EPW Leaders Secure Inclusion of Bipartisan Water Infrastructure Legislation in the Omnibus

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) and the bipartisan leadership of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee secured the inclusion of the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA 2020) in the legislation to fund the government.

WRDA 2020 supports our nation’s economic competitiveness by increasing water storage, providing protection from dangerous floodwaters, deepening nationally significant ports, maintaining the navigability of inland waterways, and addressing the threat of invasive species across the country. The bill includes natural infrastructure and ecosystem restoration efforts to protect the environment and improve the resiliency of our water infrastructure. It also cuts red tape, is fiscally responsible, and strengthens our national security.

“In addition to being the lifeblood for communities across the country, our nation’s water infrastructure keeps our economy moving forward. That is why it’s so important for Congress to come together every two years and authorize funding to improve our ports, restore and rebuild our waterways, protect our communities from coastal storms and inland flooding, and maintain our other critical water resources infrastructure,” Senator Carper said. “I’m proud that this year’s Water Resources Development Act invests in essential Army Corps of Engineers projects and implements several much-needed reforms to combat climate change and support our most vulnerable communities. Our bipartisan legislation will create and sustain jobs and help secure a better future for the American people.”

“Water infrastructure is critical to every community in our country,” Senator Barrasso said. “The Water Resources Development Act will help grow the economy, cut red tape, and keep communities safe. Now, this legislation can move forward. I want to thank Ranking Member Carper and Senators Capito and Cardin for working with me and look forward to getting the bill across the finish line.”

“This year’s Water Resources Development Act supports the economic and environmental health of our nation. It invests in our nation’s key ports and harbors, like the Port of Baltimore. It also makes new commitments to help communities restore ecosystems and address flood risks and sea level rise due to climate change—important priorities for Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay,” Senator Cardin said. “Getting this legislation done puts us in a stronger position to start the new year. I am proud we were able to come together in a bipartisan way to get the is done this year.”

“Strengthening America’s infrastructure has traditionally been a bipartisan priority because of the enormous benefits such projects can generate,” Senator Capito said. “The Water Resources Development Act makes important updates to our nation’s water resources infrastructure and provides resources that will benefit the health and wellbeing of West Virginians and others in communities across the country. I’m glad to see this legislation included as part of the final bill to fund the federal government.”

WRDA 2020, which would deliver major wins for Delaware, was negotiated by Senators Carper, Barrasso, Capito and Cardin and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-Mo.).

On April 21, 2020, Barrasso, Carper, Capito, and Cardin released draft bills of America’s Water Infrastructure Act 2020. On May 6, 2020, the EPW Committee unanimously passed America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2020 (AWIA 2020). On December 8, 2020, the House of Representatives passed WRDA 2020 by voice vote.