and i'm hopeful that we can focus on the big picture, get the resources that are necessary to do the job right, and then be able to have the flexibility to make sure that
the corps has up-to-date tools to do its jobs better. i look forward to further debate. i appreciate the gentleman's courtesy and the hard work that the committee has done. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. blumenauer: thank you and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: mr. chairman, with that i yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from new mexico, mr. pears. the chair: the gentleman from north carolina is -- new mexico is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. pearce: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm here to support the bill and compliment the ranking member and the chairman for the work they've done in this valuable bill. i support it because it creates jobs, de-authorizes $12 billion in backlogged projects that are outdated and do not have construction funds obligated. i do want to point out that there are some issues with the text of the bill that my constituents have brought to my attention. for example, one dam in the second district of new mexico is awaiting approval from the d.c. corps of engineers office but likely will not get approval until january with protected contract awarded in march of 2014. i've been assured by the chairman and the committee staff that the de-authorization
language will not target projects like these, projects the study designed in the re-evaluation phase. mr. shuster: i'm committed to work with the gentleman from new mexico. how much time do we have left? the chair: the gentleman has one minute and 15 seconds. the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i yield two minutes to a very valued member of our committee from the state of nevada, the gentlelady from nevada, ms. titus. the chair: the gentlelady from nevada is recognized for two minutes. ms. titus: thank you. i'd like to thank the chairman and the ranking members of this important committee for their work on this bill. i'd also like to thank my colleague from california, mr. thompson, for his leadership as part of this bill in addressing the enormous challenges that invasive species presents to our country's waters. in southern nevada, you think of that as a desert, but there's a lot of water there. the spread of muscles is a
growing threat to lake meade which supplies 90% of southern nevada's water supply. the spread of the muscles in this critical reservoir has led to expensive countermeasures by the bureau of reclamation which is spending nearly $1 billion a year to prevent them from infiltrating the boulder dam intakes. the southern nevada water authority was alcs also forced to redesign the water intake 3 project to prevent the muscles from growing there as well. if unchecked, the mussels can cause the intakes to prevent water from reaching the residents and the visitors to southern nevada. , which , lake tahoe borders nevada and california, is on the edge of waterways where the mussels have been found and are taking hold. should the mussels establish colonies in lake tahoe, the annual impact would be over $22 million a year. the amendment that is part of
this bill would direct the g.a.o. to examine the current efforts to address the spread of invasives and to help develop a long-term strategy. so i would urge my colleagues to not only support the bill but also the amendments and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: i'm ready to close at this time if the gentleman from west virginia is ready to close. the chair: the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i'd like to ask unanimous consent to give the majority and the chairman an additional two minutes from our side. the chair: without objection. mr. rahall: then i'll be ready to close. which i'll close now. the chair: the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. rahall: thank you. mr. chairman, as we conclude this debate, i want to once again commend our chairman and the subcommittee chairman and our ranking member for the tremendous effort that has been made to bring this legislation
where it is today. it started out with chairman shuster's leadership early on in this congress at the member level. it spread to the staff level and it has continued every day. it's been a transparent process and a process in which we have been in communication with one another and as i said in the very beginning, i hope this will be a signal of how this committee will bring future pieces of legislation to the floor and i just hope that it will be a signal to the entire congress -- excuse me, how we should be working closer together in a bipartisan fashion. this legislation has a wide array of supporters. i have a list here of some five pages of both labor and industry and business supporters that have written members of our committee in strong support of the pending legislation. they include the american coal
ash association, the american farm bureau federation, the national association of manufacturers, the national association of homebuilders, the american u.s. chamber of commerce, friends from our labor including carpenters, transportation trades, afl-cio, labors international, and many other labor organizations have come together in support of this legislation. and as i summarize and conclude my comments, i want to quote from the president of the transportation trades department, mr. ed wicken, when he wrote members of our committee that real investment in harbor maintenance is vital to the health of an industry that supports 500,000 jobs, plays a critical role in expanding u.s. exports and is the gateway to international trade and humanitarian aid. h.r. 3080 will help improve our maritime infrastructure and keep pace with our international competitors and will also create thousands of good-paying construction and maritime jobs during what
remains a slow economic recovery. i urge you to vote in favor of this important legislation. that ends quoting from mr. wickan and i conclude by again thanking chairman shuster for his superb leadership and join with all of my colleagues in urging passage of this vital piece of legislation. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. chairman. can i inquire how much time i have total? the chair: the gentleman has 3 1/4 minutes. mr. shuster: i thank the other side of the aisle, mr. rahall and bishop, for their staff and all the hard work, in working together to produce a bipartisan bill, a bill that's full of policy, full of reform, a bill that is fiscally esponsible, and the most fiscally responsible wrrda in the history of wrrda. there are no earmarks but we made sure we did not cede any of our constitutional congressional authority to the executive branch. which i believe is very important for this body and for the congress. as i said, week of worked together in bipartisan fashion, talking to the stakeholders at
round tables and in hearings and coming up with a piece of legislation that i'm very proud we have it on the floor today. again, thanks to ranking member rahall, ranking member bishop, and the entire staff on the minority for working with us so closely. i also would like to thank our staff for the long hours that they put in. my counterpart, subcommittee chairman gibbs, for his efforts and his staff person joe, joe price, who worked so hard. also john anderson, jeff baumann, jonathan pollow, tracy z. from the water resources subcommittee, and then the front office, starting with the leadership of chris bertram and a special thanks to the deputy staff director and my long-time staff member, steve martinco for ram rodding this through the committee. i appreciate his support. beth, matt, jim, jennifer, , aire, jim, justin, michael
karen, denny and keith. all of these folks put in so many hours to make sure that we have on the floor here today a very good product, one that i'm proud to stand behind, one that i urge all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to vote in favor of 3080. and with that, mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time for general debate has expired. pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on transportation and infrastructure printed in the bill, it shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of the rules committee print 113-24. that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. no amendment to the amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in house report 113-
251. each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to a demand for the division of the question. for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? mr. gibbs: mr. chair, as designee of the manager, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: does the gentleman offer amendments en bloc? mr. gibbs: i have a manager's amendment, yes. mr. shuster's management mendment, not the en bloc. the chair: it is now in order
to consider amendment number 1 printed in house report 113- 251. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania eek recognition? >> to speak to the amendment. the chair: does the gentleman rise as the designee from the -- the gentleman from pennsylvania? the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 1 printed in house report 113-251 offered by mr. gibbs of ohio. the chair: pursuant to house rigse 385, the gentleman from -- resolution 385, the gentleman from ohio, the designee of the gentleman from pennsylvania, and a member opposed, will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio. mr. gibbs: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise in support of the bipartisan manager's amendment. in this amendment we provide clarity related to the expediting projects while authorizing the corps of engineers to move to reconstruction, planning, engineering and design activities immediately following the completed feasibility study. this will ensure that work will
continue without stops and starts in the study process. we authorized nonfederal interests the ability to carry out work at their own expense pursuant to an unauthorized yet completed feasibility study if the nonfederal interests agrees to carry out the work subject to any state or federal permitting requirements and that the nonfederal interests carry out the project in accordance with the feasibility study. we request that the corps of engineers to review the uses and economic feasibility of nonstructural alternatives in the review of existing authorities for carrying out work after a storm event. we have made technical and conforming changes to the bill. we developed this amendment working closely with members to address several key issues and to improve upon the underlying bill. mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from west virginia seek recognition? mr. rahall: mr. chairman, although i am not opposed to the amendment, i ask unanimous consent to claim the time in opposition to the amendment offered by the gentleman from pennsylvania. the chair: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for
five minutes. mr. rahall: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, this shuster amendment number 1 provides for the expediting and completion of ongoing feasibility studies and authorizes the corps of engineers to move to preconstruction planning, engineering and design. it directs the corps of engineers to consider nonstructural alternatives in the rebuilding of areas impacted by floods and storms. and in that regard, i do -- i am in support of the amendment, actually, and i'll yield one minute to the gentleman from new york, mr. bishop. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognized for one minute. mr. bishop: thank you. i thank mr. rahall for yielding. i, too, am in support of this amendment. i particularly want to note and thank the chairman for the inclusion of language in this amendment that addresses two issues of concern. one, the inclusion of consideration of nonstructural alternatives and preventing future storm damage. i think that's very important, particularly in the wake of
hurricane sandy, for those that lives in the northeast. and also for language that allows the nonfederal cost share partner to begin work on issues that are of importance to their localities. so i these these are very important issues, important to members on our side. and i thank the chairman for including them. i yield back to mr. rahall. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. gibbs: i yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from louisiana, mr. boustany. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. boustany: i rise in support of the amendment and the underlying bill. i want to thank chairman shuster and chairman rahall and all of the committee for the tremendous work that was done to substantially improve the outlook on the use of the harbor maintenance tax, because these moneys were not being used for dredging as they were intended to be. and this has severely hurt the american competitiveness.
we need to expand international trade and we need the port infrastructure to do so. it's essential that these funds are used for the intended purpose. also, i want to point out a couple of concerns i have in that there are two issues in the 2007 wrda bill, authorizations that require technical amendments that pertain to louisiana authorizations. and i'm hopeful that as we go forward on this, the chairman, the subcommittee chairman will work with me to achieve some resolution of this because it's holding up army corps of engineers projects and it's something that will be easy to fix. it's no cost, adds nothing to the budget. they are purely technical adjustments that need to be made. so i'm hopeful that we can work through this as we go forward. with that i'm happy to yield back the balance of my time to the chairman. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from west virginia is recognized. mr. rahall: mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. gibbs: mr. chairman, i yield to the gentlelady from south dakota, mrs. noem, for
one minute. the chair: the gentlelady from south dakota is recognized for one minute. noem noem thank you -- mrs. noem: thank you, mr. chair. mr. chair, congress has consistently limited the authority of the corps of engineers and recognized the long-established state water rights to protect federalism. in my state of south dakota in the upper missouri basin, the corps is planning to charge for water from the missouri river. this is after the doorkts gave up hundreds of thousands of acres of farmlands for which we have not been fully compensated. the issue of charging is a concern for many communities, for tribes, for cities up and down the missouri city. chairman shuster has assured me he'd work with us into the future to move forward on conferees to resolve this issue and to stop this attempt to tax our water. for that i certainly appreciate the efforts, and with that i'll yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. gibbs: mr. chairman, i recognize the gentleman from arkansas, mr. cotton, for 30
seconds. the chair: the gentleman from arkansas is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. cotton: thank you. i want to thank the chairman and their committee for their hard work on wrrda which i am pleased to support. i offered an amendment which addresses the population growth adjustments which are outdated and many local water districts are forced to pay substantial principal and interest to the federal government on excess water supply. my amendment allows the corps and local water districts to collaborate on finding new markets for their excess water storage. not only does this partnership allow for the best use of shared resources, it also saves the taxpayers millions of dollars. again, i want to thank the transportation committee, the chairman and the ranking member for their hard work on this bill and their support of my amendment. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. gibbs: mr. chairman, i yield the balance of our time to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. kelly. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. kelly: ok. thank you very much. first, i do want to thank the chairman and also the ranking member and also representative mccollum. our amendment ask on the asian carp.
it's a very invasive species that really has a devastating effect on the upper mississippi river and the ohio river basin. this is a fish that can grow to 70 to 100 pounds, highly invasive. it can potentially destroy a $7 billion commercial fishing business industry in the great lakes. it also would have a devastating effect on mmercial boat, recreatal boaters, fishermen. you need to understand the nature of this fish is incredible. anytime the surface of the water is disturbed, it leaps out of the water. as i said, it can be 70 to 100 pounds. i know many of us do boating in the summertime. this is a fish that's so aggressive and so very arabs, it can eat sometimes four times its own weight. what does this fish do? it eats everything that other fish eat. if we allow this to come forward, it could be devastating.
this is a great example. and i've watched the last three weeks as both sides trying to get to some type of an agreement get there. this is a bipartisan effort, a collective effort, collaborative effort that allows both the states and the federal agencies to work together on a solution to a problem that has been in existence now and will continue to be in existence until we stop it. so i want to thank the gentleman, chairman shuster, thanks so much. ranking member, thank you. ms. mccollum, thank you as we work together on this piece of legislation that has a great effect to keep the great lakes safe, the upper mississippi river and the ohio river basin. i thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from ohio. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 2 printed in house report 113-251.
for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon seek recognition? mr. defazio: amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2 printed in house report 113-251 offered by mr. defazio of oregon. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 385, the gentleman from oregon, mr. defazio, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon. mr. defazio: i thank the chair. this amendment would delay the environmental shortcuts in section 103 until secretary certifies that the corps has significantly reduced the backlog of those approved using the review process already been approved. now, the reason we're doing this is to make the point. this shortcut process could undermine environmental protections as well -- well, would, and critical public participation under nepa and other con-- conservation time.
it guarantees the court will not have the information it needs to plan major projects with broad environmental impact. there's no evidence that the public participation, environmental review process has caused delay. in the hearings on 3080, no witness identified a single project where that had been the case. if asked directly about taking years to implement, the comment was lack of evidence. the problem is not nepa. the problem is that this congress has failed to appropriate enough money to keep up with the projects we authorize. few have even been started. the estimated cost of completed corps projects current currently under construction is another $20 billion. so in stark contrast, the most recent appropriation of the corps' construction project was $1.2 billion. the ryan budget was adopted in the house, not implemented, that number would even be
lower. pathetically lower. clearly complying with nepa and other participation requirements is not the reason we have a backlog of projects worth billions of dollars. congress should appropriate, and this bill is a start. the funding needed to allow thighs projects which already has been approved, using all existing environmental review requirements to be completed before we implement any new shortcuts. a more thoughtful approach would be, as which worked through the backlog over the next five, six, 10, 15 years at the current rate of spending or 25 or 50 years at the ryan rate of spending would be to bifurcate the process. if we identified that there was a delay, particularly for repair, rehabilitation, replacement, minor projects, we can streamline those under the house or senate provisions but major projects should go through a full review. so we don't end up later in
endless litigation over those very same projects. with that i would yield to the gentleman from oregon -- oh, i'm sorry. sorry. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. shuster: i claim time in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. shuster: i thank the gentleman. h.r. 3080 was drafted in a bipartisan fashion. our vimetal streamlining provisions in section 103 is the result of compromise. we heard from many members who are supportive of our provisions to implement what is ommonly called three-by-three- been-three process. accelerating the environmental review process in section 103 of the bill is critical. the amendment seeks to undermine all environmental streamlining provisions in wrrda. regardless of the existence of backlogging, streamlining environmental reviews is an essential reform and i believe will reduce backlogs. reforms in wrrda will have nonfederal interests and private sector -- and other
private sectors to move projects forward with their own funds, providing incentive for accelerating these project delivery processes regardless of the availability of federal funding. so i urge all members to oppose the amendment and reserve the balance of my time. . the chair: the gentleman from oregon. the gentleman has 2 1/2 minutes. mr. defazio: ok. i'm going to yield to the gentleman from oregon a minute and a half. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for a minute and a alf. mr. blumenauer: i appreciate the gentleman and what he said is correct in terms of a situation here, streamlining provisions in this bill provide nothing but an empty promise. that projects will be done faster. the empty promise comes with real cost. it will lead to more damaging and costly projects and prevent states, local governments and